History UsefulNotes / NazisWithGnarlyWeapons

16th Nov '17 4:43:28 AM CrowTR0bot
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* '''11th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division "''Nordland''"''': The ''Nordland'' was a primarily Scandinavian regiment, but anyone considered an ethnic ''volkdeutsch'' could join up, and so they did. By the end of the war, it was the most ethnically diverse Nazi formation; Danish, Hungarian, Dutch, Norwegian, Finnish, French, Romanian, Spanish, Swedish, Swiss and British volunteers and Estonian conscripts had either served in the division or been attached to it. It fought around Leningrad, but was eventually pushed back into the Courland pocket. They were rescued by sea, and redeployed to the battles for East Prussia and Pomerania. It fell back into Berlin and was destroyed. Its last seven tanks have the distinction of spearheading the breakout attempt out across the Weidammer Bridge by the ''Fuehrerbunker'''s staff. Very few managed to reach the Anglo-American lines on the Elbe.

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* '''11th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division "''Nordland''"''': The ''Nordland'' was a primarily Scandinavian regiment, but anyone considered an ethnic ''volkdeutsch'' could join up, and so they did. By the end of the war, it was [[OxymoronicBeing the most ethnically diverse Nazi formation; formation]]; Danish, Hungarian, Dutch, Norwegian, Finnish, French, Romanian, Spanish, Swedish, Swiss and British volunteers and Estonian conscripts had either served in the division or been attached to it. It fought around Leningrad, but was eventually pushed back into the Courland pocket. They were rescued by sea, and redeployed to the battles for East Prussia and Pomerania. It fell back into Berlin and was destroyed. Its last seven tanks have the distinction of spearheading the breakout attempt out across the Weidammer Bridge by the ''Fuehrerbunker'''s staff. Very few managed to reach the Anglo-American lines on the Elbe.
30th Oct '17 11:16:01 AM CV12Hornet
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Nazi Germany always appreciated the tank's role in combined arms, building fast, relatively light tanks at the start of the war to support infantry. The ''Heer'' went to war with four types of tank: ''Panzerkampfwagen I'' through ''IV''. The Panzer I was a light tank only ever intended as a training tank and was equipped with two machine guns, while the scout and reconnaissance tank, Panzer II, carried a 20 mm gun. It was fast and agile, but sadly obsolete already in 1940. The Panzer III was a medium tank armed with a 50 mm cannon and whose purpose was to engage the enemy tanks, while Panzer IV was an infantry support tank armed with a 75 mm howitzer. nThe annexation of Czechoslovakia 1938 provided Germany the excellent Czech Skoda tanks, ''Heer'' designation being Panzer 38(T) [1938, Tschechoslowakei]. Germany thus went to war with five main types of tank.

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Nazi Germany always appreciated the tank's role in combined arms, building fast, relatively light tanks at the start of the war to support infantry. The ''Heer'' went to war with four types of tank: ''Panzerkampfwagen I'' through ''IV''. The Panzer I was a light tank only ever intended as a training tank and was equipped with two machine guns, while the scout and reconnaissance tank, Panzer II, carried a 20 mm gun. It was fast and agile, but sadly obsolete already in 1940. The Panzer III was a medium tank armed with first a 37mm cannon and then a 50 mm cannon and whose purpose was to engage the enemy tanks, while Panzer IV was an infantry support tank armed with a 75 mm howitzer. nThe The annexation of Czechoslovakia 1938 provided Germany the excellent Czech Skoda tanks, ''Heer'' designation being Panzer 38(T) [1938, Tschechoslowakei]. Germany thus went to war with five main types of tank.
8th Sep '17 2:32:59 PM Nautilus1
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As part of a means of keeping the Wehrmacht in check, Hitler created an extremely convoluted chain-of-command to keep the branches from working in concert, and thus, keep all of them from being a threat to his power. In theory, the supreme command of the military sat with the ''Oberkommando der Wehrmacht'', which oversaw the ''Oberkommando des Heeres'', ''Oberkommando der Marine'', and ''Oberkommando der Luftwaffe''. Although the Waffen-SS was subordinate to the command brand of the SS, in the field, tactical command was given to the ''Wehrmacht''. In practice, the ''Oberkommando des Heeres'' was in charge of the Eastern theatre while the ''Oberkommando der Wehrmacht'' was in charge of all other fronts. In fact, the OKW and OKH headquarters outside Berlin were so isolated from each other that the staff joked either bunker could be destroyed and the other one would not notice for days. Only in the final days of the war did Hitler finally make the OKH subservient to the OKW.

