I’m not a recluse. I don’t close my door to anybody. They just don’t visit.
The Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe (Honor Goblet of the Luftwaffe) was a Luftwaffe award established on 27 February 1940 by Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, the Reich Minister of Aviation and Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe. It was officially known as the Ehrenpokal “für besondere Leistung im Luftkrieg”, or Honor Goblet “For Special Achievement in the Air War”. The award was given only to flying personnel (pilots and aircrew). Recipients’ named were published in the periodical Ehrenliste der Deutschen Luftwaffe (Honor List of the German Air Force). German archives indicate that approximately 58,000 were given “on paper”, but only 13-15,000 goblets were actually awarded according to the records. The first airman to receive the goblet was Johann Schalk on 21 August 1940.
The award was made to aircrew who had already been awarded the Iron Cross First Class but whose performance was not considered to merit the German Cross or Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross.
The actual goblet was produced in two materials, fine silver (German: Feinsilber) or also in German Silver (German: Alpaka) or Nickel silver. The size is about 200 mm tall x 100 mm in diameter. The goblet was produced in two pieces which were fitted together into one unit. The obverse depicts two eagles in mortal combat. while the reverse bears an Iron Cross in high relief. Oak leaves and acorns adorn the stem. The legend “Für Besondere Leistung im Luftkrieg” are formed into the base.
Junkers Ju 88
Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS Fritz Witt
The opinion of the Regimental commander, describing him as the soul of the resistance, must be stressed. Witt is the model of the young leader, never retreating in the face of anything.
On 9 May 1934, Witt was promoted to SS-Obersturmführer, and soon after took command of the third company of SS-Standartenführer Felix Steiner’s SS-Standarte Deutschland, one of the then-three Standarten which comprised the SS-Verfügungstruppe (SS-VT). The other Standarten were the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, SS-Standarte Germania and (from 1938) SS-Standarte Der Führer). In October 1938, the SS-VT was subordinated to Heer command, stepping closer to its future combat role.
While commanding the 3./SS-Standarte Deutschland, Witt was involved in the march into Austria as part of the Anschluß in 1938. After this, the Standarte was motorised. The Deutschland now took part in the occupation of the Sudetenland. In March 1939, Witt served with the Standarte during the bloodless annexation of Bohemia and Moravia. Hitler ordered the formation of an SS-Verfügungs-Division, comprising all three SS-VT Standarten (The Leibstandarte was to form its own unit). The Polish crisis put these plans on hold, and the SS-Standarten were deployed for action during the upcoming offensive, Fall Weiß. Witt’s SS-Standarte (mot) Deutschland was subordinated to Panzer-Verband Kempf, based in East Prussia.
On 1 September 1939, the Invasion of Poland began, sparking the Second World War. Witt was still in command of the 3./SS-Standarte Deutschland, and although the Deutschland played a mostly supporting role to Kempf’s panzers, Witt’s company saw some heavy fighting and he served well during the campaign. For personal bravery in combat, Witt was awarded both the first and second classes of the Iron Cross within a ten-day period. By October 1939, Witt had attained a rank of SS-Hauptsturmführer and was placed in command of I.Battalion of the Deutschland, redesignated SS-Infanterie-Regiment (mot) Deutschland. In the same month, the SS-Verfügungs-Division was formed and placed under the command of SS-Gruppenführer Paul Hausser. Witt led his battalion through the Invasion of France, again showing bravery and skill commanding his unit. On 27 May 1940, 20 British Matilda tanks attacked Witt’s battalion. Despite the fact that Witt’s unit had no anti-tank weapons, Witt rallied his battalion and they held, destroying nine of the British tanks with grenades and other improvised methods.For his actions repulsing the armoured attack, Witt was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross, which he received on 4 September 1940. On 16 October, Witt was transferred to the Infanterie-Regiment (mot.) Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, where he took command of III. Battalion.
On 6 June 1944, the Western Allies launched Operation Overlord, the invasion of Normandy. Witt’s Division, along with the 21st Panzer Division, was the closest armoured unit to the landing beaches. Witt readied the division for immediate action, but was forced to wait for Hitler’s personal authorisation releasing the panzer units. The unit did not move out until 14:30, early in the afternoon of D-Day on 6 June. The division’s advance to the areas near Sword and Juno Beaches was severely hampered by incessant Allied fighter-bomber attacks. Forward elements of the division finally reached their assembly area near Evrecy at 2200 on 6 June, too late in the day to be committed to action.
On 8 June, the 26th SS Panzergrenadier Regiment under command of SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer Wilhelm Mohnke arrived and took up positions to the west of Meyer. Upon arrival, the regiment launched an attack towards Norrey-en-Bessin, capturing the vital village. The 12th SS Reconnaissance Battalion, under the command of SS-Sturmbannführer Gerd Bremer deployed to the west of Mohnke’s regiment, and by the evening of 8 June the division was in position to halt the allied advance on Caen. Witt visited the front frequently, working hard to provide all the support he could to his subordinates. He set up his command post at the village of Venoix, close to the front lines. Over the next week, Witt’s division managed to hold the line above Caen despite incessant determined attacks and constant air, artillery and naval bombardments. The HJ inflicted devastating losses on the British and Canadian forces, the training which Witt had developed maintaining his unit’s morale and fighting ability. However, Witt himself was not immune from the unrelenting Anglo-Canadian attacks.
On 14 June, a British naval barrage hit the divisional command post in Venoix. Witt was hit in the face by shrapnel and killed instantly. The division and his former 1st Panzer Division comrades mourned his loss. The 33 year old Kurt Meyer was ordered to take command of the division. Witt was buried with full military honours at Champigny—Saint-André-de-l’Eure in France
Volunteers of the Waffen SS are instructed in weapons by a non-commissioned officer of the SS tank regiment 10 ‘Westland’.
The minute I saw this scene in the the movie I leaned over to Caiti and whispered I was going to draw it. The scene that would never end, as it is also known. It’s not the first tribute to barrel!Bombur, and it won’t be the last - but behold the DESOLATION OF BOMBUR. And fish.