Arto SS-Uscha. Otto Blase | Armorama™

New figure of SS-Uscha. Otto Blase, veteran of sSS-Pz.Abt.101.


This is partial text from the full article (usually with photos) at https://armorama.com/news/arto-ss-uscha--otto-blase
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I know about the photo that this figure was sculpted after. It was the last consultation that Whitman ever had, the day he was killed. In the photo, it shows many tank commanders around Whittmann, none are dressed like Blasé. Whittmann asked Blasé if he was feeling alright and he said yes, but Whittmann could see he looked sick so he said, that he wanted him to go to the field hospital and get seen to. So Blasé did as ordered and left and was at the hospital when the battle developed. His tank was also knocked out in the fight, but we know he was not there. He did not get another tank until October when he got the Tiger B, number 332, which had been scheduled for a non SS heavy tank brigade, but because, as we know now, Hitler was planning Watch on the Rhine (The Bulge) and while he kept details secrete he ordered those who would be fighting under the SS to have all new equipment for an upcoming operation. The 332 was already painted for the non SS. brigade, and there is some debate as to whether the number 332 and tactical markings were already pained for that brigade, but because 332 shows up under Blase’s command in material collected by Wolffgang Schneider in Tigers In Combat, it is doubted that the first story of it being already painted with that number is true. When Battle Group Piper took his Panthers ahead of the heavy tanks, the 332 had a breakdown and was left on the side of the road near Petit Spa, and doing as was ordered for all heavy tanks at the time, if the tank broke down and could be retrieved and not in danger of being captured, the crew should remain with the tank. On the 24th of December, the 748 or maybe it was the 784th US tank brigade spotted the 332 at a distance and fired phosphorus at it. When the phosphorus hit close to the 332, crewmen were seen getting out of the tank and running away. The next day Ordinance recovery units found the 332 to be the most complete of the Tiger Bs that they had to date found, and marked it captured by Ordinance and began the process of removal which is a story unto itself, and taken to Spa where it sat for weeks until a German recovery trailer was found and used that to take it the rest of the way to Antwerp where it was sent by ship obviously, to the Aberdeen Proving Ground for evaluation. There, the port side turret armor and hull armor were cut away to that everyone could see how the crew were positioned. I saw it in the 90s at Fort Knox/Patton museum and it was the roomiest crew compartments Ive ever seen including today’s vehicles. Oh, The reason the 332 broke down was because the final drive broke and would only let the tank move in reverse. As for Blasé, Wolfgang told me in a 1994 letter that Blasé was never seen again, he never showed up at any of the SS reunions. But why would he? He enlisted in the Luftwaffe and became an officer but there were in '43 lots of Luftwaffe pilots and not enough planes to fly, so the SS needed officers because the war in the East had taken so many officers. They were given permission to draft officers from other services, and Blasé was one of those.

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Very nice story…
There is an account of the capture of 322, written by someone who was there:

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I’m not sure you’re correct about this photo being the last of Wittmann, since this is the 3rd Kompanie, he probably isn’t there! In fact it was taken in May 1944 during an exercise run by SS sPzAbt 101. In the photo, Blase is third from the right and is actually turning away from the briefing by SS-Obersturmfuhrer Raasch, to look directly at the camera. The briefing is supervised by Sturmbannfuhrer von Westerhagen, the unit commander (these two officers are the other two figures in the set). Another member of the unit, similarly dressed to Blase, stands two to the left, with back to us viewing the photo. The amount of latitude allowed in the style of dress, even to NCOs like Blase, illustrates not only the elite nature of the unit, but also the large variety of issue clothing available, not withstanding the additional private purchase items. Here’s the photo:
Raasch and von westerhagen - Bing images

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There, that is easier :slight_smile:

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Nevertheless, George continued on in 332

In reverse?

Interesting observation…

Quite. Just because “a friend” told me so, doesn’t make it true.
It tooks years to put to rest the Who killed Yamamoto? debate.

The sculptor of this range is like the heir to Roger Saunders of Hornet, it’s a shame they’re so expensive over here ( U.K. )

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Thanks for that. Von Westerhagen third from left in foreground in camouflaged overalls, Raasch next to him wearing the motorcycle coat. Von Westerhagen is virtually the only member of the group wearing a “regulation” uniform, all the rest are wearing what would be known in the British Army as “mixed dress”, for which you could be put on a charge! The motorcycle coat was not issued to tank crews, it had to be “acquired” unofficially. The man extreme right appears to be wearing some kind of denim jacket, it may be the jacket to the cement coloured denim fatigue uniform, but fully badged, against regulations. Note also the figure wearing the fur lined leather jacket, fourth from right, either part of the winter uniform, or private purchase.