Two Tiger II tanks on a Paris street 1944

Two Tiger II tanks on a Paris street 1944

The heaviest tank on the battlefield, the Tiger II or Königstiger was a formidable foe, but it had its fair share of shortcomings.  From over-complicated engineering, not enough power for the weight of the beast and the lack of quality raw materials led to this monster not being able to perform to its fullest.
However that being said, wherever this tank was deployed, it devastated its opponents.

In this photo two King Tigers of the 503rd Heavy Panzer Battalion are passing through a Paris street on the way to the Normandy front in August 1944, ultimately however nothing the German’s threw at the invading Allies was enough to halt their advance, and once Operation Bagration was launched it was really only a matter of time before the war for Germany was over.

A grave for fallen comrades

A grave for fallen comrades

A German panzer crewman stands over the grave of two fallen panzer crewmen – potentially from the Panzer I in the background.

Most likely this photo is taken in 1941 during Operation Barbarossa, as the black panzer beret – the schutzmütze – was phased out and production had ceased in 1941, however it continued to be worn after that date for a while.  The surviving crewman is wearing the newer style of panzer crew headgear which was introduced in early 1940.

Captured Soviet soldier dressed in SN-42 body armor – 1944

Captured Soviet soldier dressed in SN-42 body armor – 1944

Stalnoi Nagrudnik – the steel bib, designed to stop the 9mm pistol round and potentially even a round from a rifle as long as it did not hit directly front on.

In this photo three non-penetrating bullets have hit the front of the vest and have been successfully stopped, saving this young soldiers life.

US Infantry, German POW’s and a ruined Half track

US Infantry, German POW’s and a ruined Half track

France 1944, US infantry and German POW’s march past the remains of a US M3A1 torn apart.

The M3A1 was a M3 with the improved M49 machine gun ring mount over the right hand front seat. All M3 halftracks were continually upgraded to M3A1 versions throughout the course of the war.

SS Totenkopf MG34 crew w/ full head camo – Battle of Kursk -Summer 1943

SS Totenkopf MG34 crew w/ full head camo – Battle of Kursk -Summer 1943

Often mis-labelled as “sniper’s veils”, this full face camouflage face mask is worn by a Waffen SS MG-34 team at the battle of Kursk – Totenkopf was deployed around Prokhorovka.

The Waffen SS and Wehrmacht used camouflage more than any other armed forces in the second world war.