Wednesday, June 17, 2015

German Tank Crews Loaded Shells in their PzKpfw III tank

German tank crews from Panzer-Regiment 15 / 11.Panzer-Division loaded 5cm L60 (KwK39) shells in their Panzerkampfwagen III tank. Presumably on the way to Moscow, autumn 1941. For Operation Barbarossa, the 11. Panzer-Division initially started as part of XLVIII.Panzerkorps / Panzergruppe 1 / Heeresgruppe Süds. It took part in the encirclement of Kiev, and then participated in Operation Typhoon, the attempted encirclement of Moscow. At that time, the division (led by Generalleutnant Walter Scheller) were part of XXXXVI.Panzerkorps / Panzergruppe 4 / Heeresgruppe Mitte

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A Flock of US Navy Douglas SBD Dauntless Dive Bombers Over the Pacific Ocean

A flock of US Navy Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bombers over the Midway Atoll during 1943. Serving primarily on the carriers Yorktown, Hornet, and Enterprise. They saw action in the Battle of Coral Sea, Battle of Midway (sinking 4 Japanese carriers) and worked side by side with TBD Devastator torpedo aircraft among many decisive battles

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Monday, June 15, 2015

SS Hitlerjugend Officers Conferred at Ardenne Abbey

At the building of l'Abbaye d'Ardenne (Ardenne Abbey), regimental command post of the SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 25 / 12.SS-Panzer-Division "Hitlerjugend" in Caen, Normandy, late June 1944. On the left wearing Italian Telo Mimetico M29 camo is the regimental commander SS-Obersturmbannführer Heinz Milius, who was to report the recent battle situation to SS-Sturmbannführer Hubert Meyer (Ia Erster Generalstabsoffizier of 12. SS-Panzer-Division "Hitlerjugend", Chief of staff). On the right wearing Demjanskschild is SS-Obersturmführer Bernhard-Georg Meitzel (Ib Quartiermeister of 12. SS-Panzer-Division "Hitlerjugend", Supply Officer in the Division staff), while the NCO behind Meyer is SS-Oberscharführer Herbert Reinecker (1914-2007), who served as an SS-Kriegsberichter. He started writing for nazi magazines in 1935 and was a writer for "Das Schwarze Korps" during the war years. He became a famous crime writer for TV series in Germany after the war, and never made a secret about his Waffen-SS membership though. This picture was taken by SS-Kriegsberichter Wilfried Woscidlo

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A Young Grenadier from Hitlerjugend Division in Normandy

 This picture was taken in Normandy front (France) in June 1944 by SS-Kriegsberichter Wilfried Woscidlo and showing a young Grenadier from 12. SS-Panzer-Division "Hitlerjugend" wearing camouflaged cloth and headgear. The division fought superbly throughout the Normandy campaign, its performance a testimony to the training it had received, its leaders and the calibre of its individual recruits. However, its fighting qualities were to no avail in the face of the Allies so-called ‘materialschlacht’, their overwhelming strength in tanks, aircraft, motorised infantry and artillery.

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Hitler Reviewing the German Victory Parade in Warsaw

With the fighting in central Poland winding down, Hitler presided over an 8. Armee victory parade in Warsaw, the recently captured enemy capital, on 5 October 1939. Although PzKpfw I Ausf.B, such as these, were ill-suited for direct combat, necessity often dictated otherwise; including the fight for Warsaw. Soon to gain fame commanding 7. Panzer-Division in the West, Generalmajor Erwin Rommel – a distant cousin of Lódź Army’s commander, Major General Juliusz Rómmel – stands with other high ranking officers below Hitler as head of the Führerbegleithauptquartier (Führer Escort Headquarters), having provided security for the event, while at the podium we can see, from left to right: Generaloberst Walther von Brauchitsch (Oberbefehlshaber des Heeres), Hitler, General der Kavallerie Maximilian Reichsfreiherr von Weichs (Kommandierender General XIII. Armeekorps), Generaloberst Walther von Reichenau (Oberbefehlshaber 10. Armee), and General der Flieger Alexander Löhr (Chef Luftflotte 4). Generaloberst Johannes Blaskowitz (Oberbefehlshaber 2. Armee) and General der Flieger Albert Kesselring (Chef Luftflotte 1) were blocked by the back of panzer commander at right. The picture was taken by Hugo Jaeger, one of Hitler's personal photographer

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Book "Panzer II vs 7TP - Poland 1939" by David R Higgins

Sunday, June 14, 2015

A Grenadier from Hitlerjugend SS Division Smoking in Normandy

A Grenadier from 12. SS-Panzer-Division "Hitlerjugend" lit a cigarette during a pause in the battle. The picture was taken in Normandy front (France) in June 1944 by SS-Kriegsberichter Wilfried Woscidlo. Described as a "Crack Babies" division, the Hitlerjugend was unique because the majority of its junior enlisted men were drawn from members of the Hitler Youth born in 1926, while the senior NCOs and officers were generally veterans of the Eastern Front. The division, with 20,540 personnel, first saw action on June 7, 1944 as part of the German defense of the Caen area during the Normandy campaign. The battle for Normandy took its toll on the division and it came out of the Falaise pocket with a divisional strength of 12,500 men. The division has been criticized for performing inadequately in the opening days of the Normandy campaign. Following the invasion battles, the division was sent to Germany for refitting. On 16 December 1944, it was committed against the US Army in the Battle of the Bulge. After the failure of the Ardennes offensive the division was sent east to fight the Red Army near Budapest. The 12th SS Division eventually withdrew into Austria; on 8 May 1945, the surviving 10,000 men surrendered to the US Army at Enns.The reputation of Hitlerjugend has been affected by war crimes committed by members of the division during the early battles in Normandy.

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Monday, June 8, 2015

Werner Baumbach as a Flight Guest in the Cockpit of Heinkel He 111

Bomber ace Major Werner Baumbach (left, Gruppenkommandeur III.Gruppe / Kampfgeschwader 30 "Adler") as a "Fluggast" inside the cockpit of a Heinkel He 111. In the pilot seat at right is Leutnant der Reserve Herbert Kuntz (Flugzeugführer in 3.Staffel / I.Gruppe / Kampfgeschwader 100 "Wiking"). This picture was taken by Michael Sobotta in 1942. During World War II, Baumbach was Germany's leading bomber pilot. He flew the Junkers Ju 88 two-engine bomber on a number of fronts. He also got pulled out of combat in the middle of the war to help develop the "Mistel", an unmanned bomber. Shortly before the end of the war, he got put in charge of a secret, SS-run squadron known as KG200, which he reorganized into a special escape squadron to fly high-level Nazis out of Germany to safe havens abroad. They used any available aircraft, including captured B-17s, to do this!

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SS Officers Playing Guitar and Singing during the Battle of Normandy

During a break in the fighting, SS-Untersturmführer Franz-Josef "Franzl" Kneipp (Signal officer of III.Bataillon / SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 25 / 12.SS-Panzer-Division "Hitlerjugend") plays his guitar in the trenches with the battalion adjutant, SS-Untersturmführer Kurt Bergmann, and just out of sight to the left is Battalion Commander SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer Karl-Heinz Milius.  Kneipp is wearing a Waffen-SS Plane Tree pattern tunic (Platanenmuster), while Bergmann is wearing a Splinter Pattern tunic (Splittertarn). This color photo was taken near Buron in Normandy (France), June 1944, and are originally produced by Wilfried Woscidlo, a Kriegsberichter attached to the "HJ" Division. Bergmann would be MIA (Missing in action) on 8 July 1944, while Kneipp survived the war

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