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SS Tank Ace: Ernst Barkmann.

World War II SS Panther panzer Normandy Barkmanns Corner tank ace

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#1 cmerry65

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 08:06 AM

The following is an interesting post on SS tank ace, Ernst Barkmann, by "Panzerknacher", which can be found at:

http://www.ww2incolo...nk-in-WW2/page4

Ernst Barkmann was born in Kisdorf in Holstein on August 25 of 1919. He was a son of a local farmer.

On April 1st of 1936, Ernst Barkmann joined SS-Standarte Germania as a volunteer and, after three months of training, joined the III Battalion of the Standarte at Radolfszell. Barkmann took part in the Polish Campaign of 1939 serving with 9th Kompanie of SS-Standarte Germania as a machine gunner and was wounded there.

In Autumn of 1941, Barkmann was seriously wounded during fighting near Dnieprpetrowsk (Operation Barbarossa) and received the Iron Cross (Second Class).

In late 1941, Barkmann was transferred to Holland as an instructor of European SS-Volunteers but in early 1942, he volunteered for service with division's Panzer Regiment. Ernst Barkmann returned to the Eastern Front in winter of 1942 and was transferred to 2nd Kompanie of 2nd Panzer Regiment of 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich. Barkmann's unit was equipped with tanks Panzerkampfwagen III with 50 mm guns which were outclassed by Soviet T-34 and others. In early 1943, 2nd Panzer Regiment took part in the Battle for Kharkov, where Barkmann won the Iron Cross (First Class). In mid 1943, Barkmann was transferred to 4th Kompanie which was equipped with new Panther tanks.

In late 1943, Ernst Barkmann was promoted to the rank of SS-Unterscharfuhrer. In early 1944, the entire division was transferred to Bordeaux area in southern France for rest and refitting as a panzer division. Following the D-Day (June 6 of 1944), 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich was ordered to move northwards and was committed to battle.

In early July of 1944, Das Reich was moved to Saint Lo to halt the advance of the US Army's 9th and 30th Infantry Divisions and the 3rd Armored Division. On July 8th, Barkmann's Kompanie was a spearhead of Regiment's attack on the advancing American units. On this day, Ernst Barkmann knocked out his first Allied Sherman tank near St.Lo. On July 12th, he destroyed two more Shermans while disabling the third one. During that engagement Barkmann moved his camouflaged Panther to ambush position and awaited for more Allied armor, knocking out three Shermans. After that Ernst Barkmann's tank was hit by an anti-tank gun which caused fire. He decided to abandon his burning Panther and along with his crew he quickly put out the fire. After that engagement his Panther ended up in the workshop for repairs. After a day of rest, in morning of July 14th, Barkmann was ordered to recover four Panthers that had been cut off behind enemy lines. He succeeded in his task and added three more Shermans to his score.

On the same day at noon, Ernst Barkmann was ordered by the Regimental Commander SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer Tychsen to recover wounded German soldiers from their American captors.

Once again he succeeded and in the evening his own Panther was returned to him from the workshop. On July 26th, Barkmann's Panther suffered from engine problem and was sent to field workshop.When mechanics were working on it, field workshop was attacked by Allied fighter-bombers and Barkmann's Panther was hit in the engine compartment. By the dawn of July 27th, his Panther was repaired but he was cut off from the rest of the Kompanie and was on his way to rejoin it. On his way back, near the village of Le Lorey, Barkmann was stopped by the retreating German infantrymen who reported that Americans were closing in.

Ernst Barkmann decided to send two of his men to verify that report. They soon returned with news of American column made up of some 15 Shermans and other vehicles approaching.

Then Barkmann moved his tank up the road to the crossroad where he positioned his Panther in the surrounding oak trees, awaiting the enemy. When the American column approached, Ernst Barkmann opened fire, knocking out two leading tanks and then tanker truck.Two Shermans tried to go around burning wreckage that blocked the road and one of them was knocked out followed by the other one.