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As part of a means of keeping the Wehrmacht in check, Hitler created an extremely convoluted chain-of-command to keep the branches from working in concert, and thus, keep all of them from being a threat to his power. In theory, the supreme command of the military sat with the ''Oberkommando der Wehrmacht'', which oversaw the ''Oberkommando des Heeres'', ''Oberkommando der Marine'', and ''Oberkommando der Luftwaffe''. Although the Waffen-SS was nominally subordinate to the command brand of the SS, in the field, tactical and operational command was given to the ''Wehrmacht''.''Wehrmacht''[[note]]as the majority of the Waffen-SS officers and troopers were either fresh volunteers or drawn from Army units, they had no personal relationships to the Allgemeine-SS and Police units, to which they had some degree of contempt, "those not brave enough to fight" [[/note]]. In practice, the ''Oberkommando des Heeres'' was in charge of the Eastern theatre while the ''Oberkommando der Wehrmacht'' was in charge of all other fronts. In fact, the OKW and OKH headquarters outside Berlin were so isolated from each other that the staff joked either bunker could be destroyed and the other one would not notice for days. Only in the final days of the war did Hitler finally make the OKH subservient to the OKW.
8th Sep '17 1:35:18 AM CodyTheHeadlessBoy
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The iconic pistol associated with Nazis is the Pistole 08, universally known as the "Luger", and also as ''Parabellum''. The pistol was actually used in UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, but was gradually being replaced by the Walther P38 after 1938. The pistol just [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/02/Parabellum_1586.jpg looks evil]] ([[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Walter_HP_Speerwerke_1428.jpg so does the P38]], just that it's [[OurWeaponsWillBeBoxyInTheFuture slightly boxier]]) and enough were [[{{Plunder}} collected as trophies]] by Allied soldiers to ensure continued currency. As with the K98 example above, however, despite its refinements in mass production technology there were simply not enough P38s to go around that the Luger could be removed from service (even had any of the servicemen who were lucky enough to have one been inclined to do so), so the two sidearms soldiered along side by side for the duration of the war. The P38 is also associated with another evil figure in modern culture, [[TheTransformers Megatron]]. Another iconic pistol is the Walther PPK; the gun that Film/JamesBond uses is also the one that Hitler used to kill himself.

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The iconic pistol associated with Nazis is the Pistole 08, universally known as the "Luger", and also as ''Parabellum''. The pistol was actually used in UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, but was gradually being replaced by the Walther P38 after 1938. The pistol just [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/02/Parabellum_1586.jpg looks evil]] ([[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Walter_HP_Speerwerke_1428.jpg so does the P38]], just that it's [[OurWeaponsWillBeBoxyInTheFuture slightly boxier]]) and enough were [[{{Plunder}} collected as trophies]] by Allied soldiers to ensure continued currency. The Walther P38 was also still manufactured until 2004 as an updated version called the P1 and was still used by the German army until being phased out. As with the K98 example above, however, despite its refinements in mass production technology there were simply not enough P38s to go around that the Luger could be removed from service (even had any of the servicemen who were lucky enough to have one been inclined to do so), so the two sidearms soldiered along side by side for the duration of the war. The P38 is also associated with another evil figure in modern culture, [[TheTransformers Megatron]]. Another iconic pistol is the Walther PPK; the gun that Film/JamesBond uses is also the one that Hitler used to kill himself.



As a last ditch effort to win the war the Luftwaffe introduced the Heinkel He 162 Salamander fighter. Named the Volksjager it was initlly intended to be an aircraft piloted by Hitler Youth. In reality it proved quite difficult for all but the most skilled of pilots which were in very short supply by the time it finally saw combat in April of 1945. Unlike other jet aircraft it was made primarily of wood as steel was in short supply and was priortized to other aircraft. It's rushed construction and devlopment caused mechanical and structural failures killing the very pilots who flew it. A glider variant the He 162S was introduced for training purposes but none were actually flown as the Hitler Youth unit they had been shipped to was still in formation and had not even begun training by the time the war had ended.

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As a last ditch effort to win the war the Luftwaffe introduced the Heinkel He 162 Salamander fighter. Named the Volksjager it was initlly intended to be an aircraft piloted by Hitler Youth.Youth after a short training regimen with clipped-wing two-seater gliders. In reality it proved quite difficult for all but the most skilled of pilots which were in very short supply by the time it finally saw combat in April of 1945. Unlike other jet aircraft it was made primarily of wood as steel was in short supply and was priortized to other aircraft. It's rushed construction and devlopment caused mechanical and structural failures killing the very pilots who flew it. A glider variant the He 162S was introduced for training purposes but none were actually flown as the Hitler Youth unit they had been shipped to was still in formation and had not even begun training by the time the war had ended.



