Sunday, October 31, 2004

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Panzer - the Flakpanzer IV "Wirbelwind" was one way for the German Army to deal with the problem of Allied air superiority. Mounting four 20mm cannons in a fully revolving turret it could deliver an adequate amount of firepower against low flying ground attack planes but was also used as a ground weapon against enemy infantry. The specimen shown in the photo was destroyed during the last offensive of the German Army in WW2, operation "Frühlingwachen" (spring awakening) in Hungary march 1945. The offensive was an attempt to regain control of Hungary which had been an ally of Germany during the war but had switched to the Allies when it was invaded by the Russians in early 1945. Hungary contained the last natural oil resourses available to Germany, of course of vital importance to the war effort, but the offensive failed due to appalling weather (heavy rain and mud which caused one panzer commander to remark that he should have been given U-boats instead of tanks) To that was added an overwhelming Russian strength which effectively smashed the last reserves of the Panzerwaffe and left them burned out or bogged down without fuel on the Hungarian plains.

Babe - A relative of Salvador Dali's? look at those eyebrows!
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Friday, October 29, 2004

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Flieger - By the end of 1944 the Luftwaffe fighter command was ordered to direct all their attention to allied bombers which were not only destroying Germany's factories and infrastructure but also it's cities. With fewer and fewer experienced pilots trying to fly their planes from fewer and fewer airfields the Luftwaffe initialised a whole range of desperate projects aimed exclusively at destroying bombers. One project was the odd little plane seen in the photo- a Bachem Ba 349 "Natter" which was definitely one of the most radical designs to come out of WW2. The concept of the Natter (which means "viper") was a disposable-one-man-rocket-powered-interceptor. Build by forced labourers in small workshops hidden in forrests or underground saltmines the plane was to be placed in an upright position and then launched like a normal rocket. When it reached the bomber formations it was to launch a salvo of small air-to-air rockets from it's nose which would then hopefully hit the bombers and crash them. After the completion of the attack the natter would break in half and the part containing the pilot would eject a parachute and drop to the ground to be re-used! A few Natters were actually flown for tests but luckily for the pilots of the Luftwaffe the war ended before this innovative but extreme weapon was used operationally.
more on the Natter

Babe - Whomba.
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Thursday, October 28, 2004

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Flieger - Actually a lot of my interest in Panzers came from the highly dramatic - and inspiring- box art found on the cardboard boxes containing plastic kits. I started out building aeroplanes but later on switched to panzers because they took up less space and came in larger scales (like 1/35´th as opposed the the 1/72 standard for planes)
This splendid work, as always done with expert craftmanship by an unnamed Japanese illustrator, shows a Heinkel He 219 "Uhu" shooting down a British Avro Lancaster bomber in 1944 or 45.
Another of Germany's "war winners" the He 219 was produced in far to few numbers and too late in the war to make much difference, but it flew with an on board radar and was the first combat aircraft to use ejection seats. Despite being a large two seated plane it was in fact a night fighter designed to combat the bombers of the British Bomber Command attacking Germany's cities and industrial centres during the night (they were attacked by the Americans during the day)

Babe - Good ole' Betty Page dressed as a sort of Devil Girl - grrrrrrrr...

And some sad news: John Peel has passed away...

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Wednesday, October 27, 2004

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Panzer - The 24'th panzer division on the road to Stalingrad in september 1942.

Babe - She's an extrovert...
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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

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Panzer - The rusting wreck of an early short barelled Panzer IV some time after WWII ended. The original caption says it was destroyed on the German border late in the war. By 1945 Germany was so short of armoured vehicles that anything that could move and shoot was sent to the front, including obsolete tanks like this one which were normally used for training new personnel at tank schools. In march 1945 the German forces in the West had some 500 panzers of all types to defend Germany's heavily bombed industries in the Ruhr area. They were facing an Allied strength of over 3.000 tanks with new deliveries coming continuously from the factories in America.

Babe - You're hired!
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Monday, October 25, 2004

Sunday, October 24, 2004

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Babe - Sorry, no panzer today, but a girl with a difference "I told you smoking had side effects..."
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Friday, October 22, 2004

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Panzer - After WWII ended there was not much left of the German panzers, but a few remaining specimens, like the Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf. H in the photo, were used by Syria during their war with Israel in 1967, this was over thirty years after the first Panzer IV rolled out of the factory in Germany.

