SS-Brigadeführer Fritz Witt (25.05.1908 – 14.06.1944), commander of 12 SS-Panzerdivision Hitlerjugend receives a model of an 8-wheel armoured scout car. The model was a birthday present by the division’s reconaisance battalion to their divisional commander’s 36th birthday on May 25, 1944. To the left of Witt, his adjutant SS-Sturmbannführer Heinrich “Hein” Springer (3.11.1914 – 27.10.2007). Over the next week, Witt’s division managed to hold the line above Caen despite incessant determined attacks and constant air, artillery and naval bombardments. On 14 June, a British naval barrage hit the divisional command post in Venoix. Witt was hit in the face by shrapnel and killed instantly. The 12th SS-Hitlerjugend and his former 1st SS-Leibstandarte comrades mourned his loss. Kurt Meyer, as the next highest ranking officer, was promoted to divisional commander; at 33 years of age. Fritz Witt, recipient of the Knight’s Cross with oakleaves, was buried with full military honours at Champigny—Saint-André-de-l’Eure in France. Source panzer-archiv.