***"Barkmann's Corner", painting by David Pentland, ATTACHED BELOW. Depicted is Ernst Barkmann's (Das Reich, 2nd SS Panzer Division) famous day long solo engagement against an American Armoured breakthrough towards St. Lo, Normandy, 26th July 1944.***

***Also attached below, a war time photo of Ernst Barkmann.***

In the response, Americans retreated and called up the tactical fighter support and Barkmann's Panther was damaged and some of the crew members were wounded. Using the element of suprise two Shermans attacked "wounded" Panther but were also knocked out. Barkmann and his crew repaired their Panther and knocked out single Sherman while leaving. His driver managed to moved their damaged Panther to the safety of nearby village of Neufbourg. During that brave engagement often called "Barkmann's Corner", Ernst Barkmann destroyed approximately nine Sherman tanks and many other various vehicles.

On July 28th, Barkmann reached Coutances and joined the rest of his Kompanie. During two day period, he destroyed fifteen Shermans and other vehicles. On July 30th, Americans surrounded Granville but Barkmann towing one more damaged Panther was able to break out. In order to destroy their disabled Panther their crew decided to set it on fire and soon by mistake both Panthers caught fire. Both crews were forced to make their way to the German lines 7 kilometers away on foot. Barkmann reached Avranches on August 5th, and was warmly welcome by his comrades who heard about his exploits. For his bravery and skills Ernst Barkmann was recommended for Knight's Cross and was accepted on August 27th and was awarded on September 5th.

SS-Oberscharfuhrer Barkmann continued his successful career and took part in the Ardennes Offensive in December of 1944, where on December 25th he was seriously wounded. During the Ardennes Offensive, Barkmann's Panther drove into the group of American tanks from the 2nd Armored Division. Quickly combat begun and outnumbered, Barkmann managed to knock out few Sherman tanks. One Sherman rammed Barkmann's Panther but didn't cause much damage although both tanks got stuck and Panther's engine stall. After few minutes, Barkmann's mechanic managed to restart the engine and Panther retreated with blocked turret. Even with the damage, Barkmann knocked out Sherman that was pursuing him and retreated to safety although his Panther was beyond the point of repair.

In March of 1945, Barkmann was once again fighting with Soviets in the area of town of Stuhlweissenburg, where he knocked out four T-34s and brought the total score of the Das Reich Division for the war so far to 3000 enemy tanks destroyed. At the time Das Reich was exhausted by non-stop fighting and lack of replacement tanks. Barkmann's unit alone had only nine fully operational vehicles from which three were soon lost to Soviet Josef Stalin tanks.

The remaining six Panthers were ordered to link up with the remnants of the Panzer Regiment of the 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler commanded by SS-Standartenfuhrer Jochen Peiper.By April of 1945, Barkmann saw action south of Vienna during the fighting in Austria. There his Panther was hit by a mistake by friendly soldiers and Barkmann along with his crew members was wounded. Later on his Panther was disabled in a huge bomb crater and was destroyed by its crew. Ernst Barkmann was able to reach British zone of operation where he was taken into captivity.

During his very successful career, Ernst Barkmann earned Knight's Cross for his bravery and skills along with the Panzer Assault Badge for 25 and 50 engagements with the enemy. He survived the war to live in Kisdorf, Germany, where he was a long time fire chief and mayor (Burgmeister). Barkmann died on June 27, 2009, at age 89.

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ICH BIN EIN BERLINER!!! ("I am a jelly doughnut!")President John F. Kennedy, June 26, 1963 speech, Berlin, Germany. MOTTO OF THE NINJA CARNIVORES (TNC)!


#2 Tankace99

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 08:13 AM

Respect dawg, you know a lot about Germany, Have you copied it or even written? I am German My great grandpa was in the war commander of a panther and knew Joachim Peiper good
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#3 cmerry65

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 10:32 AM

Respect dawg, you know a lot about Germany, Have you copied it or even written? I am German My great grandpa was in the war commander of a panther and knew Joachim Peiper good

Thanks much Tank! I have always had an interest in Germany, especially the WWII period. It is simply a great country with a great people and amazing history. The German food I have had is fantastic too! My mother's side of the family originally came from Germany.

