|Posted by LUFTWAFFE_leader on January 26, 2015 at 3:10 PM|
During 24th of January 2015, one of the last surviving well-known 'Tiger' commanders, Otto Carius, passed away after a short, but serious illness, aged 92
Otto Carius was a German Panzer ace of WW2, fighting on the Panzer 38(t), Tiger and finally the Jagdtiger. It is estimated that during the war, Carius’ crew managed to knock out 150 enemy vehicles and many more soft targets and AT guns. He survived the fighting and after the war, he opened a pharmacy called 'Tiger-Apotheke', that exists to this day. He is best known for writing a book of his memories about fighting on the Tiger, called “Tigers in the mud”.
Carius had been drafted twice before, but sent home as "Not fit for service at present underweight!". But in May 1940, Carius was finally drafted into the 104th Infantry Replacement Battalion. Following training, he volunteered for the Panzer Corps. Carius learned the fundamentals of tank warfare at Putlos in Holstein as a member of the 7th Panzer Replacement Battalion.
His unit was integrated into the newly formed 21st Panzer Regiment and in June 1941 was sent to East Prussia. He experienced his first battle as a loader in a Panzer 38(t) during Operation Barbarossa in late June 1941. It was during this operation that Carius suffered wounds from a round that struck his tank.
In 1943, Carius transferred to the schwere Panzer-Abteilung 502 (502 heavy tank battalion). This unit fought at the Leningrad front and then in the area of Narva, Estonia (Battle of Narva), and was subordinated to Strachwitz Battle Group, under the command of Hyacinth Graf Strachwitz von Groß-Zauche und Camminetz. Carius was severely wounded on 24 July 1944 while reconnoitring a village on a motorcycle ahead of his tanks. Until that day, he was unofficially running the 2nd company of 502nd. He officially became the commander of 2nd company; on the same day he was shot through the leg and arm, received four bullets in the back and one through the neck. He subsequently became the commander of a Jagdtiger company of the 512th Heavy Antitank Battalion (schwere Panzerjägerabteilung) in the West at the beginning of 1945. On 8 March 1945, without finishing its training, 2nd company was directed to the front line near Siegburg. It then took part in the defence of the River Rhine and eventually surrendered to the US Army on 15 April 1945.
- Iron Cross 2nd and 1st Class (EK II and EK I),
- Knights Cross (Ritterkreuz),
- Oakleaves to the Knights Cross (Eichenlaub),
- Wound Badge in Gold,
- Panzer Battle Badge in Silver (100),
Total victories (kills):
- 150-200 tanks,
* Majority of this score was tallied on the Eastern Front.
(Nb. He was not accused of or tried for War Crimes)