Monday, October 21, 2013

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Yes, he's been featured here before... but we middle-aged people like to repeat ourselves, so let's have another look at the delightfully distorted visions of German surrealist Hans Bellmer (1902-75)

And if you think Bellmer was just a dirty old man making pornography and passing it off to rich collectors as art, you are probably (partially) right, but he did have some interesting things to say about it :

"What is at stake here is a totally new unity of form, meaning and feeling: language-images that cannot simply be thought up or written up … They constitute new, multifaceted objects, resembling polyplanes made of mirrors … As if the illogical was relaxation, as if laughter was permitted while thinking, as if error was a way and chance, a proof of eternity.”

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Panzer: Sturmgeschütz III, ausf G
A fine example of a battle hardened late-war StuG and its commander in this photo, displaying practically all of the special modifications introduced both in the field and at the factories : Concrete has been applied to the upper hull as extra protection (making the StuG appear rounder in this area) the standard detachable Schürtzen armour plates have been replaced with a cut down version welded onto the hull and mudguards (less prone to getting stuck in trees and other obstacles) what is missing from this StuG is a Topfblende cast mantlet fitted around the gun mount, the rounded sides of the design was better at reflecting shots from enemy AT guns, but this particular vehicle retains the old style welded box-shaped mantlet (both were being fitted at factories up until the end ofWWII, depending on what was delivered from the various sub contractors). Finally, a set of tracks scavenged from a Soviet T-34 has been placed as extra protection on the bow armour. And our veteran Oberfeldwebel standing in front of the vehicle was no rookie fresh from armour school, as he can display both the Panzer Assault Badge, Iron Cross 1'st class, silver wound badge plus no less than nine kill rings on the gun barrel of his StuG. Note the wooden stowage boxes and other clutter on the engine deck behind the fighting compartment, typical of many StugG's, and possible because they didn't have a revolving turret requiring the areas behind and around it to be free of obstacles.
Considering some 11.500 StuG's were produced before the end of WWII,  it was men and equipment like this that handled a very large portion of the day-to-day fighting against the waves of enemy armour attacking German forces from both the East and the West.
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1 comment:

ste said...

good write up. cheers