|Born||27 May 1922|
Zweibrücken, Weimar Republic
|Died||24 January 2015 92) (aged|
|Years of service||1940–45|
|Unit|| 502nd heavy tank battalion |
512th Heavy Panzerjäger Battalion
|Battles/wars||World War II|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves|
Otto Carius (27 May 1922 – 24 January 2015) was a German tank commander in the army of Nazi Germany during World War II. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves.
Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state that controlled nearly all aspects of life via the Gleichschaltung legal process. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and the German Empire (1871–1918). The Nazi regime ended after the Allies defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
Soon after Otto Carius graduated from school, World War II broke out. Carius enlisted in the army, and was only accepted after twice being rejected as unfit for service due to being underweight. He first served in the infantry, before volunteering for the Panzer branch.In 1943, Carius transferred to the 502nd Heavy Panzer Battalion. He became commander of a Jagdtiger company of the 512th Heavy Antitank Battalion at the beginning of 1945. On 8 March 1945, 2nd Company was directed to the front line near Siegburg, where it took part in the defense of the River Rhine. He surrendered to the United States Army on 7 May 1945 and was released on 21 May 1945. He is considered a "panzer ace" credited with destroying more than 150 enemy tanks and 1 Plane, mostly on the Eastern Front.
The 502nd Heavy Panzer Battalion was a German heavy tank battalion during World War II. The battalion was the first unit to receive and field the Tiger I. It fought on the Eastern front. It was one of the most successful German heavy tank battalions, claiming the destruction of 1,400 tanks and 2,000 guns. Otto Carius, one of the best German tank aces was its member.
Jagdtiger is the common name of a German turretless heavy tank destroyer of World War II. The official German designation was Panzerjäger Tiger Ausf. B as it was based on a lengthened Tiger II chassis. The ordnance inventory designation was Sd.Kfz. 186. The 71-tonne Jagdtiger was the heaviest armored fighting vehicle used operationally during World War II and is the heaviest armored vehicle of any type to achieve series production. The vehicle carried a 128 mm PaK 44 L/55 main gun, capable of out-ranging and defeating any Allied tank. It saw service in small numbers from late 1944 to the end of the war on both the Western and Eastern Front. Although 150 were ordered, only between 70 and 88 were produced. Due to an excessive weight, the Jagdtiger was continuously plagued with mechanical problems. Today, three Jagdtigers survive in museums.
The 512th Heavy Panzerjäger Battalion was a tank destroyer unit of the Wehrmacht active during the closing months of World War II. It was one of only two units to be equipped with heavy Jagdtiger tank destroyers, and served on the Western Front.
After the war, Carius studied pharmacy at Heidelberg University and set up a pharmacy which he named the "Tiger Apotheke" as a tribute to the Tiger tank. He also authored a book about his wartime experiences called "Tigers in the Mud", which was released in 1960. Carius ran his pharmacy until retiring in 2011. He died on 24 January 2015 at age 92.
Heidelberg University is a public research university in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Founded in 1386 on instruction of Pope Urban VI, Heidelberg is Germany's oldest university and one of the world's oldest surviving universities. It was the third university established in the Holy Roman Empire.
The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.
The Iron Cross is a former military decoration in the Kingdom of Prussia, and later in the German Empire (1871–1918) and Nazi Germany (1933–1945). It was established by King Frederick William III of Prussia in March 1813 backdated to the birthday of his late wife Queen Louise on 10 March 1813 during the Napoleonic Wars. Louise was the first person to receive this decoration (posthumously). The recommissioned Iron Cross was also awarded during the Franco-Prussian War, World War I, and World War II . The Iron Cross was normally a military decoration only, though there were instances of it being awarded to civilians for performing military functions. Two examples of this were civilian test pilots Hanna Reitsch who was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class and 1st Class and Melitta Schenk Gräfin von Stauffenberg, who was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class, for their actions as pilots during World War II.
Leutnant is the lowest Lieutenant officer rank in the armed forces of Germany (Bundeswehr), Austrian Armed Forces, and military of Switzerland.
The Panzer Badge was a World War II military decoration of Nazi Germany awarded to troops in armoured divisions. Introduced on 20 December 1939, the Panzer Badge was authorized for armoured personnel and Panzer grenadier units equipped with armoured vehicles. It was also to be presented to members of armoured reconnaissance groups and rifle battalions of Panzer divisions. The authorization of these badges was usually done at a regimental or divisional level.
Franz Bäke was a German officer and tank commander during World War II. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords of Nazi Germany. In post-war popular culture, Bäke is considered one of the "panzer aces", that is, a highly decorated German tank commander popularised in the English-language translations of German author Franz Kurowski's Panzer Aces series.
Hans-Valentin Hube was a general in the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany during World War II. He commanded several panzer divisions during the invasions of Poland, France and the Soviet Union. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, Nazi Germany's highest military decoration. Hube died in an air crash on 21 April 1944.
Karl Mauss was a German general during World War II. He commanded the 7th Panzer Division and was one of only 27 German military men to receive the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds.
Hermann August Fredrich Priess was a German general in the Waffen-SS and a war criminal during World War II. He commanded the SS Division Totenkopf following the death of Theodor Eicke in February 1943. On 30 October 1944 he was appointed commander of the I SS Panzer Corps and led it during the Battle of the Bulge.
Werner Mummert was a general in the German Wehrmacht during World War II who commanded Panzer Division Müncheberg. A veteran of World War I, he was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. Mummert surrendered to the Soviets in May 1945 and died in a prisoner of war camp five years later.
Hermann von Oppeln-Bronikowski was a Gold Medal winning Olympic equestrian and German general during World War II. He commanded the 20th Panzer Division and was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords.
Ulrich Kleemann was a German general during World War II and a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross of Nazi Germany. He commanded the 90th Light Africa Division in North Africa from 10 April 1942 to 13 July 1942 and from 10 August 1942 to 1 November 1942.
Otto von Knobelsdorff was a German general during World War II who led the 19th Panzer Division and then held a series of higher commands. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords.
Josef Benedikt Bremm was an officer in the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany during World War II. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. Although Veit Scherzer challenged the presentation of the Swords in 2007, Bremm was the highest decorated soldier of the Eifel region.
Otto Baum, was a high-ranking commander (Oberführer) of the Waffen-SS during World War II. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords of Nazi Germany.
Horst Niemack was a German general during World War II. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords of Nazi Germany. Niemack later took command of the Panzer Lehr Division on 10 January 1945, succeeding General Fritz Bayerlein. From 1956 Niemack served as chairman of the Association of Knight's Cross Recipients (AKCR).
Hans Källner was a German general during World War II and a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. Källner was killed in action while visiting the front lines near Olomouc.
Johannes-Rudolf Mühlenkamp was a German SS commander during World War II who led SS Division Wiking. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves of Nazi Germany.
Rudolf Schoenert was the seventh highest scoring night fighter flying ace in the German Luftwaffe during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.
Willy Johannmeyer was a German officer during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, and, by the time of the dissolution of Nazi Germany, the last adjutant to Adolf Hitler of the army (Heeresadjutant).
Willi "Wilhelm" Fey was a Standartenjunker in the Waffen-SS during World War II. He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, which was awarded to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership by Nazi Germany during World War II. He was regarded as a "Tiger Ace" for achieving 80+ tank kills during the war.