Wednesday, November 27, 2013

M13/40 Tanks of the VII Battaglione, Ariete Armored Division

Fiat-Ansaldo M13/40 tanks of the VII Battaglione, 32 Reggimento Carri, Ariete Armored Division just before the Axis advance on El-Agheila, 24 March 1941


Early Model Jagdpanzer IV at Aberdeen Ordinance Museum

Jagdpanzer (Hunting Tank) IV (Sd.Kfz.162) armed with a 75mm (3 inch) L/48 gun. Also designed as Sturmgeschütz (assault gun) neuer Art (new design) mit (with) 7.5cm PaK L/48 auf Fahrgestell (based on chassis) Panzerkampfwagen IV. This is an early production vehicle because it has four return rollers; later Jagdpanzer IVs only had three. This "short" version of the Jagdpanzer IV is missing its muzzle brake, which dampened recoil and gun rising during discharge. The muzzle brake was found to give away the Jagdpanzer IV's position, and many crews had already removed them in the field. In May 1944, Jagdpanzer IVs were made without a muzzle brake. An updated version of the Jagdpanzer IV mounted heavier armor and a longer L/70 gun. This example was either captured in Italy or Normandy and shipped to the Ordinance Museum for testing. It was scrapped as part of an unfortunate consolidation during the Korean War. Aberdeen has an L/70 version that survived the cutter's torch


A Knocked-Out Jagdpanther Being Examined by an American Soldier

A knocked-out Panzerjäger (tank destroyer) V Jagdpanther Sd.Kfz.173 is examined by an American soldier, probably of the 9th Army. While the date and place of this photo is disputed, the red primer on the vehicle, the soldier's uniform, and the absence of leaves on the trees probably indicate that it was taken during the Americans' advance into Germany in March-April 1945. Since civilians and sodliers would strip knocked-out tanks of anything useful, it's likely this photo was taken within a week of the tank being destroyed. It's possible this was a Jagdpanther from Kampfgruppe Paffrath/schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung 654. The impact of anti-tank rounds can be seen along the road wheels. This vehicle has an early version of the 88mm (3.46 inch) Pak 43/3 L/71 gun that was a single tube; later versions of the Jagdpanther had two joined tubes that comprised the gun barrel. The gun mounting is a later version, indicating the barrel was replaced at some point with an earlier version, or this vehicle was built just as the factory was transitioning to the late model Jagdpanther


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Generalmajor Erhard Raus with his Staff Officers

Generalmajor (last rank Generaloberst) Erhard Raus, former commander of the 6. Schützen-Brigade (Rifle Brigade), commanded 6. Panzer-Division from November 1941 to February 1943. He went on to command 4. Panzerarmee from November 1943 to May 1944. His last rank was Generaloberst

Book "The 6th Panzer Division: 1937-45" by Oberst a.D. Helmut Ritgen

Major der Reserve Dr. med. dent. Franz Bäke Wearing Black Panzer Uniform

Major der Reserve (last rank Generalmajor) Dr. med. dent. Franz Bäke (28 February 1898 - 12 December 1978), Kommandeur II.Abteilung / Panzer-Regiment 11 / 6.Panzer-Division. This very gallant and distinguished officer, photographed here in 1943, wears the black, pink-piped field uniform of the tank arm; the Knight's Cross with Oakleaves is worn at the throat - he was later awarded the Swords. On the left breast are the Iron Cross 1st Class; the Gold Wound Badge, signifying at least five wounds in action; and the Tank Battle Badge. In his buttonhole ar the Winter 1941-42 Medal ribbon and the ribbon of the 1914-18 Iron Cross 2nd Class bearing the silver eagle 'bar' for a subsequent Second World War award. Most striking of all, on his right sleeve are no less than three awards of the Tank Destruction Badge, for single-handed destruction of enemy AFVs with hand-held weapons at the Battle of Kursk

Book "The 6th Panzer Division: 1937-45" by Oberst a.D. Helmut Ritgen

Oberst Richard Koll in his Panzerbefehlswagen III 'RO6'

October 1941: Oberst Richard Koll (7 April 1897 - 13 May 1963), commanding officer of Panzer-Regiment 11 / 6.Panzer-Division, and at that period the combined tank strength of both 6. and 7. Panzer-Division, in a confident pose in the cupola of his Panzerbefehlswagen III 'RO6' - note detail of frame aerial. At the right is the CO's signals officer (Nachrichtenoffizier), wearing earphones (kopfhörer). A pole aerial rises behind the Gefreiter standing at the left

Book "The 6th Panzer Division: 1937-45" by Oberst a.D. Helmut Ritgen

Monday, November 25, 2013

Jagdpanther Tank Destroyer at Aberdeen Ordinance Museum

A Panzerjäger (tank destroyer) V Jagdpanther Sd.Kfz.173 at United States Army Ordinance Museum in Aberdeen, Maryland after World War II. This Jagdpanther, hull number 303018, was a late model manufactured by Maschinenfabrik-Niedersachsen-Hannover (MNH) in late November or early December 1944


Hummel at the United States Army Ordnance Museum

Panzerfeldhaubitze (Armored Field Howitzer) 18M auf Geschützwagen (Self-Propelled Artillery) III/IV (Sf) "Hummel" (Bumble Bee) Sd.Kfz.165 at the United States Army Ordnance Museum after World War II. This Hummel was one of 118 sent to France to oppose the Normandy landings. Note the armor plate covering the side exhaust grilles and the added forward armored compartment for the driver and radio operator; this indicates a late model Hummel from late 1944


Captured Panzerjäger Ferdinand Elephant at Aberdeen

Captured Panzerjäger (tank destroyer) Tiger (P) - Ferdinand Elephant (SdKfz 184) also known as Tiger-Sturmgeschütz mit 8.8cm PaK 43/2 seen postwar at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland. Note the open hatch, which let water into the vehicle. 


