Thursday, February 24, 2005

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Panzer - To round off this little series on the Sturmgeschütz a picture of the most famous "StuG-ace", sergeant Hugo Primozic who destroyed 24 Russian tanks in the battles around Rhzev in september 1942.
In the photo he is shown painting the popular "kill rings" around the gun tube of his StuG to illustrate the number of destroyed enemy tanks.

At this point in the war the Wehrmacht had few weapons capable of stopping the Russian T-34 and KV tanks, and to score a successfull "kill" you had to attack the enemy tank from very short distances which took a great deal of skill and courage.

For his actions, which involved fighting a whole brigade of Russian tanks while surrounded and only having three StuG's under his command, Primozic was awarded Das Ritterkreutz and later won the oakleaves for additional acts of bravery.

An ethnic German from Jugoslavia he settled in West Germany after the war.

More on Hugo Primozic

Babe - A sixties radio station investigating into the publicity value of cute girls
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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

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Panzer - A look inside a Sturmgeschütz III showing the cramped working conditions of the commander (left) and gunner (right)
Pipe-smoking was popular, especially amongst the more seasoned soldiers of the Wehrmacht since it was more economical than the hard to get luxury of cigarettes.

Babe - Spotlights for Playeboy™ model Terry Ryan in 1954
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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

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Panzer - The crew of a Sturmgeschütz III Ausf. G (assault gun) pose for a photograph in late 1944 or early 1945, possibly in Kurland, East-Prussia.

StuG's were operated by four men (the fourth is probably the one taking the photo)
-commander/target picker,
-gunner,
-loader/radio operator,
-driver.

These both useful and cost-efficient vehicles (manufactured at 1/3 of the prize of a Tiger II) were designed to follow the advancing infantry and destroy enemy bunkers, pilboxes, and anti-tank guns, unlike the Panzers which were supposed to be leading the attack way ahead of the infantry units.

By the time this picture was taken Sturmgeschütze were mainly acting in the anti-tank role, battling the seemingly endless flow of Russian T-34 and American Sherman tanks attacking Germany.
The 9,500 StuG's produced during WWII were responsible for destroying more than 20,000 enemy tanks which amounts to a "kill ratio" of more than 2:1

Babe - "Pull up to the bumper, baybee..."
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Sunday, February 20, 2005

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For some reason I've always liked this facade in Nørrebro, Copenhagen.
It has some kind of David Lynch feeling to it, missa thinks.

But you, dear reader, might feel different.
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Friday, February 18, 2005

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Panzer - To round off this brief look at some of the personalities who manned the Panzers, I've posted this carefully posed studio photo of Captain Karl Frölich who won the Ritterkreutz (the black cross at his throat) in 1943 as a lieutenant in Panzer Abteilung 18

This was what a WWII German war hero was supposed to look like, as opposed to the more laid back appearance of Kurt Knispel posted a few days ago.

The decoration with the large swastika on Frölich's breast does not indicate he was a member of the Nazi party, it is Das Deutsches Kreutz im Gold (The German Cross in Gold) Germany's second highest award for bravery.

When the Nazi party took control of Germany the symbol of the swastika was broadly incorporated into daily life and was seen on both the national flag, official awards, toys and tablecloths, even pastries.

After WWII, decorations with swastikas on them were forbidden to be worn in public, but in 1957 special new versions were made without the Nazi symbol which could be worn by war veterans who still wanted to display their awards, many of whom now served in the Bundeswehr of West Germany.

Playemate™ - Well, last day of Playemate Week™ in other words - the end...
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Thursday, February 17, 2005

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No hard steel today, instead we go...soft...

Danish television has this program called "Do you remember" with old televison material.
Yesterday it was all about the year 1970 and it showed a wealthy woman who had three teenage sons with long hair and velvet pants who lived in the basement of their big house in Gentofte, north of Copenhagen.

Here they spent most of their time sitting on carpets on the floor playing their acoustic guitars or the flute.
Their sweet old mum let them do it because "I might not agree with the way they look and things, but we have so many nice things to do together"

A combination of benevolence and wealth,

Those were different times.

Playemate™
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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

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Panzer - Well, mostly we deal with the equipment here at the Panzer postings but this time it's a picture of the highest scoring "panzer ace" of WW II (or any mechanized war for that matter) Kurt Knispel who served with SchwPzAbt 503 and destroyed no less than 168 enemy tanks.

Unlike the other panzer aces like Otto Carius, Ernst Barkmann and Michael Witmann, who all destroyed fewer tanks than Knispel, he was never awarded Germanys highest award das Ritterkreutz. He did receive The German Cross in Gold, and after his 101'st tank kill he was mentioned in the Wehrmacht dispatch, the only non-commissioned officer to receive this honour in WWII.

