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Herbert Zimmermann: Tank Ace and World Cup Icon


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Panthergraf #1 Posted 14 June 2018 - 08:36 AM

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Herbert Zimmermann was born 1917 in Alsdorf near Cologne and was drafted in November 1937 and served with the Panzerregiment 11 in Paderborn, when the war began. He took part in the Invasion of France and in the Batttles of Minsk, Wjasma and Smolensk during Barbarossa, commanding a Pz IV, and was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd and 1st class. 

 

In October 1941 his tank was derped by a KV-2 near Kalinin and Zimmermann was badly wounded. 

 

Back in action in March 1942, he was transfered to Panzerregiment 204/22. Panzerdivision, commanding a Panzert 38(t) and took part in the battles for the Crimea. In Oktober 1942 his tank was destroyed by a T-34 and he was badly wounded again, leaving frontline service and becoming an instructor at Panzertruppenschule Wünsdorf.

 

In late 1944 Zimmermann, now Captain and later Major, was sent to Army Group Courlands Panzerregiment 36, fighting in the Courland Pocket battles. On Feburary 3rd 1945 he faced a vast majority of soviet T-34 and IS tanks, destroying 12 tanks with his Panther. Three hours later he managed to destroy another 6 tanks, earning him the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.  His unit ended the war in May 1945 in Libau, Zimmermann was lucky and evacuated to northern Germany before the Surrender.

 

He was released from war captivity in December 1945, moved to Hamburg and started a career in 1946 as radio commentator for sports, especially football. 

 

In 1954 during the World Cup Final Germany vs. Hungary (3:2), his radio commentary of the deciding goal ( "The Miracle of Bern ) became famous and a national cultural icon, as he screamed breathlessly:

 

"Schäfer puts in the cross... header... cleared! Rahn should shoot from deep... Rahn shoots! Goal! Goal! Goal! Goal!

Goal for Germany! Germany leads 3-2. Call me mad, call me crazy!"

 

Here is the German original broadcast, the famous goal at the 10.10 minute mark:

 




 

Herbert Zimmermann died in Hamburg after a car accident (he was known as a terrible driver) in Dezember 1966. Every German football fan (and not only german football fans) know Herbert Zimmermann and his "Miracle of Bern" broadcast. But very few know of his fate as a Tank Commander during World War II. 


Edited by Panthergraf, 14 June 2018 - 08:38 AM.


neorioter #2 Posted 14 June 2018 - 10:54 AM

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>In October 1941 his tank was derped by a KV-2 near Kalinin and Zimmermann was badly wounded.


 

 

Wish he hadn't survived. So many lives of Russian soldiers had been taken later.


Edited by neorioter, 14 June 2018 - 10:54 AM.


OldDog175Ranger #3 Posted 14 June 2018 - 12:02 PM

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View Postneorioter, on 14 June 2018 - 05:54 AM, said:

>In October 1941 his tank was derped by a KV-2 near Kalinin and Zimmermann was badly wounded.


 

 

Wish he hadn't survived. So many lives of Russian soldiers had been taken later.

 

So true, but that is War my friend.

 

My German Cousin as a Corporal, captured a British Lieutenant in the last days of the war in Italy. Karl decided to let the Lieutenant go, but ironically was captured himself later in the day. In a North African POW camp months later, the Lt. visited Karl and they became lifelong friends. The Tommy became the Kraut's chess mate one game a month by letter until the day Karl passed from this earth. Karl fought on the Russian, French and Italian fronts, and he hated the War.

 

Strange things happen in war, you cannot always blame the soldier for what the Royals and the politicians created.



x1981 Bengals #4 Posted 14 June 2018 - 12:49 PM

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View Postneorioter, on 14 June 2018 - 04:54 AM, said:

>In October 1941 his tank was derped by a KV-2 near Kalinin and Zimmermann was badly wounded.


 

 

Wish he hadn't survived. So many lives of Russian soldiers had been taken later.

 

The Russians were the real enemies

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neorioter #5 Posted 14 June 2018 - 02:12 PM

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View PostOldDog175Ranger, on 14 June 2018 - 03:02 PM, said:

 

So true, but that is War my friend.

 

My German Cousin as a Corporal, captured a British Lieutenant in the last days of the war in Italy. Karl decided to let the Lieutenant go, but ironically was captured himself later in the day. In a North African POW camp months later, the Lt. visited Karl and they became lifelong friends. The Tommy became the Kraut's chess mate one game a month by letter until the day Karl passed from this earth. Karl fought on the Russian, French and Italian fronts, and he hated the War.

 

Strange things happen in war, you cannot always blame the soldier for what the Royals and the politicians created.

 


Thanks for the story. I don't blame him. He did his job too good, that's it. Your German cousin (how old are you?!) was a generous man, deserving respect.
 

View Postx1981 Bengals, on 14 June 2018 - 03:49 PM, said:

 

The Russians were the real enemies

 

 

 

So they are, mwa-ha-ha!
 






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