Babe - "Last night a DJ saved my life..."
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Thursday, October 21, 2004

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Panzer - From 1944 and onwards the allied armies enjoyed complete air superiority on the European battlefields which meant the German army's strongest asset - the panzers- were under constant attack from a direction where they were also at their weakest: above. One way to deal with this was to use heavy camouflage and this series of two photos show a late Sturmgeschütz III ausf. G parked in a specially constructed shelter to hide it from ground attack planes like the Russian IL2 "Sturmovik"

Babe - This photo makes me think of the Korova Milkbar in "A Clockwork Orange".
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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

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Panzer - An early Panther tank having it's tracks fitted at the MAN factories, probably in early 1943. Although tanks were highly complex and expensive pieces of technology which required a great deal of manpower and raw materials to produce, every panzer had an average life at the front of just 2-3 months before they were destroyed in the fighting.

Babe - Stylish...
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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

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Panzer - My fascination with panzers of course started when I was a boy, this photo taken in the late seventies shows a Panzer III ausf. N preserved at the Tøjhusmuseet in Copenhagen (the black field covers me, I looked pretty silly in those days...) The Pz III was in it's original colours back then but has since been "restored" and given a truly ridiculous paint scheme, the fate of many Panzers placed in museums.
This panzer also has an interesting story attached to it as it was used after the war by a team of German prisoners of war who cleared mines on the west coast of Denmark Read more

Babe - Hubba, hubba...
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Monday, October 18, 2004

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Panzer -From 1943 it became clear that it was impossible for Germany to compete with the arms production capacities of both the US, the Soviet Union and the UK combined.
Instead the German strategi was to produce better weapons by using advanced technology. The led to many pioneering projects which included the use of Infrared seachlights enabling troops to fight at night. This photo of a group of halftracks captured at a research facillity in Germany show them fitted with infrared equipment. The searchlights, called "Uhu" (owl), were also fitted to tanks and handheld weapons but it is uncertain if any af these devices were used operationally.

Babe - "Bang, a booma, booma-rang"
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Sunday, October 17, 2004

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What! STILL no Wagnerian Wheels or Defrocked Damsels??!?!
but not to worry - they will be back soon...
Instead you can marvel at a painting I've done, it's called "Naked"
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Friday, October 15, 2004

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Fuehrer - No steel today either, but instead this eerie postcard of The Dolf Man "...tomorrow belongs to us...".

Funkhelferinnen - "Germany's young women are doing their bit as Radio Operators..." One of the fatal weaknesses of the Nazi war effort was the reluctance to employ women - something the allied nations did on a massive scale. This reluctance was directly connected with the Nazi view of women as primarely responsible for raising children (for future wars)
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Thursday, October 14, 2004

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Well, no teutonic steel or scantily clad womenfolk today, Swedish television are doing a cavalcade of films by the Coen brothers and yesterday they aired Barton Fink one of my all-time favourite movies!

Ekstra: Diggin' deep into Fink
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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

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Panzer - Another postwar photo of a destroyed panzer, this time in Moravia where some local people seem to enjoy the fact that this Jagdpanzer IV(70) no longer has a war to fight.

Babe - Candy-cute I'd say...
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Tuesday, October 12, 2004

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Panzer - Panther tanks and panzergrenadiers of the Wiking SS-division conducting a small local attack somewhere in Poland in the summer of 1944. The Wiking division was one of many "foreign" divisions established by the SS to fight in Soviet Russia and contained a mixture of Dutch, Danish, Norwegian and German troops.

Babe - A woman the great Toulose-Lautrec could have painted.
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Monday, October 11, 2004

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Panzer - Another collection of burned out armour awaiting the scrapheap, this time in the summer of 1945 in Czechoslovakia.
The small European country was flooded with retreating German forces during the last weeks of the war, squeezed in between the Western Allies advancing from the West and the Red Army coming from the East. Fighting desperately to avoid capture by the Russians some German units surrendered as late as May 12'th 1945 (the official surrender was May 8'th in the West and May 9'th in the East).

Babe - Well, we all like to watch a good fight.