This particular article is not of my writing (which I cite the reference/writer/website where the original can be found). I like to put up the history stuff on armoured warfare, tanks, battles, and the men and women who fought in them, rather than talking about the technicalities of Tanktastic, which other people far more qualified than myself, can better articulate. I have read a good deal on the subject and find it fascinating. I'm reading a book about the German viewpoint of Operation Market-Garden in the book, "It Never Snows in September, " by Robert Kershaw. A very good book.

That is really cool that you have a great grandfather that served and commanded a Panther tank/crew (I'd love to hear more about that!), as well as your great grandfather knowing Peiper. I have a huge book on Peiper's life called,, "Jochen Peiper, Commander PanzerRegiment Leibstandarte," by Patrick Agte. It is one of, if not the best book on Peiper's life.

Anyway, I hope to put some more things up on the people, vehicles, and battles associated with armour. I would like for people to see that there is such a rich history and tradition of brave men and women behind it all.

ICH BIN EIN BERLINER!!! ("I am a jelly doughnut!")President John F. Kennedy, June 26, 1963 speech, Berlin, Germany. MOTTO OF THE NINJA CARNIVORES (TNC)!


#4 Tankace99

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 11:47 AM

RESPECT!You know more than me ?! And Wow i like your topics there are interessting.
Do you know some about the Operation“Wacht am Rhein“?There was my great grandfather fight...but he died with his crew cause a Typhoon attacked him (so told me my Father)

#5 tоаdtoad84

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 12:12 PM

toadtoad84

#6 tоаdtoad84

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 12:13 PM

toadtoad84

#7 Tankace99

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 12:23 PM

Toadtoad,du machst dich hier nur lächerlich..

#8 cmerry65

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 12:24 PM

RESPECT!You know more than me ?! And Wow i like your topics there are interessting.
Do you know some about the Operation“Wacht am Rhein“?There was my great grandfather fight...but he died with his crew cause a Typhoon attacked him (so told me my Father)

Thanks again Tank! I'm glad you like what I'm posting; I have other ideas for topics on the Tanktastic forum.

I really like the stories down on the individual soldier's level, you know as seen through their eyes and experienced by them. The tactical stuff is interesting too, but the personal human factor is what really makes it so enthralling for me. So, I always like to read books and articles on the common soldier.

Yes, I have read some on "Wacht am Rhein." In fact, I knew an US Army veteran, now deceased, who was encircled by German forces at Bastogne. The German forces came very, very, close to turning the the tide of the war with that one. An interesting thing I found, after recently reading Volker Griesser's book, "The Lions of Carentan, Fallschirmjäger Regiment 6, 1943-1945", that the Germans actually did an airborne operation and dropped paratroopers, among them FJR6, as part of the surprise offensive.

I would be interested to know of what division your great grandfather was a member.

Much respect to your great grandfather for his courage and sacrifice for his country.

ICH BIN EIN BERLINER!!! ("I am a jelly doughnut!")President John F. Kennedy, June 26, 1963 speech, Berlin, Germany. MOTTO OF THE NINJA CARNIVORES (TNC)!


#9 Tankace99

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 12:39 PM

He was in the division“Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler“
Yes thank you:) But..Sometimes i think on all this dead people who gives her lives in the war..

#10 cmerry65

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 02:59 PM

He was in the division“Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler“
Yes thank you:) But..Sometimes i think on all this dead people who gives her lives in the war..

That's really cool your great grandfather was in the 1st SS Panzer Division "Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler". He was obviously "the best of the best" to make it into the LSSAH. I can imagine the pride you must have for your great grandfather. It is unfortunate he didn't survive the war. Does your family have any wartime pictures of him?

It is sad to think of all those who gave their lives honorably in war. God bless them all.

ICH BIN EIN BERLINER!!! ("I am a jelly doughnut!")President John F. Kennedy, June 26, 1963 speech, Berlin, Germany. MOTTO OF THE NINJA CARNIVORES (TNC)!


