Battle tanks – like iron legionaries!

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PzKpfw VI what was also called Tiger I. Maybe the most frightful opponent in the WW II. very efficient canon 88 mm and thick armour make the allied tanks wish to not have to face this in front. In away very nice lines… Here more in desert painting. Maybe captured from northern Africa front by USA forces.

DSC03678Side portrait of Tiger I. Very convincing! It did not have too leaning surfaces but heavy armour made it tough. Sherman’s needed to get backside or side to even hope destroying it. There are stories that Tiger made allied gunners so jumpy that sometimes they fired Churchill tanks which had little bit same silhouette.

IMG_0019Here is maybe the best allied tank in later part of WWII – Sherman Firefly. It differs from USA versions mainly because of it’s long canon of 76,5 mm. This canon made it more seriously taken opponent also for Germans. It’s shape from side is also very nice looking. On of my favorites.

DSC03709Sherman Firefly more from front. Very convincing.

IMG_0023M26 Pershing was a new heavy tank developed by Americans just in the end of the war. It was intended to replace Sherman which did not match German heavy tanks like Tiger. It had a 90 mm canon which made it more efficient than Sherman M4A3.

DSC02217PzKpw III was one of the most used tanks of WWII. There were many versions and it was improved during war. It had a heavy role in operation Barbarossa and also in North African war. During the war it was little by litte replaced by version IV. PzKpf III had a canon from 35 mm all the way to 75 mm (Ausf. A-N).

DSC03666From here it all started. Early Panzerkampfwagen – PzKpfw II – with canon of 20 mm KwK30 L/55. It was not too efficient but probably gave some ideas to develop tank army for Germans. Probably was used mainly for reconnoiter purposes.

DSC03754Another version of PzKpf II with different camouflage.

DSC03700Very familiar allied tank Matilda II from early years. It did not have too big canon (40 mm) but was a reliable war horse. Familiar especially from North African front.

DSC03694USA help for English war efforts. M3 Grant tank was kind of first tank that USA made for war. It had metal stables which was not a good idea. But it’s 75 mm canon was rather efficient.

DSC03665British Cruiser tank mark I with 40 mm canon. It was a start for British tank army and made before war.

DSC03717For my eyes Churchill tank has a peculiar appearance. It seem to have too high track part on sides. It had a 57 mm canon and was not too efficient against German tanks.

DSC03732Centurion tanks was also war effort from just in the end of the war. It did not have too much work left but saw daylight in the end of WWII. It had even 105 mm canon and was made to defeat heavy German tanks like Tiger I.

DSC03760M254 Chaffee was a light USA tank with 75 mm canon. It was much used and very handy. One of my favorites.

DSC03749Crosscut of Centurion tank. It is easy to notice that there are not too much room inside tank with all those equipments.

DSC03802Valentine mark II had not too big role in WWII but was used in early years.

DSC03780M1A3 Sturat V was a light tank used in the early period of WWII. It was not efficient and was used thus to support infantry.

DSC03792Crusader tank which was used especially in Northern Africa front. Not too efficient but still helping foot soldiers.

DSC03849Cruiser mark V was a light tank used also in Nort Africa.

DSC03888Now this is something different! A real monster! Jagdtiger represented kind of miracle tank suppoused to turn war luck for Germans. Well it didn’t. But it’s huge gun barrel is even 128 mm and it was built on chassis of King Tiger (Tiger II). One can see drawbacks right away – it was heavy. Too heavy!

DSC02292Hetzer was a light tank destroyer, who actually performed well in war. It was built on chassis of Czechoslovakian T38 tank, which Germans did got
when they took country before war. It had only light armour but was easy to use and it could move long distances.

DSC02275Here is the king – King Tiger. Or König Tiger. It had a code name Tiger II and was probably the most efficient tank in actual war. It could destroy nearly any tank from distance over 1000 m. It had a very thick armour and could only be penetrated from sides or back. As with Jagdtiger the problem with King Tiger was i’s weight. It was too heavy to be used efficiently and also too expensive. If you look carefully the root of gun barrel, you notice that this was Porsche turret production and produced only small numbers.

DSC02298This King Tiger looks perfect like just starting to travel to Ardennes. It has zimmerit covering and probably meant to Eastern front. This model was the Henschel production, which was the type chosen for big scale production. This can be seen again from different round gun barrel root shape. Perfect tank in Bovington.