The Allgemeine SS ("common SS" or "general SS") were responsible for administering the Concentration Camps, which were ran by the SS Totenkopfverbande (SS-TV). In 1942, the SS-TV were placed under the authority of the Waffen-SS for administrative purposes, which allowed the Waffen-SS to rotate soldiers between camp guard duty and combat duty as the need should arise. Rotating soldiers between combat and camp guard duty was common practice, meaning large parts of the Waffe-SS participated in running the concentration camps. This would provide justification for the classification of the Waffen-SS as a criminal organization after the war.

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The Allgemeine SS ("common SS" or "general SS") were responsible for administering the Concentration Camps, which were ran by the SS Totenkopfverbande (SS-TV). In 1942, the SS-TV were placed under the authority of the Waffen-SS for administrative purposes, which allowed the Waffen-SS to rotate soldiers between camp guard duty and combat duty as the need should arise. Rotating soldiers between combat and camp guard duty was common practice, meaning large parts of the Waffe-SS Waffen-SS participated in running the concentration camps. This would provide justification for the classification of the Waffen-SS as a criminal organization after the war.
30th Aug '17 10:30:10 AM Inceptor57
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Commencing the ''Heer's'' late-war policy of trying to put an 88 mm gun on absolutely everything (tanks, tank destroyers, chairs, trees, surprised farm animals, etc), the Panzer VI ''Tiger I'' was the [[LightningBruiser first of the new heavy tanks]]. While it used a traditional armour scheme and was hideously over-engineered (to the point where the manual was a picture book made ''by'' the tank crews), it proved a fearsome opponent. It was decently fast, manoeuvreable and extremely well armoured. Its dreaded 88 mm [=KwK=] 36 (short for ''Kampfwagenkanone'', "fighting vehicle cannon") gun could penetrate ''any'' Allied armour at ''any'' distance. Almost as famous, and produced in much larger numbers, was the Panzer V Panther medium tank which featured thick, sloped armour, excellent firepower, good mobility and is widely viewed as the best all round tank of the war. All that armor and firepower came at a cost: Weight. Cross-country performance was only average, and the tank would often destroy country roads and bridges. Even with 700 horsepower, its engine was highly taxed to move it, and poor reliability ensued, combined with a complicated suspension and weak drive train. The fact that, like all German tanks, it was powered by [[MadeOfExplodium gasoline]] rather than diesel didn't help matters. The late war tanks suffered from rushed development and were never as reliable in service as their American and Soviet opponents. In addition, their high quality and over-engineering meant that Panthers and Tigers were incredibly outnumbered by Shermans and T-34s, which the Americans and Soviet could crank out in vast numbers very quickly. Another factor that limited their effectiveness was Allied air superiority. Tigers and Panthers could not risk staying in the open too long for fear of being rocketed by Allied planes. By the end of the war, both the Americans and Soviets had developed tanks that were even better than the Panther, but mostly held back on deploying them in large numbers in favor of continuing the mass production of slightly-improved versions of the Sherman and T-34. Nevertheless, the highest scoring German tank commanders received similar kudos as fighter aces, and several Tiger aces, such as Michael Wittmann and Otto Carius, would have over 100 destroyed enemy tanks on their credit, with countless anti-tank guns, trucks and softskins.

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Commencing the ''Heer's'' late-war policy of trying to put an 88 mm gun on absolutely everything (tanks, tank destroyers, chairs, trees, surprised farm animals, etc), the Panzer VI ''Tiger I'' was the [[LightningBruiser first of the new heavy tanks]]. While it used a traditional armour scheme and was hideously over-engineered (to the point where the manual was a picture book made ''by'' the tank crews), it proved a fearsome opponent. It was decently fast, manoeuvreable and extremely well armoured. Its dreaded 88 mm [=KwK=] 36 (short for ''Kampfwagenkanone'', "fighting vehicle cannon") gun could penetrate ''any'' Allied armour at ''any'' distance.of the time it was introduced. Almost as famous, and produced in much larger numbers, was the Panzer V Panther medium tank which featured thick, sloped armour, excellent firepower, good mobility and is widely viewed as the best all round tank of the war. All that armor and firepower came at a cost: Weight. Cross-country performance was only average, and the tank would often destroy country roads and bridges. Even with 700 horsepower, its engine was highly taxed to move it, and poor reliability ensued, combined with a complicated suspension and weak drive train. The fact that, like all German tanks, it engine was powered by gasoline too, which is quite [[MadeOfExplodium gasoline]] rather than diesel didn't help matters.flammable]] compared to diesel. The late war tanks suffered from rushed development and were never as reliable in service as their American and Soviet opponents. In addition, their high quality and over-engineering meant that Panthers and Tigers were incredibly outnumbered by Shermans and T-34s, which the Americans and Soviet could crank out in vast numbers very quickly. Another factor that limited their effectiveness was Allied air superiority. Tigers and Panthers could not risk staying in the open too long for fear of being rocketed by Allied planes. By the end of the war, both the Americans and Soviets had developed tanks that were even better than the Panther, but mostly held back on deploying them in large numbers in favor of continuing the mass production of slightly-improved versions of the Sherman and T-34. Nevertheless, the highest scoring German tank commanders received similar kudos as fighter aces, and several Tiger aces, such as Michael Wittmann and Otto Carius, would have over 100 destroyed enemy tanks on their credit, with countless anti-tank guns, trucks and softskins.



