An interesting action full of controversy: a week from D Day the British were pushing Monty's plan to get Caen so they had to take Villers Bocage town. A full armored Brigade with the support of 60 tanks (Shermans, Cromwells and Fireflies) got there on July 13th.
The Germans had portions of a Heavy Tank Battalion consisting in Tigers I and PZ IV. One of them under the command of the tank ace Michael Wittman who conducted what could be the most famous and lethal piece of tank combat in WWII history.
This combat has been regarded as indecesive or a plain German operational victory. The town was only taken on August 4th after the general German retreat. However during the June 13th combats the allies lost 200 men and 25 tanks against some 23 German men lost and 12 tanks damaged or destroyed. Wittman himself is credited with the single handed destruction of 14 tanks, 2 AT and 15 vehicles in 15 minutes. Allied historians as Carlo D' Este
regards this as "one of the most amazing engagements in the history of armoured warfare"
; Max Hastings
calls it "one of the most devastating single-handed actions of the war
"; and Anthony Beevor
claims it was "one of the most devastating ambushes in British military history". Hubert Meyer
goes even further, attributing Operation Perch's failure solely to Wittmann's "courage, his tactical and technical abilities and [...] the valor, the expertise and the camaraderie of his Panzer crew".
Others are moderate in supporting this claims or completely are against them, even German military historians. However the very important Schneider
analysis is favorable in the handling of the combat by Wittman.
Anyway, 68 years ago History was being done.
I think those interested may enjoy this links:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spTd0BWsANohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6np6l_7d ... ure=relmfuhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6np6l_7d ... ure=relmfuhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exF1YMKfzTghttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_2PrPEmmqk