I Was There! - The Russians Shot All Our Tanks to Pieces

The War Illustrated, Volume 5, No. 102, Page 46, August 15, 1941.

The narrow escape of the German General Rudolf Schmidt from a Russian tank-trap was described in a broadcast interview between a Nazi war correspondent and men of the general's unit.

General Schmidt was leading a tank detachment which was to clear an important road and protect an infantry division moving a short distance behind. One of the tank crew survivors said:

We had just turned a bend in the road when a hail of hand grenades and continuous burst from machine-guns greeted us. At first the fire came only from the left of the road, but we had hardly realized what was happening when hell broke loose from the right as well, and finally from our rear.

Our general had to halt the tanks, but before he could deploy them for defence against the "invisible enemy" the Russians' fire became so intense that we had to run for our lives. We jumped out of our tanks and threw ourselves flat into a ditch. We could see we had run into a tight pincer. Before we had regained our breath every one of our tanks had been shot to pieces.

Then the Russians fired into the ditch where we were lying, causing a good few more casualties. It was impossible for us to stay. We had to crawl away on our stomachs, and our general wriggled back just as we did. He threw away his mackintosh so as to be able to wriggle more quickly.

After a few hundred yards of this we got up just in time to see the Russians leaving their hiding-place and charging towards us. Fortunately we had a good start, and, running as fast as we could, we and the general just managed to jump into a lorry which took us back to our base. Daily Express.

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