May 31, 2015

Cleaning the Barrel!

Step 1.           Make sure gun tube is clear of ammunition.

Step 2.           Open up sponson box, retrieve cleaning rod, bore brush.

Step 3.           Assemble cleaning rod.

Step 4.           … as shown in the pics!

Panzer IV

Panzer IV
Russia, June 1943.

May 30, 2015

Marder III

At the end of 1941 the German Army decided to mount the Soviet 7,6 cm anti-tank gun, which had been captured in vast quantity, on the open-topped chassis of the Panzer 38(t). The self-propelled antitank gun that emerged was designated the “Panzerjäger 38(t) für 7.62 cm PaK(r)” or the “Marder III”. In February 1943 the Marder III was improved by moving the main gun from the center of the vehicle to the rear, allowing the frontal armor plate on the hull to slope at a better angle. Furthermore the new version was fitted with the German 7.5 cm PaK 40/3 anti-tank gunAlthough the Marder III was an ad hoc effort of the German Army to deal with the newly appeared T-34 tank, and had numerous disadvantages, it served successfully until the end of the war.

1. Marder IIIs of the SS-Division “Leibstandarte”.

May 29, 2015

Tiger I vs Allied Tanks

Tiger I

The Tiger I was a fearsome adversary on the battlefield. Let’s see how it faired against principle enemy tanks. In all cases presented below the penetration ranges were determined based on the assumption that the tanks were penetrated in the turret.

May 28, 2015

Weseke, March 29, 1945

Then…

A Cromwell tank of the “Skins” with Kangaroo APCs of the 9th DLI, in front of the church of St. Ludgerus


Weseke is a district in the town of Borken, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.  Weseke was occupied by a battle group of the 7th Armoured Division, mainly composed of the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards, 9th Durham Light Infantry and “K” Battery of 3rd Royal Horse Artillery. In the above picture we see a Cromwell tank of the “Skins” with Kangaroo APCs of the 9th DLI, in front of the church of St. Ludgerus

May 27, 2015

Hamburg-Dammtor Railway Station

Then…

Tanks of 8th Hussars, 7th Armoured  Division outside Dammtor railway station in Hamburg
Cromwell and Challenger tanks of 8th Hussars, 7th Armoured
Division outside Dammtor railway station in Hamburg, 5 May 1945.

May 26, 2015

Ten Lessons in Street fighting

StuG III in Warsaw


The Warsaw Uprising took place between August 1 and October 2, 1944. After it had ended, the Inspector General of Panzer Troops, Geyr von Schweppenburg, ordered the experience gained in street fighting to be codified in a pamphlet called “Notes for Panzer Troops”. Employing the German Army training method of listing incorrect and correct procedures in parallel columns, "Notes for Panzer Troops" sets forth a number of German errors in the Warsaw fighting, and supplies official comment on the methods which should have been employed in each case.

May 23, 2015

Lafayette G. Pool

Lafayette G. Pool
Lafayette Pool was born in Texas, on July 23, 1919. He volunteered for Army service in June 1941 and after some basic training he was posted to 32nd Armored Regiment. Pool’s regiment landed in Normandy as part of the 3rd Armored Division. During the fighting in France and Belgium Pool was credited with the destruction of numerous German tanks and AFVs. On September 9, 1944, at the town of Munsterbusch, on the outskirts of Aachen Pool’s Sherman was hit and he was injured in the leg. The wound turned out to be pretty serious and Pool lost his right leg

He was medically discharged in 1946, but he was recalled into service in 1948 and stayed with the Army until 1960. In 1993, two years after his death, the M1 tank driver training facility at Ft. Knox was renamed “Pool Hall”. 

May 22, 2015

Not Big Enough!

Panzer IVs attempting to cross a wooden bridge in Belarus, near the city of Lepiel on July 4, 1941.

