It’s all very well having an awesome armoured fighting machine but if you don’t have skilled soldiers and commanders operating and guiding it, it’s just a worthless hunk of metal. Here are some of the most notable tank commanders throughout history:
Most Lethal Attack
Captain Michael Wittmann of the German Army was credited with destroying 138 tanks during WWII. He is also said to have destroyed 132 anti-tank guns and numerous other military vehicles during the fight against the Soviets and in Normandy, France. The SS Hauptsturmfuhrer was also in charge during a vicious attack against the British Army in June 1944, obliterating 14 tanks and other vehicles in just 15 minutes. He died on 8th August 1944 in his Tiger I tank when attacked by 5 Sherman tanks of the allied forces.
Best tank commander in recent history
It has been said that Lt. Zwi Greengold of the Israeli Armed Forces was the finest tank commander in recent times. During the Yom Kippur War, the Battle of Golan Heights took place in 1973. Greengold was leading the 188th Lightning Brigade that was responsible for holding back two Syrian tank formations threatening to break through Israeli lines. He only had 6 tanks at his disposal and as each one got taken out, he carried on fighting for 20 hours straight. During this time, he took out approximately 30 Syrian vehicles before collapsing from exhaustion. He was awarded Israeli’s highest medal of valour.
Top tank ace
Another German during WWII is said to have been the most skilled at operating a tank. Sgt. Kurt Knispel started as a loader before progressing to a gunner and then commander of tanks such as the Panzer IV, Tiger and Tiger II. He saw action in Normandy, on the Eastern Front and in Moravia. He was credited with destroying 168 Allied tanks, more than any other tank commander in history. He also famously took out a T-34 Soviet tank from a range of nearly 2 miles! He was killed in action just days before the end of the war.
Best U.S tank commander of WWII
This honour has been bestowed upon Lt. Col. Creighton Abrams who General Patton once deferred his title of best tank commander back to his peer Abe Abrams. Abrams led the 37th Tank Battalion and he and his crew of an M4 Sherman called Thunderbolt amassed 50 German tank kills. Why not try your own tank experience with a Tank Driving Experience from https://www.armourgeddon.co.uk/tank-driving-experience.html
Top field commander of armoured forces
This title goes to Major general Stanislaw Maczek of the Polish Army during WWII. He was the only commander to lead his armoured units from the very beginning of the war in 1939, right through to the end in 1945. His long career also included notable events such as playing a key part in the capture of Wilhelmshaven in 1945 and commanding the Polish 1st armoured Division of II Canadian Corps who successfully closed down the enemy advance at Chambois.