Judging from the photo and accounts from veterans who knew him he was known as a bit of a "wild one" who did not always behave in a "soldierly manner" and perhaps this excluded him from the honors he deserved. Another explanation could be that he never performed any spectacular acts of bravery but merely destroyed enemy tanks at a steady pace.

Unfortunately Kurt Knispel did not survive into peacetime but was mortally wounded and died after fighting near Strondorf in northern Austria on April 29'th 1945, only a few days before the war ended.

Playemate™ - Nice bangs.
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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

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I remember an experience I had many years ago at the Roskilde Festival of music.

This was sometime in the late eighties and I was sitting on the ground outside what was known back then as "the green tent" which was the festival's venue for "alternative rock" - here you could hear the music of Sonic Youth (great), The Jesus and Mary Chain (sucked) etc.

I was sitting there recovering from an LSD trip when I saw an interesting character walk by: A man known to the public only by the name of "Carlo".
He was the president of the Danish Hells Angels and here he was walking slowly by with his "lady" on his arm, strutting his carefully sculpted muscles and clad in fashionable black denim and Ray-Ban's.

His head was continously panning from left to right, monitoring the area and his minimal black leather west did all it had to do: display the infamous logo of The Hell Angels Motor Cycle Association

Step aside people, here comes the power of death and destruction,

I had a vision...
Here I was in this counter-cultural version of Coney Island that had all you could ask for: Burgers, babes, music, drugs and beer... You didn't have to take a shower for four whole days and the minute you woke up somebody stuffed a joint in your mouth or put a bottle in your hand - fantastic!

But in my vision I saw The Truth...It was all a big scam! In fact we were like defenseless animals in a reservation! And now I saw the ruling Lord of Darkness patrolling his territory, just to make sure everybody stayed in line and knew who their master was.

After all, bikers controlled the drug trade which formed the core of the whole culture. It supplied "inspiration" to the artists, kept the money flowing in and out, and sustained the culture's need be in opposition to the mainstream (by doing something that was both fun and illegal at the same time)

Was this any way different from the feudal societies of the middle ages, controlled by knights and warlords who owned the land people made a living from?

All bow to the powers that be: Wealth and brutality.

Freedom? - thanks for playing.

(but don't forget: it's Playemate Week™)
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Sunday, February 13, 2005

Friday, February 11, 2005

Thursday, February 10, 2005

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Panzer - A Tiger II being examined by American GI's somewhere in western Germany in 1945.

Many allied soldiers had their picture taken in front of a Tiger II, the sheer size of this 68 ton vehicle must have been very intimidating to the young recruit landing in Europe. Posing with your best pal in front of a destroyed one was a nice message to send home: "look mom, I'm alive, can you believe it!"

Babe - Get in gear.
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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

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Well, as most people expected the Danish Prime minister and his government was re-elected, although his party "The Left" lost a few mandates ("The Left"has NOTHING to do with being left-wing, you can call this party "the conservative landowners, libertarian loonies and yuppies-party")

The Conservative Party snatched up a few more votes (they have the former TV journalist Connie Hedegaard which young conservatives consider "a hottie" because most other women in the conservative party are either over eighty, lesbian, or look like Rumanian trannies)

The chairman of the Social Democrats (who did very badly) announced that he would now leave his chairmanship.
This party has a big problem renewing itself, sacking their former chairman Poul Nyrup who represented a more social-liberal approach which might go down well with the neo-conservative climate in Denmark didn't exactly help...

The village idiots of The Danish People's Party won 2% more votes than last time - hello folkdancing...

The big winner of this election was the Radical Left (I don't know how to explain this to non-Danish readers but this party is not made up of bomb-throwing people wearing parkas and balaclavas - they resemble the British Liberals the most)

They gained 9 more mandates and a lot of young people voted for them because they have a women as chairman and a more soft approach to immigration and the environment,

Also they are not some of those boring old socialists like the young voters own parents and highschoolteachers (actually the leader of the Radical Left Marianne Jelved used to be a schoolteacher - at the school I went to!)

The Official Danish Revolutionaries of The Unity List also gained two more mandates than last time (they have the motorcycle-riding, streatwear-digging young candidate Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil whom young left-wingers would consider "a hottie" because all the other women on the left-wing are either saggy-breasted hippies, lesbians, or men)

Babe - "Ba-ba-uhm-a-ma-mah"
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Tuesday, February 08, 2005

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Yes, today's election day in Danemark and here are some highlights:

Louise Frevert of The Danish People's Party (right-wing populists and closet-Nazis)
- this proud member of the modern welfare state wants to make folk dancing compulsory in Danish schools...

Why is it that right-wing movements coming from the grass roots in Denmark always have to have this tinge of insanity?

