Lt. Fritz Langanke arrived south of Carentan with a fully equipped Panther Abteilung. Attached to the II SS Panzer Division, his Panthers were used as camouflaged strongpoints to stem the Allied advance. After he had rallied some retreating infantry from the 6th Fallschirmjager Regiment, Lt. Langanke was able to stabilize his part of the front for over two weeks. On the morning of his birthday, July 15th, the 2nd Armored began their probe attacks as usual, but this time they began to make headway. When one of his commanders jumped on his hull and shouted, "We've had it, a hit in the turret." Langanke personally dismounted and ran across the road to survey the situation. He saw his birthday present approaching -- five Sherman tanks with supporting infantry -- heading down the road. Langanke dashed back to his tank with the realization that, in its current position, their Panther would soon be brewed up. In a split second Langanke made a move he termed, "The longest 40 meters I traveled during the war". He ordered his tank into the road in front of the advancing column and swung around to engage them at point blank range. With the supporting German infantry near panic and the Shermans firing at his tank. Langanke's reliance on the Panther's superior armor and ordnance was not in vain. The road was soon filled with 5 burning Shermans and the situation was again stabilized.
Attacker: American (Elements of 2nd Armored Division)
Defender: German (SS) (Elements of II SS Panzer and 3rd SS "Der Fuhrer" Regiment)