The five top tank commanders of World War II are not listed necessarily because of their number of kills.  They are instead remembered for a number of different reasons.  The top five commander list is presented in alphabetical order along with a brief description of their noted accomplishment(s).

Step close and get a sense of the strength of the cold metal on AFHMs authentic, fully restored, fully operational battle tanks, which are prominently displayed throughout the museum.  Get a sense of the combat they endured throughout their service.  Take a moment, put yourself in the turret – feel the power, feel the fear, feel the pride. 

 

Lt. Colonel Creighton Abrams – Top WWII Tank Commander for the United States – Using M4 Sherman tanks, Abrams and his crew are credited with destroying an estimated 50 German armed fighting vehicles.  Abrams military career continued on through the Korean War and Vietnam War.  The XM1 – a US Army main battle tank was named the M1 Abrams in honor of Creighton Abrams.  Abrams reached the rank of Four Star General before retiring in 1974.

 

General Heinz Guderian

 

General Heinz Guderian – Germany’s father of armored blitzkrieg – Guderian is known for heavily utilizing the blitzkrieg strategy during World War II, a strategy which greatly assisted with Germany’s successful invasion of Poland in 1939.

 

 

Sgt. Kurt Knispel – Germany’s WWII Top Tank Ace – Not only was Sgt. Knispel Germany’s top tank ace, he is credited with being the top tank ace in history.  He began as a tank loader and eventually became a gunner and then a commander.  His official kill record stands at 168.   His most remarkable kill was a hit he made on a T-34 tank almost two miles away.

 

 

Major General Stanislaw Maczek

 

Major General Stanislaw Maczek – Superior Polish armed forces field commander – Maczek led armored units in World War II from its onset in 1939 until it ended in 1945.  He played several key roles in the war, including the capturing of Wilhelmshaven in May, 1945.

 

 
Captain Michael Wittmann – Led Germany’s most lethal tank attack of WWII – Captain Wittmann’s kill record includes 138 tanks, 132 antitank guns and a countless number of vehicles.  He is most famous for an attack in June of 1944, when he devastated as many as 14 tanks, 2 antitank guns and 15 additional vehicles a 15 minute time frame.

 

 

World War II saw the rise of many great commanders in all areas of the war.  With continual advancements in tank designs, tank commanders were constantly challenged, but many, such as these five top WWII tank commanders listed above, rose to the occasion and left an indelible mark on history.

 

 

8 Responses to Five Top Tank Commanders of WW II

  1. Some dude says:

    Lets be honest there more than 5 Germans aces with +100 kills. So any allied personal in this list is just BS.

    • someduderesponse says:

      It’s the best of both armies.

    • Big Gay Al says:

      There’s more to being a top commander besides just kills.

    • Herceg says:

      Actually there are 4 Germans with more than 100 tank kills:

      Kurt Knispel 168

      Michael Wittmann 138

      Johannes Bölter 139

      Otto Carius 150+

      And that’s it. Next in line is actually a Russian

      Dmitriy Lavrinenko a T-34 ace that died in 1941.

      After him (a top Allied Ace as recognized by all Historians) comes Creighton Abrams with about 40 (though here is stated 50) tank kills

      Worth mentioning is

      Lafayette G. Pool that got 12 Tanks, 246 AFVs/trucks which is quite a number

      After WWII the greatest tank ace without any doubt is

      Zvika Greengold of the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) that scored between 40 and 60 tanks (sources vary) but he is actually my favorite for another reason:

      Only tank ace to score more than 40 kills in 30 hours.

      • Herceg says:

        I forget to state the tank kill count for the top Allied Tank Ace of WWII Dmitriy Lavrinenko which was between 52 and 57 tanks (sources vary)

      • Herceg says:

        Well I was wrong there is more than 4 or 5 for that matter German tank aces with more than 100 tank kills a total of 17:

        1) Kurt Knispel 168

        2) Martin Schroif 161

        3) Otto Carius 150+

        4) Johannes Bölter 139

        5) Michael Wittmann 138

        6) Uscha Oberhaber 127

        7) Hans Sandrock 123

        8) Fritz Lang 113

        9) Paul Egger 113 (Fritz is above because he did it in a StuG III while Paul did it in Tiger I and Tiger II)

        10) Arno Giesen 111

        11) Heinz Rondorf 106

        12) Heinz Gaertner 103

        13) Wilhelm Knauth 101+

        14) Albert Kerscher 100+

        15) Balthazar (Bobby) Woll 100+

        16) Karl Moebius 100+

        17) Karl Körner 100+

        There’s quite a bit more German tank aces that had more tank kills than the top Allied Tank Ace
        Dmitriy Lavrinenko with his between 52 and 57 tanks

        Russians are quite fond of these things and trust me if anyone got it right they did. Of course there is a lot of sources for it all on wikipedia.

  2. Chad Cirillo says:

    There is no way general Abrams destroyed 50 tanks and guns he did his time in staff and his command level was regimental and combat command he would spend his time planning or orders his units on the battlefield no closing with and destroying the enemy. Very instrumental in shaping the modern armor forces and a good leader.

    • Herceg says:

      During WWII Abrams lead and fought in a tank not in staff and command. He was a lieutenant and for a bit lieutenant colonel during WWII but reverted to lieutenant in order to stay with his fighting men.

      Only later he became a general.

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