On August 8th, 1944, one of, if not the, greatest tank commanders in history died in combat in Normandy France. Michael Wittmann, German Army veteran, SS Captain, Tiger tank commander, victor of Villers Bocage, holder of the Knights Cross with Swords, the tank assault badge and the wounds badge, dies in a single-handed engagement with some eight British Sherman tanks, including several Sherman 'Firefiles' [armed with the British 17 pounder gun]. Wittmann is killed after destroying three of the Shermans. His remains, and those of his crew, are not discovered until well after the war. He is buried in a german military cemetery in France.
Wittmann 'made his bones' at the battle of Kursk. He is credited with over 140 enemy tanks, as well as numerous artillery pieces, Katushyas, 'soft skinned' vehicles, etc.