The WW2 Tank Battle Caught On Film! (WW2 Documentary)

3rd Armored Division advanced into the ruins of the German city of Cologne

In March 1945 US forces of the 3rd Armored Division advanced into the ruins of the German city of Cologne. Over two days of bitter fighting they eventually pushed the defenders back across the Rhine.

Standing in their way were the last few tanks of the German Army in the region. This is the story of how one M26 Pershing tank came up against a formidable Panther outside the iconic Cathedral, with the duel being caught on camera in one of the most iconic scenes of WW2.

Written Sources:
Dierk Lürbke, website (English & German). He once again describes the events in great detail. -

Forgotten Archives: the Lost Signal Corps Photos –…
A. Makos, Spearhead (2019)
S. Zaloga, M26/M46 Pershing Tank 1943-45 (2000)
W. Ramsey After The Battle 104 (1999)
D. Zumbro, Battle for the Ruhr (2006)

Video Sources:
Getty Archive, Divisions of the 1st Army Enter Cologne During WW2
H. Rheindorf (2015 edition), March 1945, Duel at the Cathedral
Scenes of War, Interview with J. Bates (2015 Documentary), accessed via

• Scenes of War: Co…
Original Sources of the Footage from Bates, Rosenmann and Garrell:

General Archive Sources:
Imperial War Museum Archives (IWMA)
US National Archives (NARA)
Bundesarchiv (German National Archives)
Dierk’s page Special – Cologne at war, tank duel at the cathedral (1)
Tank duel at the Cathedral, Cologne March 06, 1945. Battle of the last tank

Scenes of War: Combat Photographer Jim Bates
National Archives NextGen Catalog
The online portal to the records held at the National Archives, and information about those records.

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