Thursday, February 26, 2015

The German Gunners Load Ammunition in the ACS StuG III

The Heeres-Sturmartillerie crew Replenished their 75mm shells ammunition to their Sturmgeschütz III (StuG III) from a parked Sd.Kfz. 252 leichte Gepanzerte Munitionskraftwagen. Presumably Italian Front in 1943. The Sd. Kfz. 252 was based on the Sd.Kfz. 250 half-track and used the same chassis. Initially built by the Demag and Wegmann firms from June through to December 1940, production shifted to Deutsche Werke from January to September 1941. 413 vehicles were manufactured, all of which were issued as ammunition resupply vehicles to Sturmartillerie batteries and saw operation on both European fronts. This picture itself gives a good comparison between the dull grey paint as used on many German AFV's, and the field-grey uniforms which had a tinge of green


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Hermann Göring at Nuremberg Trial

 Former German Reichsmarschall and Commander of the Luftwaffe Hermann Göring - a.k.a. "The Bad Nazi" - during cross examination at his trial for war crimes in Room 600 at the Palace of Justice during the International Military Tribunal (IMT), Nuremberg, Germany, 15 March 1946. Starting from 13 March 1946 (day 80 of the IMT), the defendant Hermann Göring is given vast latitude by the Tribunal to tell his life story. He will be at it for the next few days. No other defendant will be given so much uninterrupted time. From the letters of Thomas Dodd: "...I was in court all day and Göring continued on and he gets bolder and more doctrinaire with each hour. He is a supreme egoist and a consummate liar but a charming rascal. He is also a forceful talker and he knows how to tell a story. The other defendants are taking courage from him now but if (Robert) Jackson - chief United States prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials - does the proper job on cross(-examination) they will soon get over this new found confidence...". Photo by Raymond d'Addario of 3264th Signal Photo Service Company, US Army


Hermann Göring and Luftwaffe Generals at Gross-Born

From left to right: unidentified Luftwaffe general, Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring (Oberbefehlshaber der Luftwaffe), General der Flieger Gustav Kastner-Kirdorf (Chef des Luftwaffen-Personalamt), and General der Fallschirmtruppe Kurt Student (Kommandierender General der Fallschirmjäger). The picture was taken in May 1942 when Göring visited the Truppenübungsplatz (Training Area) Gross-Born in Pomerania and inspected 2,000 Luftwaffe officers and NCOs for the event of "Kriegsalltag im Deutschen Reich"


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Hermann Göring with His Luftwaffe Generals at Carinhall

From left to right: Generaloberst Alfred Keller (Chef Luftflotte 1 und Luftwaffenbefehlshaber Mitte), Generaloberst Hans Jeschonnek (Chef des Generalstabes der Luftwaffe), Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring (Oberbefehlshaber der Luftwaffe), Generaloberst Alexander Löhr (Chef Luftflotte 4), and Generalfeldmarschall Albert Kesselring (blocked by Löhr, Chef Luftflotte 2). The picture was taken by Kriegsberichter Eitel Lange in the terrace of Göring's country residence of Carinhall (north-east of Berlin), 6 July 1941. In the background we can see a beautiful lake named Großdöllner See and Schorfheide forest.


Hermann Göring Wearing White Summer Uniform

In this photograph (by Eitel Lange) of Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring (Oberbefehlshaber der Luftwaffe) taken in the terrace of his country residence of Carinhall (north-east of Berlin) in 6 July 1941, he wears just his 1939 spange zum 1914 Eisernes Kreuz I klasse (Combined 1st Class 1914 Iron Cross and 1939 Bar) and his Großkreuz (Grand Cross). In this picture he also wear a Weißer Dienstrock, white summer uniform, while in the background we can see Großdöllner See lake. In his trial after the war, Göring once said: "We don't have much to say about our fate. The forces of history and politics and economics are just to big to steer." (3 September 1946). Göring committed suicide on the day before his scheduled hanging by taking a cyanide pill that was smuggled into his cell. He wrote in his suicide note: "I would have no objection to getting shot," but he thought hanging was inappropriate for a man of his position.


