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Special 2 - tank duel blow-by-blow (1) Deutsche Version
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The following original pictures are public domain from archives NARA, BPR (Air Forces Group) and originate from various internet sources, pictures from the original movie by Bates and Rosenmann originate also from the version of the original movie on the DVD "1945 - Kriegsende in Köln" published by Hermann Rheindorf.

 
 
  Introduction

 
The movie taken by cameraman Bates (the entire sequence has a duration of about 1 minute) shows the shelling of the Panther, fleeing crew members and the burning Panther. Due to many blurred pictures and the very short duration of the movie parts showing the escaping crew (17 seconds) it's not easy to see all the details. It's hard to recognize and understand what happens in only a few seconds. On this website I show all relevant parts of the tank duel on 37 still frames. The pictures are small cutouts from the original film frames to show more details.

Video popup:
Youtube video, the entire original 1 minute Panther movie sequence

NEW: In addition I digital worked over some sequences of the Bates movie and now I'm able to present 5 substancial scenes close up and not that blurred as the original. This 5 flash videos are linked here on this page where the correspondent scene still frames are located. In addition I have stored a video on Youtube where this 5 worked sequences are included in the original movie, each of them following the original sequence, marked with an "R". This video here.


Picture - taken by cameraman Rosenmann -
shows the firing Pershing

The film sequence of Bates starts, after the Panther was hit by a first shell from the Pershing only a few seconds ago. The debarking of the crew begins:

 

Second 1                                                             
 

 


Fig. 1:
The first film scenes show soldier 1 coming out of the cupola hatch. The impact hole is recognizable left underneath the turret
   

Cupola hatch

Graph created from two graphs by F. Gruber, "Panzer V Panther" by Spielberger/Doyle, Stuttgart 2010, with friendly permission by Motorbuch Verlag


Source: Deutsches Bundesarchiv (German Federal Archive), Bild 101I-478-2166-27 via Wikimedia
The cupola hatch

 


Detail picture:
With the help of the zoom function of a video software it's possible to increase the original Pal pictures of the video sequence around the above fig. 1. On the top left photo soldier 1 looks towards the Pershing tank. On the top right picture he turns his head towards Komödienstrasse. In front of his head an object appears. This object can be seen on two more pictures too, it seems to be a rifle or a MG, but it could be a "Sehstab" (observation periscope) too. .

The following animation of 2 film frames shows the object more clearly:

Animation

 

Second 3                                                             
 

 


Fig. 2:
Soldier 1 is probably the Panther tank commander.

 

 
Fig. 3:
The tank commander has some problems to leave the tank.

While he stands in the tower, the commander holds some unknown objects in his hands, maybe a helmet or other objects things he had lying on his lap when he was sitting in the turret before. In addition it looks like he throws down the rifle or the periscope (as previously described) from the turret. Left picture, the commander comes out of the turret at the beginning of the movie sequence, forehead and hairline visible. Middle picture, he holds the unknown objects in front of him, they are only visible as a dark blurry spot. Right picture, again the unknown objects.

 

 
Video popup:
Digital reworked movie sequence in repeat mode

 


Blurred pictures, short interruption of the visual contact.

 

Second 4                                                             
 

 


Fig. 4:
In three frames one can see a falling object. It seems to be the German tank commander, who had rolled out of the turret. Here is one of the two blurred frames.

 

 
Fig 5:
And here the only one sharp frame showing the falling tank commander, one can see his legs, he is falling headfirst.

 

After viewing the movie sequence hundreds of times I think there's an invisible cut in this movie sequence and Bates has removed one, two or three seconds of film within this sequence between Fig. 3 above and Fig. 5 above. Just between the situation where you can see the tank commander in the cupola and the soldier on the front deck appears. There are several indications let me believe there is an invisible cut in the movie.

On this page I describe the indications I found in the movie.

Even if there's a cut of two or three seconds of real action I enumerate the seconds corresponding to the available film sequences in the following.

 

Video-Popup:
The film sequence with the invisible cut. Cut around frames 13/14.

 

Second 5                                                             
 

 


Fig. 6:
The tank commander falls down onto the Panther's front deck.

 

 
Fig. 7:
Again the tank commander on the front deck.

 

Video popup:
The falling commander - digital reworked movie sequence in repeat mode

 


Detail picture 2:
Soldier 1, the tank commander, on the front deck

 


Fig. 8:
The tank commander pushes himself around the turret

 

   
Video popup:
Digital reworked movie sequence in repeat mode

 

Second 6                                                             
 

 


Fig. 9:
The tank commander seems to jump down from the Panther's front deck.

 

 
Fig. 10:
Bates is changing his position behind a window from left to right. One cannot see the Panther for a short time.
 


Blurred pictures, short interruption of the visual contact.

 

Second 7                                                             
 

 


Fig. 11:
During a filmsequence with blurred pictures one can see a projectile with tracer effect flying toward the Panther.

 

 
Fig. 12:
One film frame later this projectile doesn't hit the Panther, flies over it.

 

Second 8                                                             
 

 


Fig. 13:
During a filmsequence with blurred pictures one can see a second projectile with tracer flying toward the Panther, here at the bottom of this picture.

 

 
Fig. 14:
One film frame later again this projectile. Now one can see a soldier on the Panther's deck who climbs out of the radio operator's hatch. This is soldier 2 - probably the radio operator.
 
Radio operator's hatch

Graph created from two graphs by F. Gruber, "Panzer V Panther" by Spielberger/Doyle, Stuttgart 2010, with friendly permission by Motorbuch Verlag


Radio operator's hatch

The radio operator's hatch:

Top left, the radio operator's hatch is still closed at the beginning of the film sequence (white arrow), where the commander comes out of the turret. Top right, the commander jumps down onto the Panther's front deck. Someone begins to open the radio operator's hatch from inside at this moment. Bottom left, the hatch now is fully opened while the commander is sitting in background. Bottom right, the radio operator was climbing out in the meanhwile an just jumps down in background. Yellow arrow is an object on the deck, which can be used as an orientation point for the hatch opening process.

 


Fig. 15:
And again one film frame later the projectile had hit the Panther, was reflected and now it flies in another direction while soldier 2 is sitting on the Panther's deck only a few centimeters to the right.

 

 
Fig. 16:
Once again soldier 2.

 

Second 9                                                             
 

 


Fig. 17:
Soldier 2 wants to jump from the Panther. The tank commander is still in the process to stand up. In the cupola another soldier can be seen wrapped in smoke, soldier 3.

 

 
Fig. 18:
Soldier 2 is falling down head over from the Panther, one can see the legs rising up. The tank commander is still in the process to stand up. One can see soldier 3 in the cupola better now.
 
Cupola hatch, where soldier 3 appears

Graph created from two graphs by F. Gruber, "Panzer V Panther" by Spielberger/Doyle, Stuttgart 2010, with friendly permission by Motorbuch Verlag


Detail picture 3:
Watching this two still frames one can see an object in the tank commander's right hand, is it the rifle or the "Sehstab" (observation periscope) he had hold in his hands in the turret already ?
 
  The next seconds on page 2  

 

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