"Don't mention the war..."
- don't worry! The fact that Denmark is now taking part in the occupation of Iraq was kept entirely out of the election campaigns.

"I have one word for you: Taxes, employment, and care for the elderly!..."
yap, important issues for sure, but are they just as important as globalization, global warming, the environment, or racism and integration? (sorry, forgot.. It's all part of the War-pack? and we don't talk about that...)

Every time I turned the TV on to catch one of the (numerous) "party leaders showdown" all I got was TV reporters talking with other TV reporters about what the politicians were really saying
- more "TV on TV", whatever happened to information?

Well, off I go to vote strategically and without passion.


Dali - yes Denmark might be boring but Salvador Dali was not.

Babe - "seen any good votes lately?"
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Monday, February 07, 2005

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Panzer - You often forget that a complicated fighting vehicle like a panzer spends a big part of its life undergoing maintenance and repair.
These rare photos show a huge repairshop in the Carpathian mountains around 1943.

Babe - Check out the titles on this cover! reads like poetry missa thinks (babe's got big talents too...)
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Sunday, February 06, 2005

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Is he a defender of the Faith?

Yes, he is, and no one more brave!

Is he a protector of the weak?

Yes, he is that too, and with love and understanding!

Is he a trusted friend, someone you can rely upon?

Yes, his loyalty is without question!

Is he virtuous ?

Oh yes, only a saint could be more virtuous!

Can he keep his mouth shut?

-Or forever be silent!

Then let him join us, for we are the righteous men.

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Saturday, February 05, 2005

Friday, February 04, 2005

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Panzer - Well, last day here at Tiger Week and why not finish off with one of the more well known photos of the giant, this one from the 101'st SS heavy tank battalion on its way to the front in Normandy.

A lot of the Tiger's strenght came from the myth of invincibility surrounding it. At the time the first Tigers arrived on the battlefields none of the allied tanks in service could confront a Tiger on equal terms.
One way was to try and get as close to the Tiger as possible and then fire from point-blank range, but that usually meant the Tiger got the allied tank first.
Allied soldiers quickly realised that the presence of Tigers on a battlefield could mean certain death and in their minds every German tank became a Tiger.

Later on more powerfull anti tank weapons were part of the allied arsenal, but often the least suicidal way to stop a Tiger was to surround it with four or five allied tanks and try to get shots through it's thinner side or rear armour.
Facing the crack units of the SS heavy tank battalion's in Normandy only added to the myth of the invincible Tiger, and in one legendary incident in the small Normandy town of Villers-Bocage (scroll to the bottom of the page) a handfull of Tigers destroyed twenty British tanks and several other vehicles in just five minutes.

Eventually the Tigers were beaten by attacks from airplanes like the rocket equipped Hawker Typhoons or they simply fell victim to the major problem of the German war effort in the last year of WW II - fuel shortages.

Babe - "Sorry, just came to read the meter..."
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Thursday, February 03, 2005

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Panzer - A Tiger 1 abandoned in a French town after the invasion in Normandy.
The German Armies in Normandy lost most of their panzers and other heavy equipment due to fuel shortages during the retreat and the constant attacks from Allied airplanes.
In most cases prized weapons like a Tiger would be blown up by its own crew to avoid capture.

Note the American troops examining it at the rear, the French men at the front wearing armbands of the resistance and the towcables attached to the front end of the Tiger. Towcables suggests the Tiger ran out of fuel or had a mechanical breakdown - not uncommon with this 52 ton vehicle.
Usually a disabled panzer would be picked up by the Werkstattkompanie (workshop company) and towed to safety and repair, but In this case they appearently gave up on it or never arrived.

Babe - Zesty!
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Wednesday, February 02, 2005

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Tiger - Anyone who has seen Saving Private Ryan wil remember the last part where Tom Hanks and his men are attacked by a German Tiger tank (which they stop by blowing off a track with a "sticky-bomb")

Since none of the surviving Tigers kept in museums were in running order at the time the film team had a fake one made from rebuilding an old Russian T-55.
In the photo it is shown at an armory show in Britain.

The film used several custom made "German" vehicles which appeared again in the spin-off TV-series Band of Brothers.

Unlike many other Hollywood movies about WWII, the German vehicles (Tiger 1, Jagdpanther, Marder III, Sdkfz 251) were created with great attention to detail and design - the best seen so far in my opinion.

Babe - Marilyn Monroe again, green looked good on her...
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Tuesday, February 01, 2005

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Panzer - Tigers of Schweres Panzer Abteilung 505 (Heavy Tank Battalion no. 505) during the Kursk battle.

- Well, let's make this Tiger Week!

Babe - A Christian girl.
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