| The War That Came Early |
POD: July 20, 1936;
Relevant POD: September 29, 1938
|Appearance(s):|| West and East|
|Type of Appearance:||Direct|
|Occupation:||Soldier, Tank Commander|
Sgt. Hermann Witt took over Sgt. Heinz Naumann's Panzer II when the latter was killed in fighting against the Soviet Red Army in Poland. The surviving crew, consisting of the driver Adalbert Stoss and radio operator Theo Hossbach, found him much more easy going than the late Naumann since he didn't feel the need to prove he was the toughest soldier in the army.
Witt did notice that Stoss was circumcised. Unlike Naumann who constantly rode Stoss about it, Witt merely confirmed that Stoss filled out the paperwork when he enlisted including the part on his ancestry. Hossbach realized he was covering himself if Stoss turned out to be a Jew without making any accusations.
While Witt wasn't a coward, he was a cautious soldier. When a Polish cavalryman rode up and reported Soviet panzers ahead, Witt immediately advanced to investigate. However, when those panzers fled due to multiple German machines approaching, Witt elected to have Hossbach report them to divisional command rather than aggressively pursue them.
Witt, along with the rest of his crew and those of other machines in their regiment were summoned by Waffen-SS troops to witness the execution of their regimental commander Lieutenant Colonel Koch for treason after a failed coup d'etat against the Führer. After the SS left, Witt expressed his disgust with the whole matter and that Koch being a good officer counted for more.
Koch was given a much fancier field grave than most. When Witt saw that the horizontal arm of the cross marking the grave had "Fallen for the Vaterland" written on it, he remarked that a letter from his father had commented that death notices sometimes said "Fallen for the Führer and Vaterland" while others indicted just "Fallen for the Vaterland". This showed people how the fallen felt about things.
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