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Wittmann's Tiger I in Villers-Bocage


On the morning of June 13, seven days after the Allied D-day landings at Normandy, a series of events occurred that would carve Michael Wittmann's name indelibly into the annals of tank combat.

For here, just north of the Norman village of Villers-Bocage, Tiger company commander Obersturmfuhrer Michael Wittmann, already a legend from the Eastern front, single-handedly took on a column of the British 7th Armoured Division, and literally destroyed it, so forestalling General Montgomery's planned unhinging of the Wehrmacht's Caen defense.

On June 7, D-day + 1, the German senior command having finally been convinced that the Normandy landings were not a diversion, sent Tiger battalion Schwere SS-Panzerabteilung 501 from its holding area north of Paris to the Caen sector to bolster the defence against the breakout of the US and Commonwealth forces from their Normandy bridgehead. After six grueling days of travel hampered and harried both by Allied ground attack aircraft and the French Resistance, the bulk of Wittmann's company finally reached the area north of Villers-Bocage on the night of June 12. Here they set up a perimeter amongst the copses of trees on the rolling farmland and encamped for the night. Early the next morning, they were awoken by the sounds and accompanying noises of a nearby armoured column. From their concealed positions, they witnessed forward elements of the 7th Armoured Division moving out of Villers-Bocage on highway N175, the road north to Caen.

Award winning artist Barry Spicer has depicted a scene a few tranquil moments before the lone charge, when the formidable Tiger I erupted from its hiding place like a sudden thunderclap of fire and noise, to shoot its way into history.

Here we see Wittmann and Bobby Woll, Knights Cross wearer and Wittmann's trusty gunner from the Eastern Front, planning their lone charge on the unsuspecting British column across some 100m down the slop from their concealed position, as the driver readies the Tiger. Moments later, the Tiger careers out of the trees and onto the very road on which the 7th Armoured Division was traveling, firing head-on without stopping, hitting one tank after another as it raced down the line of the column. In three minutes of violence and carnage, some 25 British tanks, half-tracks and assorted light-skinned vehicles were destroyed and the immediate threat of the flanking attack neutralised.

Wittmann is perhaps the most celebrated tank ace in history. He took part in the opening round of WW II in the invasion of Poland in command of a Stug III assault gun with the SS Division Leibstandarte, then went on to achieve fame and glory as a Tiger commander in the battles on the Eastern Front in Russia. By the end of the Battle of Kursk in October 1943, he has amassed a score of 119 tanks destroyed and had been awarded the Knight's Cross. Three months later, Woll, his gunner, was also awarded the Knight's Cross - a first for a tank gunner. In the Spring of 1944, his Tiger battalion was transferred for refitting in Belgium - as Schwere SS-Panzer Abt. 501 - in preparation for the upcoming Allied invasion on the beaches of France.

Print Specifications

Main Print:

"Wittmann's Tiger I in Villers-Bocage" Limited Edition Print
Limited to 650 Prints, Certificate of Authenticity provided
Full colour, 36" (width) x 27" (height)
Image Area: 31" (width) x 21" (height)
Printed on 300gsm archival paper with fade resistant inks

Standard Edition

"Wittmann's Tiger I in Villers-Bocage" Limited Edition Print
signed by Artist and numbered

Limited to 555 Editions
Price: US$130.00 plus shipping

Artist's Proof

"Wittmann's Tiger I in Villers-Bocage" Limited Edition Print
signed by Artist and numbered

Limited to 65 Proofs
Price: US$195.00 plus shipping


"Wittmann's Tiger I in Villers-Bocage" Limited Edition Print
signed by Artist and numbered

Limited to 30 Remarques
Price: US$250.00 plus shipping





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