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Watch Unbelievable Footage of an Actual WWII Tank Duel

During the Battle of Villers-Bocage, tanks went head-to-head.

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  • Photo Credit: History / YouTube

When talking about D-Day, people often forget that getting past the Atlantic Wall was only the first step. The Allies then had to fight their way out of Normandy and into the rest of France—not to mention across Germany.

This wasn't easy. Germany had some very well-trained troops who were determined to put up a fight. One of the places where the Nazis held up the Allies was Villers-Bocage, a village to the southwest of Caen that was a major objective of the initial stage.

Related: 11 Eeriest Unsolved Mysteries of World War II

According to Battle of Normandy Tours, on June 13, 1944, a force of British tanks from the famous 7th Armoured Division—also known as the "Desert Rats"—headed towards Villers-Bocage. At that village, a company of German Tiger tanks, under the command of Michael Wittman, fought the British force of Cromwell and Sherman Firefly tanks.

When all was said and done, Wittman's force had destroyed 27 Allied tanks. The Germans had also killed, wounded, or captured 188 Allied troops.

Related: 21 Essential World War II Books That Examine Every Angle of the Conflict

This video shows some of the fighting that took place during the Battle of Villers-Bocage. Warning: It does show some of the consequences of when armored vehicles are destroyed.