1944 DOCUMENT SIGNED BY SS-LEIBSTANDARTE PANZER ACE MICHAEL WITTMANN

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RARE ORIGINAL 1944 DOCUMENT SIGNED BY HIGHLY DECORATED SS-LEIBSTANDARTE PANZER ACE

SS-HAUPTSTURMFÜHRER MICHAEL WITTMANN

SIGNED ONLY FOUR MONTHS BEFORE HE WAS KILLED IN ACTION

SS-Hauptsturmführer Michael Wittmann (22 April 1914 – 8 August 1944) was a German Waffen-SS tank commander during the Second World War with the SS Division Leibstandarte 101st SS Heavy Panzer Battalion . He is known for his ambush of elements of the British 7th Armored Division during the Battle of Villers-Bocage on 13 June 1944. While in command of a Tiger I tank, Wittmann destroyed up to fourteen tanks and fifteen personnel carriers, along with two anti-tank guns, within the space of fifteen minutes. The news was picked up and disseminated by the Nazi propaganda machine and added to Wittmann’s reputation in Germany.

On 14 January 1944, Wittmann was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. The presentation was made by his divisional commander, SS-Oberführer Theodor Wisch, who nominated him for the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. Wittmann was awarded the Oak Leaves on 30 January for the destruction of 117 tanks, making him the 380th member of the German armed forces to receive it. He received the award from Adolf Hitler, who presented it to him at the Wolf’s Lair, his headquarters in Rastenburg, on 2 February 1944 (see one of the pictures).

In the document, dated 17 April 1944, he expresses his gratitude for the many congratulations he received for his award. The text is hard to read but his signature is strong. Wittmann’s tank was destroyed in battle only four months later, killing the entire crew.

Here is the text of the document, followed by the English translation:

Für die Glückwünsche, die mich anläßlich der Verleihung des Eichenlaubes zum Ritterkreus hier erreichen, möchte ich meinen herzlichen Dank aussprechen.  

Aufgrund der Vielzahl der Zuschriften die hier eingingen ist es mir leider nicht möglich, alle persönlich zu beantworten. Also möge ob dieses Schreibens des Willen für die … nehmen.  

Im festen Glauben an den Sieg unserer … verbleibe ich mit besten Grüssen und Heil Hitler!

                                                                                                                Michael Wittmann

My heartfelt Thank You for the congratulations that reach me here on the occasion of being bestowed with the Oak Leaves to the Knight’s Cross. Because of the many letters that I received it is unfortunately impossible for me to answer all of them personally. May this note therefore stand as a Thank You to all of them (this is not word for word the translation but what he was trying to say). In strong belief of the victory of our (next word not legible but probably ’cause’) I remain with best regards and Heil Hitler!

Michael Wittmann

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