Friday, October 01, 2004

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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