The Formation of the 101st (Heavy) SS Panzer Battalion

Following its return from the Eastern Front the 13th (Heavy) Company saw a number of radical changes as it was provided with newer ‘late production’ Tigers and increased to battalion strength. The battalion was divided into three companies, each of which consisted of three platoons of four Tigers; in addition to these dozen vehicles each company was also assigned two command vehicles, with further tanks being assigned to the battalion commander, his adjutant and signals officer. In total, the number of Tigers in the battalion totalled forty-five, almost doubling the armoured strength of the 13th Company. The new formation was designated the 101st (Heavy) SS Panzer Battalion.

The turret numbering system was also revised – the battalion commander, adjutant and signals officer were assigned 007, 008 and 009 respectively, while the company commanders and HQ squad leaders were assigned vehicles numbered 05 and 04 prefixed by the single number of the relevant company (e.g. 104 for the HQ Squad Leader of the 1st Company, 305 for the Commmander of the 3rd Company). Each regular vehicle was given a three-figure turret number – the first signified the company, the second the platoon, and the third the individual vehicle number – for example the third tank of the third platoon of the third company was designated Nr. 333, while the fourth vehicle of the third platoon of the second company was assigned the number 234. The lead tank for each platoon was given the vehicle number 1 – do the lead vehicle of the 3rd platoon of the 1st Company would have been 131.

The 101st (Heavy) SS Panzer Battalion as at 06.06.1944

When the formation was initially created, Michael Wittmann was assigned Tiger 205, the command vehicle of the second platoon. During the course of the Normandy campaign this vehicle broke down, and Wittmann was to commandeer a number of different vehicles, including 222 – which saw action at Villers-Bocage – and 231, in which he was filmed after soon after receiving the Swords to his Knight’s Cross. Following the injuries to batallion commander Heinz von Westernhagen in July, Wittmann assumed command of the battalion and with it the battalion commander’s Tiger 007. It was in this vehicle that Wittmann was killed on 8 August 1944. All of these vehicles were painted with summer camouflage, with the ‘Zimmerit’ anti-mine paste being applied to the turret and upper hull.

Order of Battle
Battalion Commander
Tiger 01007SS-Obersturmbannführer Heinz von Westernhagen
Battalion Adjutant
Tiger 01008SS-Untersturmführer Eduard Kalinowsky
Signals Officer
Tiger 01009SS-Untersturmführer Helmut Dollinger
Ist Company
Company Commander
Tiger 01105SS-Hauptsturmführer Rolf Möbius
Company HQ Squad Leader
Tiger 01104SS-Unterscharführer Sepp Franzl
Ist Platoon
Tiger 01111SS-Obersturmführer Hannes Philipsen
Tiger 01112SS-Unterscharführer Cap
Tiger 01113SS-Oberscharführer Heinrich Ernst
Tiger 01114SS-Unterscharführer Willi Otterbein
IInd Platoon
Tiger 01121SS-Untersturmführer Fritz Stamm
Tiger 01122SS-Unterscharführer Arno Salamon
Tiger 01123SS-Standartenjunker Franz Staudegger
Tiger 01124SS-Junker Erwin Asbach
IIIrd Platoon
Tiger 01131SS-Untersturmführer Walther Hahn
Tiger 01125SS-Unterscharführer Werner Wendt
Tiger 01132SS-Oberscharführer Fritz Zahner
Tiger 01133SS-Unterscharführer Helmut Dannleitner
IInd Company
Company Commander
Tiger 01205SS-Hauptsturmführer Michael Wittmann
Company HQ Squad Leader
Tiger 01204SS-Unterscharführer Seifert
Ist Platoon
Tiger 01211SS-Obersturmführer Jürgen Wessel
Tiger 01212SS-Unterscharführer Balthasar Woll
Tiger 01213SS-Hauptscharführer Hans Höflinger
Tiger 01214SS-Unterscharführer Karl-Heinz Warmbrunn
IInd Platoon
Tiger 01221SS-Untersturmführer Georg Hantusch
Tiger 01222SS-Unterscharführer Kurt Sowa
Tiger 01223SS-Oberscharführer Jürgen Brandt
Tiger 01224SS-Unterscharführer Ewald Mölly
IIIrd Platoon
Tiger 01231SS-Standartenoberjunker Heinz Belbe
Tiger 01232SS-Unterscharführer Kurt Kleber
Tiger 01233SS-Oberscharführer Georg Lötzsch
Tiger 01234SS-Unterscharführer Herbert Stief
IIIrd Company
Company Commander
Tiger 01305SS-Obersturmführer Hanno Raasch
Company HQ Squad Leader
Tiger 01304SS-Unterscharführer Heinrich Ritter
Ist Platoon
Tiger 01311SS-Untersturmführer Alfred Günther
Tiger 01312SS-Oberscharführer Peter Kisters
Tiger 01313SS-Unterscharführer Schöpper
Tiger 01314SS-Unterscharführer Otto Blase
IInd Platoon
Tiger 01321SS-Untersturmführer Max Görgerns
Tiger 01322SS-Unterscharführer Heimo Traue
Tiger 01323SS-Hauptscharführer Hermann Barkhausen
Tiger 01324SS-Unterscharführer Jürgen Merker
IIIrd Platoon
Tiger 01331SS-Untersturmführer Thomas Amselgruber
Tiger 01332SS-Unterscharführer Albert Leinecke
Tiger 01333SS-Unterscharführer Waldemar Warnecke
Tiger 01334SS-Oberscharführer Rolf von Westernhagen

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    The Story of Michael Wittmann