Otto Carius

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Otto Carius
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1979-064-06, Otto Carius.jpg
Otto Carius
Born (1922-05-27) 27 May 1922 (age 92)
Zweibrücken, Germany
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Balkenkreuz.svg Heer
Years of service 1940–45
Rank Oberleutnant of the Reserves
Unit 21st Panzer Regiment
Schwere Panzer-Abteilung 502
Schwere Panzerjägerabteilung 512

World War II

Awards Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub
Other work Pharmacist

Otto Carius (born 27 May 1922) is a former German tank ace within the German Army who fought during World War II and is credited with destroying more than 150 tanks. He is a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves were awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

World War II[edit]

Carius had been drafted twice before, but sent home as "Not fit for service at present underweight!". But in May 1940, Carius was finally drafted into the 104th Infantry Replacement Battalion. Following training, he volunteered for the Panzer Corps. Carius learned the fundamentals of tank warfare at Putlos in Holstein as a member of the 7th Panzer Replacement Battalion.

His unit was integrated into the newly formed 21st Panzer Regiment and in June 1941 was sent to East Prussia. He experienced his first battle as a loader in a Panzer 38(t) during Operation Barbarossa in late June 1941. It was during this operation that Carius suffered wounds from a round that struck his tank.

In 1943, Carius transferred to the schwere Panzer-Abteilung 502 (502 heavy tank battalion). This unit fought at the Leningrad front and then in the area of Narva, Estonia (Battle of Narva) and was subordinated to Strachwitz Battle Group, under the command of Hyacinth Graf Strachwitz von Groß-Zauche und Camminetz. Carius was severely wounded on 24 July 1944 while reconnoitering a village on a motorcycle ahead of his tanks. Until that day, he was unofficially running the 2nd company of 502nd; however, he officially became the commander of 2nd company on the same day he was shot through the leg, arm, 4 bullets in the back and one through the neck. He subsequently became the commander of a Jagdtiger company of the 512th Heavy Antitank Battalion (schwere Panzerjägerabteilung) in the West at the beginning of 1945. On 8 March 1945, without finishing its training, 2nd company was directed to the front line near Siegburg. It then took part in the defense of the River Rhine and eventually surrendered to the US Army on 15 April 1945.

Post war[edit]

After the war he started a pharmacy shop called Tiger Apotheke[1] in Herschweiler-Pettersheim, Rhineland-Palatinate, named after the Tiger tank, and still works there to this day. He also wrote a book about his own experience in the war, entitled Tigers in the Mud.[2]

Awards and achievements[edit]

Total victories (kills):

  • 150+ tanks, similar number of antitank guns (100–110 tanks following another source,[12]) majority on the Eastern Front.

Popular culture[edit]

Famed director and manga artist Hayao Miyazaki wrote a watercolour manga based on Otto's Tigers in the Mud called "Otto Carius: Doromamire no tora (Tigers Covered With Mud)". It was serialized in Model Graphix magazine and ran from December 1998 to May 1999. Originally this manga was planned to consist of three episodes but being unable to complete the story in three episodes it was expanded to six episodes.[13]

Otto has also been depicted in a Tamiya model kit of him and his crew with a Tiger I tank Mid version (Item #35202, now discontinued) and Jagdtiger Mid version (Item #35307). In April 2013, Unimax released a 186 Jagdpanzer VI Jagdtiger Heavy Tank Destroyer bearing the '201' markings of Otto Carius, Panzerjager stationed in Germany during the winter and spring of 1945.

The online game World of Tanks names a gunnery award after him.

The tabletop miniature wargame Flames of War features Otto Carius as a special character. The first is an addendum to the list book "Grey Wolf" in which he and his fire-team partner Albert Kerscher command Tiger VI E tanks. Their characters allow the tanks to have special benefits, which include the ability to ignore the adverse effects of firing at long range, as well as to re-roll any missed shots. The second version of his special character appears in the list book "Bridge at Remagen" in which he is featured with similar attributes, but is commanding a Jagdtiger.


  1. ^ Tiger Apotheke
  2. ^ Stackpole Books, 2014 ISBN ISBN 978-0-8117-2911-6
  3. ^ Carius 2003, Document 7
  4. ^ Carius 2003, Document 8
  5. ^ Carius 2003, Document 9
  6. ^ Carius 2003, Document 10
  7. ^ Carius 2003, Document 11
  8. ^ a b Scherzer 2007, p. 257.
  9. ^ Carius 2003, Document 12
  10. ^ a b Carius 2003, Document 27
  11. ^ Carius 2003, Document 26
  12. ^ Ashley Hart, p. 41
  13. ^ entry for Otto Carius: Doromamire no tora


  • Alman, Karl (2008). Panzer vor – Die dramatische Geschichte der deutschen Panzerwaffe und ihre tapferen Soldaten. Würzburg, Germany: Flechsig Verlag. ISBN 978-3-88189-638-2.
  • Carius, Otto (2003). Tigers in the Mud – The Combat Career of German Panzer Commander Otto Carius. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-2911-6.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
  • Hart, Stephen A (2007). Sherman Firefly vs Tiger: Normandy 1944. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84603-150-8. 
  • Kleine, Egon & Kühn, Volkmar (1999). Tiger – Die Geschichte einer legendären Waffe 1942–45. Stuttgart, Germany: Motorbuchbuch Verlag. ISBN 3-87943-414-X.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 
  • Thomas, Franz (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 1: A–K] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2299-6. 

External links[edit]