Maximillian Weisemann was a famed tank commander of the Imperial Guard from the Konig Prime of the planet Konig and has since earned the status of tank ace, most famously piloting the Baneblade super-heavy tank.
Of noble heritage, from childhood he trained with the duelling rapier and cavalry sabre, common to the people of konig. His first military service came in the Konig Prime Planetary Defense Forces at age 14. At 18, he was drafted into the Imperial Guard where he first piloted the Leman Russ Battle Tank. He fought on Lamas and Balor Secundus. After scoring a kill total of 98 enemy vehicles during the three-year Balor Campaign, Weisemann was promoted to a super heavy tank regiment and took command of Lucius-pattern Baneblade #212, 'Arethusa'. As a commander, Weisemann was a stern and unforgiving man and demanded strict discipline from his crew.
Weisemann's career would come to an illustrious end during the Sacking of Colonia, when Colonia came was under attack from Ork forces under the Warboss Gharag Badtoof. Supporting the 7th Mortant regiment in his Baneblade, Weisemann decided to strike first at the mustering Ork forces and caught them by complete surprise, destroying three battlewagons and eight warbuggyz. Advancing to the heart of the Ork force by a bridge, Weisemann's Baneblade engaged the Orks until it was down to just seven rounds of ammunition for its main cannon. When the tank's driver was wounded by fire, the Baneblade swung off the road and ran into the boggy ground. Effectively stuck, Weisemann and his crew fought off attacks from Ork Tankbustas and fighta-bommers.
Weisemann and his crew abandoned the tank before it exploded under the aerial bombardment, but two of his crewmen didn't make it and many more were wounded and unable to move any further. Weisemann ordered the able survivors to fall back to Imperial lines while he would remain with his burning hulk of a tank and the wounded men, to defend them until relief arrived. It took the 7th Mortant Regiment two months of hard fighting to finally reach the bridge and the twisted wreck of Baneblade #212 Arethusa. But of Weisemann and his wounded crew there was no sign. His body was never recovered and to this day his fate remains a mystery.
Later at the place of a battle there was constructed a shrine in honour of Weisemann's last stand.
The character of Maximillian Weisemann might have been partly modelled on Michael Wittmann, a Waffen-SS "panzer ace" of World War II. Possible indicators might include the same initials, that the names "Wittmann" and "Weisemann" can be considered somewhat similar in meaning and the circumstances of his death during the fighting in Normandy. Weisemann's tank was destroyed by Tankbustas and fighta-bommers, Wittmann's by anti-tank shells fired by allied armour and/ or (according to Nazi propaganda) fighter-bombers. Both tanks also exploded (although one could easily argue that is not unusual). And while Weisemann's ultimate fate remains unclear, in Wittmann's case his death was never disputed, although his actual burial site was only rediscovered in 1983.
- 1: Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard and Imperial Navy, pgs. 210-211
- 2: Imperial Armour Volume One - Second Edition: Imperial Guard, pg. 271
- 3: Imperial Armour Update, pg. 17