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Colourised photo of the famous Köln Panther, which was knocked out during a spectacular duel on the streets around the Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral) with two M4 Shermans (A1 and A3) and a T26 Pershing of the US 3rd Armoured Division.

The Panther of Panzerbrigade 106 would go on to destroy one of the approaching Shermans, causing the second to retreat and the T26 to approach.

The T26 arrived in the intersection nearby to find the high velocity 75mm of the Panther aimed right at it. The T26 continued through the intersection whilst firing a shot on the move, which was a direct hit, knocking out Commander Bartelborth's Panzer V immediately.


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The hesitation of the Panther not immediately firing is widely attributed to the fact the T26 had only arrived in Europe weeks earlier, with Bartelborth likely not immediately identifying it as an American tank due to its larger size and aggressive profile, being more characteristic of German tank design.

The Köln Panther making its last stand outside of the world renowned cathedral is symbolic of the attitude and resolve of many German fighting units during 1945.

Köln, Germany.

March 6th, 1945.


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Photographic Archives

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