Knocked Out Soviet KV-1 Tank

Axis forces pose next to a knocked out KV-1 tank

The KV series of tanks in the Soviet arsenal took the invading Germans by surprise, finding their anti tank weapons to be totally ineffective against these heavily armored monsters.

Anecdotally the 37mm Pak Gun became known as the doorknocker as you could sit there all day and it would have no effect on the tank or the crews inside.

Point of View from a Tiger I turret

Here’s a gif for you today, a camera mounted on the turret of a Tiger I traverses across an open field with another four Tiger I’s in the foreground.

One has to remember that all of these images and videos that provide us with a glimpse into the past; in this case the second world war, were captured by men and a few women on the front lines of combat.  Many of whom paid for their footage with their lives.

M24 Chaffee of the 9th Armored Division in Germany

M24 Chaffee

The M24 Chaffee was an American light tank that was used in the later stages of WWII, intended to replace the Stuart light tank.  Sadly too few of these arrived, and too late to have any significant impact on the war.

The main advantage was the 75mm gun over the 37mm of the Stuart, however it was still lightly armored and was vulnerable to all forms of anti-tank weaponry.

British troops fire a captured Pak 40 near Monte Cassino

British troops fire a captured Pak 40 near Monte Cassino

The Battle of Monte Cassino was a series of four costly assaults by the Allies in the Italian campaign.

The defending German forces held the Winter Line series of three defensive lines across Italy, centered around the town of Monte Cassino – Highway 6 ran through here all the way to Rome.

The plan was to break through and drive onto Rome, it took 123 days, 55,000 casualties to finally dislodge the German defenders.

World War II – Panther Crew

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WWII German Panther Crew

The Panther was a German medium tank deployed during World War II on the Eastern and Western Fronts in Europe from mid-1943 to its end in 1945. It had the ordnance inventory designation of Sd.Kfz. 171. Until 27 February 1944, it was designated as the Panzerkampfwagen V Panther when Hitler ordered that the Roman numeral “V” be deleted. Contemporary English language reports sometimes refer to it as the Mark V.

The Panther was intended to counter the Soviet T-34 and to replace the Panzer III and Panzer IV. Nevertheless, it served alongside the latter and the heavier Tiger I until the end of the war. It is considered one of the best tanks of World War II for its excellent firepower and protection. Its reliability was less impressive.

American M10 Tank Destroyer

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M10 in action near Saint-Lô, June 1944

US combined arms doctrine on the eve of World War II held that tanks should be designed to fulfill the role of supporting infantry in forcing a breakthrough, and then exploiting the breakthrough to rush into the enemy’s vulnerable rear areas.

The anti-tank warfare mission was assigned to a new branch, the Tank Destroyer Force. Tank destroyer units were meant to counter German blitzkrieg tactics.

Tank destroyer units were to be held as a reserve at the corps or army level, and were to move quickly to the site of any massed enemy tank breakthrough, maneuvering aggressively and using ambush tactics to destroy enemy tanks.