DSC02297Maybe this Königtiger needs to be seen also in front.

DSC02281One of the most feared German tank destroyer – Jagdpanther. It had again the excellent 88 mm gun and it’s shoot was killing for long distance. It was much lighter and cheaper than Tigers which made it easier to produce in big numbers. It was built on Panther chassis which Americans hold the best German tank.

IMG_0013Pather V tank. This was the model produced maybe most in latter part of war. It had a long gun barrel of 75 mm and proved to be very efficient in long firing distances. It was much more efficient than Shermans. It designing work started when Germans confronted T34. They understood that leaning surfaces were a huge advantage. Thus Panther had a leaning front plate to make it more difficult for shells to penetrate.

DSC02335This is Panzer IV which was the most produced on German side. Since attack to France it was used to the end of the war. The first models had a short 50 mm gun but later on gun barrel turned longer and even 75 mm size – very efficient against Shermans. Panzer IV was the most important tank in North African front and did well.

DSC02312This is something different again. Somua was a tank of Japan. It is totally in different weight class than in European war. It is however understandable because in that war battles took place in islands where big weight would have been drawback in transportation. It was more war of foot soldiers.

DSC02352M10 tank destrpyer was also called “Achilles”. It was the reply of USA army for German Jagdpanzers and Jagdpanthers. Efficient 76,2 mm gun was mounted on Sherman chassis which gave good enough firepower. This mode was used till the end of the war.

DSC02344Nice chance to look inside Chaffee – a light weight tank in USA army. This model carries the name of famous tank warfare expert Adna R. Chaffee. It had a gun of 75 mm and was fast to move forward thus reaching a large action space.

DSC02380Just five months before war ended British presented a new model Comet. It had an efficient gun 77 mm HV and is outer shape showed a new becoming style. Good tank but did not had anymore a significant role in war.

DSC02364A famous tank in it’s winter look. Some ay the best tank of the war. But not for me. Anyway it was ahead of it’s time. It was far better than Panzer s with short 50 mm gun partly because it had nice sloped outfit. However it was very simple and did not had some equipment like crosshair. The shooter had to look through gun barrel. But it was fast to produce…

DSC02410Also a model produced in very large numbers – maybe most. StuG III (Sturmgeschutz) had an efficient 75 mm gun and was fast to produce. This tank was also shipped in some number to Finland in war against Russia. This model in Bovington has some stocks an both sides to prevent shel hits. It was the style Finnish used this tank destroyer.

DSC02489A famous man. Monty. General Montgomery became famous when he succeeded to defeat Erwin Rommel and his Afrika Korps in North Africa. We know of course that he was aided strongly with American war machine and they even did landing on west coast of North Africa. At time of El Alamein Monty had much more supplies than Rommel. Anyway he was a good General and never offered his men for vain. So that is a place for serious respect for him.

myttytydyddHis contemporary – Erwin Rommel. This Africa Korps jacket is said to be Rommel’s. Probably not. He was a forerunner in tanks war who invented new tactics, where tanks forwarded fast and war trying to attack flanks or backside of enemy. He was brave no doubt. Maybe sometime took too many risks. He is hold to be a honorable General who did not took unnecessary cruel actions. That is also my opinion after reading some books of him. He had to sacrifice himself to save his family after claimed to take part to assasination of Hitler. Below his death mask.

DSC08099Hummel – one of my favourites. It was used as self propelled artillery with it’s 150 mm Howitzer canon. When mounted on tracks it was very handy with fast replacement. This one is located in Germany in a small city of Munster.

DSC08102This Jagdpanzer is in very good condition. This type of tanks was built on chassis of Panzer IV and was used as “cheap” tank destroyer. Without turret tank was much cheaper to produce.

DSC08095Sturmpanzer – Brumbär – was used as a infantry support tank. Especially in cities. It was meant to help infantry to assault enemy.

DSC08045Another Jagdpanzer with a zimmerit covering. This tank has a 75 mm PaK 30 L/43 canon and it is also located in Munster.

DSC09088This is also one of the most deadliest enemy of allied forces – Jagdpanther. It was fast and with it 88 mm canon it destroyed all enemy tanks from long distance. Luckily allied had lot of aircraft with rocket missiles.