Monday, February 23, 2015

Albert Kesselring and Maxwell Taylor at Berchtesgaden

The day after his official surrender, German Generalfeldmarschall Albert Kesselring (center, Oberbefehlshaber Heeresgruppe Süd) poses with American Major General Maxwell D. Taylor (right, Commander of 101st Airborne Division) and Brigadier General Gerald J. Higgins (left, Assistant Commander 101st Airborne Division) at Berchtesgaden, Germany, May 10, 1945. Kesselring surrendered to an American major at Saalfelden, near Salzburg, in Austria on 9 May 1945. He was taken to see Major General Taylor, who treated him courteously, allowing him to keep his weapons and field marshal's baton, and to visit the Eastern Front headquarters of Heeresgruppe Mitte and Süd at Zeltweg and Graz unescorted! Taylor then arranged for Kesselring and his staff to move into a hotel at Berchtesgaden. Photographs of Taylor and Kesselring drinking tea together created a stir in the United States. Kesselring met with Lieutenant General Jacob L. Devers, commander of the Sixth United States Army Group, and gave interviews to Allied newspaper reporters


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Wehrmacht Kriegspfarrer and Oberschütze in Norway

Wehrmacht Kriegspfarrer (left) and Oberschütze in Norway. Kriegspfarrer (War Priests or Chaplains) served on the general staff of Armeegruppen, Armee, Korps, and Divisionen withinin the Personnel Group or Adjutantur staff position. While some high ranking Nazi party officials were very religious, it is a well-known fact that most were not and many were rabidly anti-Christian. Nonetheless, it was decided that an immediate banning of Christianity would be too risky. The Nazi party decided that the best strategy was to slowly chip away at the influence of the churches in the daily lives of Germans. It is for this pragmatic reason - as well as due to the military tradition of chaplains in the Wehrmacht - that chaplains were allowed to remain. Since the Luftwaffe and the Waffen-SS were newer branches of the Wehrmacht that did not have any long-standing traditions and were also more strongly controlled by the Nazi Party, it was probably felt that it would be relatively safe to not have appointed chaplains for these two branches. Nonetheless, there is photographic and anecdoatal evidence that priests serving in the Luftwaffe and Waffen-SS in a combatant role were allowed to serve in the capacity of a chaplain as a sideline to their official duties.

Tore Eggan collection

Monday, February 2, 2015

US Navy Douglas SBD Dauntless during Palau Air Raid Attack

Close-up, in-flight view of a US Navy Douglas SBD Dauntless "35" piloted by Lieutenant Commander George Thomas Glacken (left) with his gunner Leo Boulanger, near New Guinea, during Palau air raid attack, 30 March 1944. Photo by LIFE photographer J.R. Eyerman. Glacken (18 December 1916 - 4 May 1990) would received the Navy Cross in 8 July 1944 for "extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Dive Bomber in Bombing Squadron SIXTEEN (VB-16), attached to the U.S.S. LEXINGTON (CV-16), in action against enemy Japanese forces in the First Battle of the Philippine Sea, on 20 June 1944. Participating in a long-range attack on major units of the Japanese Fleet, Lieutenant Glacken skillfully maneuvered his plane to evade determined fighter opposition and intense enemy anti-aircraft fire in the ensuing action and assisted essentially in the sinking of a large enemy aircraft carrier, in the probable sinking of another large carrier and in shooting down two enemy fighter planes. Upon fulfillment of the critical mission, Lieutenant Glacken succeeded in completing the long return flight to base and in effecting a safe night landing aboard the LEXINGTON. His cool courage, skilled airmanship and devotion to duty throughout this decisive action reflect the highest credit upon Lieutenant Glacken and the United States Naval Service."


Max Buchholz in Front of Bf 109 Fighter Aircraft

Luftwaffe ace Oberfeldwebel Max Buchholz from 1.Staffel / I.Gruppe / Jagdgeschwader 3 (JG 3) in front of a Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-5 in France, 1940. On 17 May 1940, he claimed four RAF Blenheim twin-engine bombers and two French Curtiss fighters shot down as his first victories! During September 1940, Buchholz shot down three RAF fighters in the aerial battles over Britain. On 15 September, Buchholz was shot down over the Channel. He had participated as one of nine aircraft tasked with escorting He 111 twin-engine bombers to London. However, RAF Spitfire fighters intercepted the formation en-route. In the ensuing aerial combat, Buchholz’s Bf 109 E-1 (W.Nr. 1563) was hit in the radiators and forced him to come down in the Channel. Fortunately, a colleague was able to guide an air-sea rescue aircraft, which was flying nearby, to the scene to rescue Buchholz. By the conclusion of the Battle of Britain, Buchholz’s victory total stood at nine. In the end of the war, Max Buchholz was credited with 28 victories, although other sources indicate his score could be as high as 30. He recorded 18 victories over the Eastern Front