Friday, October 08, 2004

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Panzer - A scout unit during the invasion of Russia 1941. The swastika flag draped over the halftrack was to prevent the Germans own airplanes from bombing their panzer units which often moved so fast they could be mistaken for the enemy.

Babe - Tits and shades, this i s what this blog is all about...
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Thursday, October 07, 2004

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Panzer - Cars used by the German army as staff cars for the higher ranking officers assembled on a field somewhere in Germany after WW2. After the war vehicle dumps like this were established near the former battlefields for collecting burned out tanks and other vehicles for scrapping, must have been great for the local kids!

Babe - Nice chair.
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Wednesday, October 06, 2004

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Panzer - Allied bombings did a lot to disrupt Germany's tank production in the last two years of ww2. The production of small arms, and even fighter planes and V2 rockets could be moved to small workshops which the bombers couldn't spot, but the production pf panzers demanded heavy machinery which could not be moved that easily. In this photo, taken after the war ended, the hull of an unfinished King Tiger stands in the rubble of the Henschel factory in Kassel.

Babe - Many of these ole-tyme photos make good use of the viewers imagination which I prefer compared to today’s gynaecology lessons.
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Tuesday, October 05, 2004

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Panzer - The successor to the Tiger was the even mightier "Königstiger" (King Tiger) a formidable weapon both armament and amour wise but greatly handicapped by it's weight (68 tonnes, fully loaded) This is clearly visible in the photo taken in Czechoslovakia a few months after the war ended, the abandoned King tiger is slowly sinking into the ground simply by the force of its own weight.
The connoisseur would notice the object on the rear deck in the shape of a cylinder, this is a housing for an extra radio antenna making this King tiger one of the very rare command vehicles used by battalion commanders.

Babe - Looking at these two Troublesome Trollops I imagine hearing the soundtrack from Pulp Fiction.
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Monday, October 04, 2004

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Panzer - The Sturmtiger was one of the few alternative versions of the Tiger tank. Constructed in late 1944 only 18 were build before WW2 ended so despite it's massive appearance it didn't make much impact on the general course of the war. The idea behind this weapon was to create a vehicle capable of destroying any kind of bunker or fortification, and for this purpose the Sturmtiger was fitted with a 380 mm rocket-mortar launching a shell weighing more than 350 kilograms. This piece was originally made for the German navy to combat enemy submarines and enabled the Sturmtiger to destroy its targets with just a single shot. One report stated a Sturmtiger managed to knock out no less than three American Sherman tanks hiding in a German village by just firing once. Most Sturmtigers never got as far as that, since the vehicle used large amounts of fuel desperately needed for less specialised vehicles and many were found abandoned in the closing weeks of WW2.

Babe - A delightful derriere on this Shady Sadie.
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Saturday, October 02, 2004

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Panzer - A Panzer 38(t) during the invasion of France in 1940. This tank was originally build by the Czechs but when Germany occupied Czechoslovakia in 1938, large quantities was captured and incorporated into the German Panzerwaffe. It's design was in fact so brilliant that the Germans produced a whole range of vehicles based on it, including several self-propelled guns and the successful Hetzer tank-destroyer.

Babe - One thing I like about these old photos are the stylish poses some of the ladies strike.
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Friday, October 01, 2004

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Panzer - Sergeant Bellof of Heavy tank battalion no. 509 poses in front of his Tiger I parked on a snowy Russian field in the winter of 1944.The legendary Tigers were assigned to independent battalions which were usually placed directly under the command of an army or corps which used them as "fire brigades" along the frontlines. If the enemy broke through the lines the Tigers were moved to that area to try and break off the attack. If you served in a Tiger battalion you had the benefit of belonging to the elite of the German armoured forces, fighting in one of the strongest tanks on the battlefield of WW II, but you would also be committed almost continuously to some desperate and risky battles which meant your chances of getting yourself killed were also higher.
The German soldiers actually had a saying when faced with a particularly dangerous task: "Holz kreutz oder eisernes kreutz" - "Wooden cross or iron cross" meaning that either you died in the battle and got a wooden cross over your grave, or you somehow survived only because you fought so bravely you got the Iron Cross (a medal for bravery in the shape of a cross)

Babe - Nice hair.
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