DSC08747Sturmtiger was a special tank built on the chassis of tiger tank. It had a 380 mm RW61 L/5.4 rocket launcher and was especially used to support infantry on city combats. Mainly used in two last years of war.

DSC09099Hetzer tank from Munster tank museum in Germany. Was used as an economical tank destroyer, because it had a light armor. As a tank chassis was used Czech T38 tank.

DSC09124King of the road – Königstiger alias Kingtiger. It was the heaviest and most efficient tank destroyer of German tank forces. It long 88 mm canon could destroy anything from long distance. It weak point was the weight. It was too heavy to be fluently used.

DSC09119Sturmgeschütz III (StuG III) was a much produced tank destroyer of German forces. It was also used in Finland’s army against Soviet T34. This tank had a 75 mm canon and was built on chassis of Panzer III. here excellent piece in Munster.

DSC09118One of the most produced allied tank in war – M4A1 Sherman tank. Here as USA version. It had a 76 mm Howitzer canon and was rathe fast to product and gave good support for infantry. However it was to match to German Tiger tanks.

DSC09114The Comet tank came in the end of the war to give more fire power to allies forces. It was meant to do better with Tiger tanks and it had a 77 mm canon. It was used after the war in some countries in military service.

DSC08931A nice photo of German Panzerkampfwagen IV (PzKpfw IV). One of the most produced tanks in war. It was produced nearly from beginning to the end. Here tanks has Afrikakorps color and sign.

DSC09042A closer look from maschinegun of Panzer IV.

DSC09017Here nice look of Tiger tank with zimmerit covering. It has a very nice looking painting of green-brown-and yellow. Tracks seem to be little rusty and maschinegun is missing…

DSC08944Panzerkampfwagen III (PzKpfw III) with Afrika Korps sign and painting as desert colors. This tank type was used in beginning of war as a German backbone of tank forces. It had canon with 37, 50 or 75 mm depending on version.

DSC08941A German motorcycle with transport wagon. Kind of handy…

DSC08956The uniform of German Panzer General Hans Guderian. He created very much German tank forces and was both reasonable and intelligent general. He gave his best effort for German war effort but could not change the tide.

DSC08881This crossbreed of motorcycle and track chassis must have been useful when roads are very soft and muddy.

DSC08876Sd.Kfz. 251 half-track – Sonderkraftfahrzeug 251 – was used to transport soldiers to the front and battle zones.

DSC08866Kubelwagen was used by German officer. At least Rommel was seen in it when leading Afrika Korps.

DSC08861Also this very light wagen is in Munster. This vehicle was able to swim over rivers and lakes. Handy!

DSC08836Marder III (Panzerjäger 38(t) was used as tank destroyer. It had 76,2 mm or 75 mm canon. It wass built on chassis of Czech t38.

DSC08835Here 75 mm field canon in Munster.

DSC08745Puma was an armoured car and here with 50 mm canon. Probably not too efficient against tank – but faster.

DSC08671Bofors air defence 40 mm canon.

DSC08664Rusty broken turret of first Panzer IV version. It had a short canon which was later made much more efficient against other tanks. First used in campaigns against France and Soviet Union.

DSC08541A famous logo of Afrika Korps. It is aid that all men served in Afrika Korps where still very proud to be part of that brave group of German Wehrmacht.

DSC08097Wespe (Sd.Kfz. 124) was a self-propelled gun that had 105 mm Howitzer canon. It was largely used to support infantry as an artillery. It was built on chassis of Panzer III.

DSC08962Famous German motorcycle with transport wagon – here with Afrika Koprs sand yellow colors.

DSC08349Later track vehicle of Bundeswehr.

DSC07979Hand Guderian was the real panzer general in Germany. Maschine gun ready to fire…

Tough triad below

DSC07980Adna Chaffee was a developer or armored forces in USA. Got his name on light tank Chaffee – much used in war.

DSC07981Tuchatschewski developed Russian armored forces and had his fingers in developing T34. In fact Russian tanks were better in beginning of the war than German ones. They just did not have any tactic how to use them.

DSC09063A famous Prussian honor medal. Given only for the bravest.

DSC09060German iron cross. A target for many soldiers – to be the bravest of all.