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As tanks became the most formidable weapons of the Wehrmacht
Material posted: Publication date: 07-01-2018
Germany the last of the great powers began to develop tanks. However, the victory of Hitler in the first place associated with these weapons that the Nazi regime was used for various purposes.

TV channel ZDF is also not passing by the tiger. However, this refers to a predatory cat, which readily show the main character in documentaries about exotic animals and the most famous German tank of the Second world war. He enjoyed legendary fame, which however, contrasted sharply with reality. The miracle was not. The action was not even introduced and 2,000 military vehicles.

History of German armored forces long been considered fans of military literature, receiving their dubious knowledge from the station book stalls. Only the fact that the tank after the end of the cold war much less often mentioned in military surveys, made him the subject of historical science. The value of the tank for the wars of Hitler is clearly shown by the Center of military history and social Sciences of the Bundeswehr in his great series of books "the German Reich and the Second world war". And recently, a historian from Potsdam Markus Pullmann (Markus Pöhlmann) in his doctoral thesis "the Tank and mechanized war" introduced the tank as the most important Chapter "of German history с1890 to 1945".

Now ZDF on its information channel for the Ministry of education shows a television program called "Tank", which tells about the development of tank development in the period of the First and Second world wars. The filmmakers Florian Dedio (Florian Dedio) and Barbara Necek (Barbara Necek) take the tank seriously. They were invited to the shooting of the two best specialists in Marcus Bellmann and Director of the Museum of tanks in Munster Ralph Rats and are not afraid of using animation to illustrate the action of the shaped charge or bazookas.

Tank, according to the movie, was not just some weapon of the Wehrmacht. He was the main weapon, with it, the Wehrmacht was celebrating their victory with him, and Hitler believed that to start the struggle for world domination. With the help of this weapon was almost defeated the Soviet Union in 1941. And all this despite the fact that the military only last entered the history of the development of the tank.

While the mass of British tanks rolled through the German trenches of the First world war, the Kaiser's generals once enacted 20 shapeless monsters of a type of A7V. The Treaty of Versailles prohibited the Reichswehr construction and use of tanks. Pioneers such as Heinz Guderian (Heinz Guderian), using models made of cardboard and tin, tried to get at least an idea about the tactical use of protective armor, internal combustion engines.

A bitter irony of history was that the Reichswehr is in the Soviet Union found a partner, who offered him a way out. In Kazan, 800 kilometers from Moscow, emerged joint armored center, called "Kama". Here the soldiers of the Reichswehr and the red Army together on the still nascent experimental machines codenamed "light tractor" fulfills management of modern mobile warfare.

At the same time, France abandoned its leadership role in tank. From the new assault from the East it had to protect a huge fortress, the Maginot line. Deeply layered line, consisting of bunkers and artillery positions have emerged on the border with Germany. Thus was to be established reserves for the mobile field army, which was to cover the border with Belgium.

Technically, French tanks are much higher than German, even when Hitler in 1935, made the construction of tanks main business. German tanks Panzer I and Panzer II did not even have weapons to effectively fight with the French tanks. Tanks Panzer III and Panzer IV only conditionally could be used for this, especially because in 1940 there were only a few hundred.

But Guderian and his staff meant a completely new type of mobile warfare and so have equipped their models with radio stations. Thus, the officers could much better coordinate and concentrate the fire of their tanks. For this purpose, the assignment of individual commanders was only just to enter the battle of its tanks, while the opposing French or Russian tank commander also worked as the gunners guns.

German tanks also markedly superior to its rivals in speed and range and had the best sighting optics. But above all, their commanders were willing to unite such parts and to personally lead them and not use them as a weapon infantry support, as it was in the First world war. German tanks were used is not linear, as their opponents, and quickly formed the attacking wedges, surrounding the whole army, which then were destroyed by the infantry that followed the tanks. This tactic in 1941, nearly destroyed the Red Army.

However, German tanks were also the main means of propaganda. They showed a fast, modern and striking force, was a symbol of power and absolute will to win, represented the national socialist ideology of the rulers. How much tanks were woven into the politics of the Third Reich, shows heavy tank "Tiger", which in 1943 was delivered in the choicest part of the elite.

The wheels of his complex suspension was covered with synthetic rubber. It was produced at the enterprises of Buna-Werken for which Auschwitz was created own camp. Production of approximately 2,000 tanks "Tiger" has cost the lives of at least 25 000 workers slaves. A favorite weapon of Hitler and the Holocaust were two sides of the same coin.

However, Florian Dedio and Barbara Necek too simplified a picture when given their interpretation of Hitler's order to build heavy tanks "Tiger" and the subsequent tanks "king tiger" as the fatal turning point. It is clear that the construction of this giant consumed valuable resources which would be better to invest in the production of large series, as was done with the American "Sherman" or the Soviet T-34.

But "Tiger" appeared not simply as a consequence of the mania of Hitler's Waffen-SS to provide powerful weapons, superior weapon of the enemy. The subsequent collision with the T-34 in 1941 showed a lag of German tanks. Only with the advent of the "Tiger" and above all more of a light tank "Panther", which was built 5,000 units, the Wehrmacht had received effective tanks with which he could continue the war.

That was extended in the Apocalypse war and the Holocaust, is a different story.

Berthold Seewald (Seewald Berthold)


Tags: Germany , AME

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