#11 ladini

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 04:43 PM

Shermans:
Big cheese in Africa,
Later, Swiss cheese in France.

#12 cmerry65

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 05:26 PM

Shermans:
Big cheese in Africa,
Later, Swiss cheese in France.

Lol! :)

ICH BIN EIN BERLINER!!! ("I am a jelly doughnut!")President John F. Kennedy, June 26, 1963 speech, Berlin, Germany. MOTTO OF THE NINJA CARNIVORES (TNC)!


#13 Reventer

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 06:15 PM

My grand father fought for independence from the Netherlands in the Artillery regiment, I respect him for help bringing indonesia to independence.........sadly he died and he has beautiful grave along with his regiment

You are brought down, will you stand up an.fight once more.will you fall helplessly for fate to come. As long as that handgun stick to your fingers... as long as you got your bullets armed...one can never surrender for what he trusts, a goal, a dream, a passion on what he knows belongs for the greater good. So ill ask you again, will you get up or fall?


#14 cmerry65

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 06:42 PM

My grand father fought for independence from the Netherlands in the Artillery regiment, I respect him for help bringing indonesia to independence.........sadly he died and he has beautiful grave along with his regiment


That's great that your grandfather took part in a fight for freedom and the independence of Indonesia. Something that you and your family obviously take a huge amount of pride in.

ICH BIN EIN BERLINER!!! ("I am a jelly doughnut!")President John F. Kennedy, June 26, 1963 speech, Berlin, Germany. MOTTO OF THE NINJA CARNIVORES (TNC)!


#15 warwolf12

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 07:04 PM

That not the only person. Ludwig Bauwer is a tank ace too
"Just do What is Best for you" -warwolf15

#16 cmerry65

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 07:37 PM

That not the only person. Ludwig Bauwer is a tank ace too

Yes, I looked Ludwig Bauer up just now after reading your post. I remember him now from the show "Greatest Tank Battles" and his experiences commanding a Sturmgeschutz. You are correct there are many tank aces besides the well known ones such as Knispel, Carius, Wittmann, Barkmann, etc.

I find Kurt Knispel, to be he interesting. He was highest scoring tank ace of all in Germany or the allies, and wasn't even awarded the Knight's Cross with 168 to 195 tank kills, due his not pursuing awards and humbly diverting credit to others, as well as conflicts with higher Nazi authority.

ICH BIN EIN BERLINER!!! ("I am a jelly doughnut!")President John F. Kennedy, June 26, 1963 speech, Berlin, Germany. MOTTO OF THE NINJA CARNIVORES (TNC)!


#17 Sharks06

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 11:07 PM

Wow cmerry your a bright dude I've learned lots today and you got lots of info rock on cmerry
( winning is not final defeat is not fatal it's courage that counts)-Winston Churchill
( we fight for our allies we never give up friendship is the best weapon)- sharks06
( always fearsome never gives up fights for more fights for victory and fights for allies that make a prefect sharks kill for there team to survive not only themselves that the basic way of survival it's always better to hunt in packs then alone ) sharks06

#18 Tankace99

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 11:44 PM

Yes We have guns from him and any pics but there all by my grandma in berlin.
And cmerry really respect buddy,you know alot about the tank aces...You rock!

#19 Tankace99

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 11:45 PM

And i hope you understand my english dude

#20 cmerry65

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 04:52 PM

Yes We have guns from him and any pics but there all by my grandma in berlin.
And cmerry really respect buddy,you know alot about the tank aces...You rock!

And i hope you understand my english dude

That's great Tank that your family has personal items of your great grandfather's. It would be interesting to find some of his fellow soldiers that he fought with and talk to them and retrace your great grandfater's movements in battle. It would be cool to journal all of that.

Thanks for your respect and I understand your English with no problem. :)
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ICH BIN EIN BERLINER!!! ("I am a jelly doughnut!")President John F. Kennedy, June 26, 1963 speech, Berlin, Germany. MOTTO OF THE NINJA CARNIVORES (TNC)!






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