Here’s another of the Competition articles. This was originally written by haeschn from the EU server. With his permission I’ve gone through and tweaked some of the English for a better flow, and added some bits I found on the subject.
In November 1943, the 20 year old German common soldier and so-called “Landser” Günter K. Koschorrek was part of the 24. Panzerdivision at the eastern front. He operated a machine gun on a sustained fire mount. This account is from when he was stationed to the south of the city of Dnjeprowka in the today’s Ukraine.
The front line was only a few kilometers away and Koschorrek spent days of waiting, always in expectation of being thrown into a counterattack against a Soviet penetration of the German lines. The Soviet troops on the other side were well armed and had slowly decimated the German troops on the flanks over the last few months. An attack was only a question of time and Koschorrek’s unit was held in reserve to face the threat as soon as news of the breakthrough was reported. Throughout the days and even in the night he could hear the thunder of bombs and artillery shells rumbling across the front.
Then on the 22nd of November the order for a counterattack was given. Koschorrek joined his troops as well as some lighter tanks and artillery. But soon after the attack they were told to return to their positions they had just left. As a common soldier in the trenches of the war, nobody tells you what is going on and so he continued waiting for new orders until the next day.
The remaining eleven T-34s turned around and retreated back to their lines at full speed. At a safe distance they stopped, forming a wide line facing the Germans and observed the situation. Koschorrek could only clearly see the T-34s through the optics of his machine gun, even as he looked the four Ferdinands fired nearly at the same time. Some of the red-hot shells slammed into the tanks, others kicked up dirt where they hit the ground. Unbelievably, despite the long range, the Ferdinands managed to hit two tanks which were standing still, almost in a parade formation. After learning their lessons, the Soviet tankers retreated behind a hill as fast as they could and the engagement was obviously counted as a success for these big tank destroyers.
http://www.warlordgames.com and http://www.worldwarphotos.info