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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