Monday, August 23, 2010

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Autumn seems to hit Copenhagen early this year. We've had monsoon-like showers for about a month now, and more on the way.

I like autumn, and welcome this.

But.

For those who do not, why not catched ye some cheer-up time by clicking ye way over to vintage florida beach babe postcards


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Sturmgeschutz III, Ausf F8
As the written message on the back of this photo says it was taken in the Russian city of Rostow (German spelling) in 1943.
Rostov (on the Southern front) changed hands between German and Soviet forces no less than three times in 1941-43.
Note the "Winterketten" tracks fitted. Wider than normal tracks, they were specially designed for the deep snow encountered on the Eastern front.
Of special interest is the colouring of the StuG. It was part of a batch produced in december 1942 and earmarked for the battles in Northern Africa and thus finished in overall desert brown. Some of these StuGs were instead dispatched for urgent service on the Eastern front, where it would normally have received a coating of whitewash for winter camouflage. Why this has not been done is hard to determine but it's most likely a case of the troopers having more important things to do, like fighting the Soviets. As can be seen by the powderdust on the gun's muzzlebrake, the StuG has been in use for some time when the photo was taken. Also note the crew wearing the early version of the German Army reversible winter uniform, colored mouse grey on the "spring-autumn side" (the other side was of course white) These were introduced in autumn 1942 after the Wehrmacht's disastrous experiences with the Russian winter in 1941-42. It looks like brand new uniforms being worn (they would be returned to Germany when winter was over for repairs and cleaning and then re-issued the next autumn)The trooper in the middle of the group is also wearing the special heavy winter boots made from felt. Later versions of the reversible winter uniform were made from various types of camouflage material on the non-white side

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