Sunday, 15 February 2009


This is my 15mm figure of Barkmann in his Panther with repair shop.

Ernst Barkmann was a farmer’s son born in Holstein, Germany, on 25 August 1919. At the age of sixteen he applied for service with the elite Waffen-SS, the armed force of the Nazi Party.

Barkmann saw his first action of the war as a machine gunner with the 9. Kompanie/III. Bataillon of Germania. Distinguishing himself, he was promoted to Rottenführer (Corporal) and received the Wound Badge in Black. He next saw action in 1940 with the invasion of France, earning the Infantry Assault Badge for his participation in three days of battle.

Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, saw Rottenführer Barkmann seriously injured near Dnieprpetrovksk, for which he received the Wound Badge in Silver. He spent the next year recovering and training SS volunteers. Late in 1942 he returned to the Eastern Front.

Assigned to the second company of the ‘Das Reich’ SS-Panzerregiment as a gunner in a Panzer III tank, he proved himself an excellent shot. He was subsequently promoted to Unterscharführer (sergeant) and given command of his own Panzer III just in time for the Third Battle of Kharkov.
He continued to distinguish himself during the mammoth tanks battles around Prokhorovka during the Kursk offensive. In August 1943, Das Reich was withdrawn into reserve. Barkmann was transferred to the fourth company and given a new Panther D tank for the defensive battles in Southern Russia. He was awarded both classes of the Iron Cross for his actions during this time.

In January 1944, Das Reich was ordered to southern France for refit and Barkmann’s battalion was upgraded to the new model Panther. Unfortunately the Allies choose this particular time to mount their invasion of Fortress Europe and ‘Das Reich’ quickly found itself embroiled in the fighting. A month after D-Day, elements of the division went into action against American forces near St. Lô. Here, the legend of Barkmann’s Corner was born and he received the Knight’s Cross and a promotion to Oberscharführer (senior sergeant) for his actions.

During the Ardennes Offensive in December 1944, Barkmann spearheaded the main attack against the US 2nd Armored Division. He finished the war knocking out Soviet T-34 tanks near Stuhlweissenburg in March 1945.

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