Cintheaux is a small village in the centre of the area in which operation ‘Totalize’ took place. Besides this it was situated near the fields in which Michael Wittmann was killed together with his entire crew driving their Tiger tank.
After the allies occupied Caen operation ‘Totalize’ was executed in order to advance South and cut of all Western German forces in near the city of Falaise. To counter this attack 20 Panzer IV’s and the platoon of Michael Wittmann was sent North to attack. In the distance could be seen large numbers of Canadian, British and Polish troops: 3 Infantry Divisions, 2 Armoured Divisions and 2 Armoured Brigades. The allies had total air superiority and a superb artillery on standby.
Attacking this allied force with a small group of tanks was a desperate attempt to prevent all Western German forces to get trapped inside a pocket. This attempt would fail and the ensuing Falaise pocket would annihilate 2 complete German Army groups. Michael Wittmann would advance towards the allied lines through an open field. At this moment an allied artillery barrage started, it didn’t damage any German tanks. What happened after was a chaotic battle: different allied units started shooting up the German Tigers simultaneously. Among these were British and Canadian tanks and British Typhoon fighter bombers. Today the most obvious allied vehicle which destroyed Wittmann’s Tiger would be a British Sherman Firefly tank.