Mustang being Serviced

North American NA-91 Mustang fighters being serviced at North American Aviation at Inglewood, California (USA), in October 1942

Library of Congress LC-USW361-495

Oberst Alexander von Grundherr

Oberst Dr. Ing. Alexander von Grundherr zu Altenthan und Weyerhaus (1896-1973), Kommandeur Panzer-Artillerie-Regiment 76 / 6.Panzer-Division and recipient of the Deutsches Kreuz in Gold (11 February 1943), photographed in his heavily camouflaged command APC - note large frame aerial!

"The 6th Panzer Division: 1937-45" by Oberst a.D. Helmut Ritgen

Thursday, November 21, 2013

M3 Medium Tanks at Fort Knox

M3 medium tanks on maneuvers at Fort Knox, Kentucky. It's likely these tanks were part of the 8th Armored Division. From June 1942 to January 1943, the Division conducted training of 10,833 cadre personnel for the 9th to 14th Armored Divisions at Fort Knox

Library of Congress LC-USW361-188

RAF 15 Squadron Short Stirlings in Flight

Royal Air Force Short Stirlings of 15 Squadron Conversion Flight, 1651 Conversion Unit, in flight. Note the faint squadron code "LS."


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

German POWs Captured in Normandy

American troops stand guard behind young German Heer (Army) soldiers captured near the town of Le Gast during the Normandy invasion, June 1944. Although the branch color seems to not match up (happened often), it's a high chance that these guys are from Panzergrenadier-Regiment 156, part of the 116. Panzer Division "Der Windhund"


Monday, November 4, 2013

Wing Commander Guy Gibson With His Dambuster Crew

24 year old Wing Commander Guy Penrose Gibson, Commander of 617 Squadron (Dambuster), with members of his crew. Left to right: Wing Commander Guy Gibson, VC, DSO and Bar, DFC and Bar (award for Dambusters Raid: Victoria Cross); Pilot Officer Frederick Michael Spafford, bomb aimer (award for Dambusters Raid: Distinguished Flying Cross); Flight Lieutenant Robert Edward George Hutchinson, wireless operator (award for Dambusters Raid: bar to Distinguished Flying Cross); Pilot Officer Andrew Deering (award for Dambusters Raid: Distinguished Flying Cross) and Flying Officer Torger Harlo Taerum, gunners (award for Dambusters Raid: Distinguished Flying Cross).  Wing Commander Guy Gibson, who led the Royal Air Force's 617 Squadron, was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery during the raids - but was tragically killed when his plane was shot down in September 1944, just months before the war ended


Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel

Erwin Rommel as Oberbefehlshaber Panzerarmee "Afrika", wearing his tropenuniform (tropical uniform). Behind him standing Afrikakorps officer with the background of palm trees

 Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel (1894-1944) from "Signal" Magazine, No. 17, First Edition of September 1942. He is wearing three medals (!) in his neck: Pour le mérite (received 10 December 1917 as Oberleutnant and Kommandeur of a Kampfgruppe from württembg. Gebirgs-Bataillon), Schwerter zum Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub #6 (received 20 January 1942 as Generalleutnant and Oberbefehlshaber der Panzergruppe Afrika), and Italian Military Order of Savoy (received 1941)


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Dr. Theodor Morell, Hitler's Doctor

Dr. Theodor Morell in his Leibarzt uniform. In the ribbon bar, he is wearing three "Flower" medals ribbon (Die Medaille zur Erinnerung an den 13. März 1938, Die Medaille zur Erinnering an den 1 Oktober 1938, and Die Medaille zur Erinnerung an die Heimkerhr des Memellandes 22. März 1939), something unordinary because usually there's only two of this kind allowed in the ribbon bar!


Saturday, November 2, 2013

German Armored Cars Passing Convoys of Tanks in Yugoslavia

 Unternehmen 25: An armoured column (visible are Sd.Kfz.251 and Panzer II) of the 11. Panzer-Division "Gespenster Division" (Ghost Division) passes the disabled vehicles and burning trucks of the Yugoslav 5th Army in the Serbian town of Niš, near Morava river. Four days later, after initially easy and then also heavy and exhausting battles, the division entered the Yugoslav capital. In the arrogant propaganda report about the advance of this unit, the Yugoslav Army had been referred to with great disrespect – however, in the end, a tribute was paid to the defenders of Belgrade after all: "We have to admit that they exploited the terrain remarkably and defended themselves bravely". The picture was taken in 9 April 1941 by Kriegsberichter Artur Grimm from Propaganda-Kompanie (PK) 691.


German Machine Gunner in Firing Position

German machine gunner in firing position (feuerstellung/firing position). The Machine gun is Machinengewehr 34 (MG 34). Note the unusual camo of the stahlhelm! In peacetime, the use of grass, twigs, etc. for camouflage may only be authorized by the commanding officer. Smearing the helmet with clay, soil, and so forth is forbidden. In the field (under combat conditions), all possibilities for camouflage are encouraged

Das III.Reich 43 - Kursker Schlacht