With a German soldier kneeling to inspect a destroyed Allied Sherman tank, something about the scale of this photo is breathtaking. The image was taken during the Battle of Villers-Bocage. The tank is probably one of many that SS-Obersturmführer Michael Wittmann destroyed. Wittmann was famous for his ambush of the British 7th Armoured Division, when he was thought to have destroyed as many as fourteen Allied tanks, fifteen personnel carriers, and two anti-tank guns — all within fifteen minutes. The battle occurred one week after the Allied D-Day landings in Normandy, but within two days the British had to fall back.
Villers-Bocage, Calvados, Normandy, France.
16 June 1944.