Panzer IVs attempting to cross a wooden bridge in Belarus


May 21, 2015

“Ghost” Division (part 1)

Rommel with his staff


The invasion of France was code-named “Fall Gelb”. According to that plan the German Army, organized into three Army Groups (A, B and C), would invade France on May 10. Army Group A would be delivered through the Ardennes and would provide the main thrust. It was composed of three Armies (the Fourth, the Twelfth and the Sixteenth) and Panzer-Group Kleist, which was to spearhead the advance. To the immediate north of Panzer-Group Kleist was XV Armeekorps (mot.) under the control of the Fourth Army, with the mission to protect Kleist’s right flank. XV Armeekorps (mot.) was commanded by Hermann Hoth and was composed of two panzer divisions (5th and 7th) and one infantry division (32nd). 

May 19, 2015

A Greyhound Hunts a Tiger

M8 Greyhound


A remarkable incident took place during the Battle of St. Vith, December 1944. An M8 Greyhound of the 87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, U.S. 7th Armored Division, was in a concealed position when a Tiger tank passed in front of it. When the heavy tank passed the Greyhound slipped out of its position and followed it, trying to get as close as possible. At some point the Tiger tank commander realized that an American armored car was behind him and began to traverse his slow moving turret. The Americans managed to close to 25 yards and fired their 37mm gun three times. The Tiger stopped, exploded and burnt. For the Greyhound it was a victory against all odds! 

May 17, 2015

Yesterday’s Enemies – Today’s Friends

Bruce C. Clarke and Hasso von Manteuffel

Bruce C. Clarke and Hasso von Manteuffel discuss their participation in the Battle of St. Vith, part of the Ardennes Offensive in 1944. The discussion took place in 1964 and was part of a U.S. Army documentary titled "The Battle at St. Vith".

May 15, 2015

“Panzer-Schulz”

Adalbert Schulz
Adalbert Schulz as an Oberstleutnant,
CO of Panzer-Regiment 25.
He is wearing a custom tailored 

tunic made from camo material.
Adelbert Schulz was born on December 20, 1903. On October 1, 1935 he became a first lieutenant in the expanded German army. Later he served as a company commander in Panzer-Regiment 25. During the French Campaign he served under Rommel and was awarded the Knight’s Cross. On June 6, 1940 he took command of the first battalion of Panzer-Regiment 25 and on March 5, 1943 he was promoted to command the Regiment.

Schulz was awarded the Diamonds to his Knight’s Cross on December 14, 1943, for the following action. 

The 7th Panzer-Division was in the Kiev area. The Division’s infantry regiments were defensively deployed while Schulz’s panzer-regiment was held in reserve. Word came that Soviet infantry was attacking. Schulz counterattacked, sending his 1st Panzer-Battalion to attack the flank of the Soviets. The counterattack was successful but sixty enemy tanks appeared. They were T-34s and KV-85s. Schulz faced the new threat with his 2nd Panzer-Battalion. The Soviet tanks were outflanked, surprised and ultimately they were all destroyed. Schulz decided to exploit the success and sent his tanks as far as the positions of the enemy artillery. While the German tanks were shooting up artillery guns and rocket batteries, the Soviets moved their armor to encircle Schulz’s Panzer-Regiment. The Germans had to fight their way back to their own lines, destroying 150 enemy tanks in the process.

May 14, 2015

White Tower, Thessaloniki, 1942

Then…

Panzer IV’s passing through Thessaloniki
Panzer IV’s passing through Thessaloniki, Greece in 1942.
The building in the background is the White Tower.

May 13, 2015

Dmitry Lavrinenko

Dmitry Lavrinenko
Lavrinenko while he was
in the Tank Academy in 1938.
Dmitry Fyodorovich Lavrinenko was born on September 10, 1914. He was trained at Ulyanovsk Tank Academy and took part in the Polish invasion in 1939. In October 1941 Lavrinenko was commanding a T-34 platoon in the 4th Tank Brigade. At the time the German army was attempting its final drive towards Moscow. In four days Lavrinenko and his crew destroyed sixteen German tanks belonging to Guderian’s Second Panzer-Army. Guderian acknowledged the superiority of the T-34 tank in his memoirs.

