At Normandy, tank ace, Major Michael Wittmann commanded a group of seven tanks. This was probably a unit that had been decimated by casualties. Even so, my understanding is that an officer of Wittmann's rank might command a unit of 9-15 tanks at full strength.

Given the above, what might be the ranks of the five crewman of an individual tank? My guess is that the most senior would be a first or second lieutenant, or at least a senior non-com, the most junior might be a "buck" private, with numbers two, three, and four being of "intermediate" ranks. How close is this guess to actual ranks in known units?

  • Hmmm...it seems like I read an answer to this at some point. Might even have been somewhere here.
    – T.E.D.
    Oct 14, 2021 at 17:50
  • You might have been thinking of this one.
    – justCal
    Oct 14, 2021 at 18:31
  • I was writing up an answer specific to Wittman and the 101st Heavy Tank Battalion when the question closed. It illustrates subtitles around independent units and SS ranks vs Wehrmacht. If you want to refocus on Wittmann's rank and chain of command I'd reopen.
    – Schwern
    Oct 14, 2021 at 18:41
  • @Schwern: I've been working on another question about Wittmann's chain of command above tank commander. My preference is to complete the new question rather than "resurrect" the earlier one, because of its heavy overlap with the "age" question.
    – Tom Au
    Oct 14, 2021 at 19:15
  • @TomAu When it's up, tag me and I'll have a look.
    – Schwern
    Oct 14, 2021 at 19:22


Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.