February 12, 2017

The Fight for the Polish Corridor

Polish Cavalry


The “Polish Corridor” or the “Danzig Corridor” was the strip of land that connected the free city of Danzig with Polish mainland and at the same time separated East Prussia from the rest of the German Reich.


February 9, 2017

Fall Weiss vs Plan “Z”

German soldiers remove a frontier bar
1. German soldiers remove a frontier bar at the Sopot (Zoppot) –Gdynia (Gdingen) road,
close to Danzig (Gdańsk).

“The Polish cavalry attacked heroically;
In general the bravery and heroism of the Polish Army merits great respect.
But the higher command was not equal to the demands of the situation”
Generaloberst Gerd von Rundstedt

In the early hours of September the 1st , 1939 German troops crossed the Polish border. What was their plan and how their opponents hoped to confront them?

October 7, 2016

From Leningrad to Narva Part 3: The Soviet Offensive, January 14 - 31

General Leonid Govorov, Leningrad Front CG (left). General Kirill Meretskov, Volkhov Front CG (right)
General Leonid Govorov, Leningrad Front CG (left).
General Kirill Meretskov, Volkhov Front CG (right).

Soviet Objectives

By mid-January the Soviet buildup was almost completed. The Leningrad, Volkhov and Second Baltic Fronts were ordered to:
  • end the Leningrad siege
  • cut off and destroy the German Eighteenth Army
  • reach the Narva – Pskov - Velikaya line
  • lay the foundation for retaking the Baltic States


Furthermore, the Soviet offensive in the north was an enabling operation for the destruction of Army Group Center later that year. The three Soviet Fronts fielded 822,000 troops and were facing half a million men of Army Group North. The offensive would be supported by 35,000 partisans operating behind the German lines.


September 9, 2016

From Leningrad to Narva Part 2: Fall BLAU

The Panther Line
The Panther Line.

After the failure at Kursk Hitler gave his consent to the construction of a defensive line in the east, known as the “East Wall”. The north part of the “East Wall”, the “Panther Line”, was laid behind the Narva River, Lake Peipus, and Lake Pskov. The south half of the Panther Line run to the east of Pskov and Ostrov and to the west of Nevel where it linked to Army Group Center. In essence the Panther Line was the modern day border of Estonia.


August 26, 2016

From Leningrad to Narva Part 1: Army Group North Order of Battle

SPW of Army Group North


During the two years after the first Soviet winter offensive Army Group North (Generalfeldmarschall Georg von Küchler) had occupied an almost stationary front. At the beginning of 1944 the Army Group was in positions as follows:


July 2, 2016

Abandoned Tigers

Tiger I of schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 101


A Tiger I of schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 101 at Marle on August 30, 1944. The tank had crossed the Seine River but it was abandoned by its crew. Local population takes the change to examine the fearsome monster. On August 30 the Battalion lost its last three Tiger Is. The 1st Company of the Battalion was equipped with Tiger IIs. At that date the Company possessed five tanks.


June 28, 2016

All by Himself!

Tiger I

In the spring of 1943 German panzer forces around Kharkiv are getting ready for the next offensive. The Tiger in the photo belongs to 2. SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Division “Das Reich”. The man at the front had just rammed the cleaning rod and brush assembly through the bore all by himself!


June 18, 2016

Tiger Used as a Podium

SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS Walter Krüger


After the battles around Kharkiv were over SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS Walter Krüger addresses the men of SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Division “Das Reich”. Krüger was assigned to take command of the Division on March 18, 1943 and remained the divisional commander until January 25, 1944. He committed suicide on May 22, 1945. 

June 5, 2016