In November Lavrinenko with his platoon was stationed at the village of Guseinovo, close to the divisional command post. Eight German tanks managed to penetrate the outer defences and were approaching the divisional CP. Lavrinenko counterattacked and fired on the move. Seven enemy tanks were destroyed and the eighth retreated under cover. 

During the months of October, November and December Lavrinenko was credited with the destruction of fifty two enemy tanks, 40% of the total enemy tanks destroyed by the 4th Tank Brigade. But this was the end of the road for Lt. Lavrinenko. On December 18, 1941 he was killed near the village of Goryuny, while he was out of his tank. Lavrinenko was awarded the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star Medal, thus becoming Hero of the Soviet Union. 

May 12, 2015

Creighton W. Abrams, Jr.

Lieutenant Colonel C. W. Abrams

Lieutenant Colonel C. W. Abrams during the Lorraine Campaign. He was commanding the 37th Armored Battalion of the 4th Armored Division.

May 11, 2015

Xanten, March 1945

Xanten is a town in the North Rhine-Westphalia state of Germany. On March 8, 1945 Xanten was taken by Canadian troops and occupied by British. The town was bombed during the Allied preparations for the crossing of the Rhine, which took place on March 24.

43rd Wessex Division troops in the main street of Xanten
43rd Wessex Division troops in the main street of Xanten on 11 March 1945.

May 10, 2015

Michael Wittmann

Michael Wittmann
1. Studio photo of Wittmann taken shortly after he was awarded the
Oakleaf Cluster to his khight’s Cross on January 30, 1944. He was also
promoted to the rank of SS-Obersturmführer the same day.

May 9, 2015

Nebelwerfer

Sd.Kfz. 10 halftrack with Nebelwerfer 42
An Sd.Kfz. 10 halftrack with Nebelwerfer 42 (210mm) of Werfer-Regiment 51 in Russia in July 1944.

May 8, 2015

Australian 2pdr Anti-tank Gun Carrier

A 2pdr anti-tank gun mounted on a universal carrier chassis
A 2pdr anti-tank gun mounted on a universal carrier chassis.
It was used by the Australian army for training purposes.

May 7, 2015

May 6, 2015

M8 Scott

M8 Howitzer Motor Carriage
The M8 Howitzer Motor Carriage was a self-propelled gun armed with a 75mm howitzer.
A total of 1,778 vehicles were produced.

May 5, 2015

May 3, 2015

Heavy Tank M6

A request for a U.S. heavy tank was made by the Chief of Infantry. The first pilot was completed in December 1941. The M6 took its final form in May 1942. With up to 82mm of armor, 3in main gun, 37mm co-axial gun and weighing 56 tons it was the most powerful and best-armed tank in existence, at the time. But only forty were produced. The Armored Board was in favor of the cheaper, more reliable and easier to transport Sherman. 

Heavy Tank M6


May 2, 2015

A Panther in Poland

A Panther Tank in Poland
A Panther in Poland on June 21, 1944. The next day the Red Army launched 
Operation Bagration, which destroyed the German Army Group Center and brought 
the soviet armies to the outskirts of Warsaw.

May 1, 2015

Ludendorff Bridge

The Ludendorff Bridge (also known as the Bridge at Remagen) connected the town of Remagen on the west bank of the Rhine and the village of Erpel on the eastern bank. During WW II it was repeatedly bombed. On March 7, 1945 it was captured by the advancing U.S. Army, greatly assisting the Allied war effort. The German Army tried to destroy it with artillery rounds. Finally, on March 17, the bridge collapsed.

A side view of the Ludendorff Bridge
1. A side view of the Ludendorff Bridge.
The smoke is from German artillery rounds trying to destroy it.