Further Development of the 13th (Heavy) Company

Following the Autumn campaign the 13th Company was strengthened significantly, with a number of new vehicles being added. The structure of the formation was also revised, which saw the Fourth (Light) platoon of five Panzer III being replaced with five new Tiger Is, and the creation of a new fifth platoon. Completing the new additions were three further Tigers which were added to the existing three platoons, each of which had previously consisted of four vehicles. Before this unit refurbishment the 13th Company had consisted of seventeen Tigers and five Panzer IIIs; as the end of 1943 approached, its armoured strength had increased by almost fifty percent and now consisted of twenty seven-vehicles, all of which were Tiger Is.

In line with the strengthening and reformation of the unit, new turret designations were also applied. Each vehicle had a two figure number – the first indicating the platoon and the second the unique vehicle number, preceded by an ‘S’ symbolising Schwere, or Heavy. The exceptions to this rule were the turret numbers S05 and S04 were assigned to the Company Commander and HQ Squad Leader respectively.

The 13th (Heavy) Company, 1. SS Pz. Rgt. LSSAH as at 02.11.1943

These early production Tigers had initially been painted in the standard factory tan colour, but white paint was later used to provide suitable camouflage for the winter months. Michael Wittmann had initially been assigned to the lead tank of the second platoon (S21), but by the time of his being awarded the Ritterkreuz in January 1944 he had assumed command of the HQ Squad Leader’s vehicle, S04. This vehicle is probably the most well-known of all Wittmann’s Tigers, probably on account of the number of photographs that were taken of it and the crew following Wittmann’s receipt of his award.

Order of Battle
Company Commander
Tiger 01S05SS-Hauptsturmführer Heinz Kling
Company HQ Squad Leader
Tiger 01S04SS-Oberscharführer Krohn
Ist Platoon
Tiger 01S11SS-Untersturmführer Helmut Wendorff
Tiger 01S12SS-Unterscharführer Hans Höld
Tiger 01S13SS-Unterscharführer Hans Rosenberger
Tiger 01S14SS-Oberscharführer Otto Augst
Tiger 01S15SS-Unterscharführer Kurt Hühnerbein
IInd Platoon
Tiger 01S21SS-Untersturmführer Michael Wittmann
Tiger 01S22SS-Unterscharführer Ewald Mölly
Tiger 01S23SS-Hauptscharführer Hans Höflinger
Tiger 01S24SS-Oberscharführer Jürgen Brandt
Tiger 01S25SS-Unterscharführer Kurt Kleber
IIIrd Platoon
Tiger 01S31SS-Untersturmführer Eduard Kalinowsky
Tiger 01S32SS-Oberscharführer Eduard Stadler
Tiger 01S33SS-Oberscharführer Georg Lötzsch
Tiger 01S34SS-Unterscharführer Günther Kunze
Tiger 01S35SS-Unterscharführer Willi Sadzio
IVth Platoon
Tiger 01S41SS-Untersturmführer Walther Hahn
Tiger 01S42SS-Unterscharführer Kurt Sowa
Tiger 01S43SS-Unterscharführer Schwerin
Tiger 01S44SS-Hauptscharführer Erich Langner
Tiger 01S45SS-Unterscharführer Herbert Stief
Vth Platoon
Tiger 01S51SS-Untersturmführer Fritz Hartel
Tiger 01S52SS-Unterscharführer Otto Bard
Tiger 01S53SS-Scharführer Behrens
Tiger 01S54SS-Unterscharführer Heinz Werner
Tiger 01S55SS-Unterscharführer Cap

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    The Story of Michael Wittmann