An even heavier and better armed and armoured heavy tank, ''Tiger II'' or the formidable ''Königstiger'' (literally "King Tiger", meaning "bengal tiger") came to service in 1944. It was completely superior to ''any'' Allied tanks, its 88 mm [=KwK=] 43 gun could destroy any enemy tank at ''any'' distance, and only the 90 mm cannon of the [[TanksButNoTanks M36 Jackson]] had any hopes piercing its armour. Fortunately for the Allies, it was hideously over-engineered, prone to break up when least expected, and fuel-thirsty. Nevertheless, it provided unnecessary headache for the Allied commanders in 1944-1945.

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An even heavier and better armed and armoured heavy tank, ''Tiger II'' or the formidable ''Königstiger'' (literally "King Tiger", meaning "bengal tiger") came to service in 1944. It was completely superior to ''any'' Allied tanks, its 88 mm [=KwK=] 43 gun could destroy any enemy tank at ''any'' distance, and only the 90 mm cannon of the [[TanksButNoTanks M36 Jackson]] and M26 Pershing had any hopes piercing its armour. Fortunately for the Allies, it was hideously over-engineered, prone to break up when least expected, and fuel-thirsty. Nevertheless, it provided unnecessary headache for the Allied commanders in 1944-1945.
1944-1945 wherever it was present.
25th Aug '17 2:28:44 PM LtFedora
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The relationship between the Wehrmacht and the various paramilitary and police organizations (Waffen-SS, Order Police, Regional Security Chiefs, Security Police, Criminal Police, Secret Police) was fairly cordial and they forged good working relationships in both 'security policy' and combat, but there were still notable bureaucratic squabbles and their partnership was often strained in the chaos of the retreats (where units literally fought over evacuation/rearguard duty). Perhaps the biggest bones of contention occurred when the Wehrmacht managed to secure overall control over 'security policy' in France and the Regional Security Chiefs (HSSPFs) for Reichskomissariats Ukraine and Ostland managed to secure control over 'security policy' in their regions. This forced both organisations to take on one another's roles in order to maintain this supremacy, with the Wehrmacht taking responsibility for eliminating 'enemies of the state' (including "Undesirables") in France and the HSSPFs directing the 'anti-bandit' military campaigns in the occupied Soviet Union.

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The relationship between the Wehrmacht and the various paramilitary and police organizations (Waffen-SS, Order Police, Regional Security Chiefs, Security Police, Criminal Police, Secret Police) was fairly cordial and they forged good working relationships in both 'security policy' and combat, but there were still notable bureaucratic squabbles and their partnership was often strained in the chaos of the retreats (where units literally fought over evacuation/rearguard duty). Perhaps the biggest bones of contention occurred when the Wehrmacht managed to secure overall control over 'security policy' in France and the Regional Security Chiefs (HSSPFs) ([=HSSPFs=]) for Reichskomissariats Ukraine and Ostland managed to secure control over 'security policy' in their regions. This forced both organisations to take on one another's roles in order to maintain this supremacy, with the Wehrmacht taking responsibility for eliminating 'enemies of the state' (including "Undesirables") in France and the HSSPFs [=HSSPFs=] directing the 'anti-bandit' military campaigns in the occupied Soviet Union.
24th Aug '17 12:38:07 PM Nautilus1
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The training of the ''Fallschirmjäger'' was intense and hard, and was stressed on survival and swift light infantry operations. The formal discipline of the troop was far more relaxed than in other German formations, creating an atmosphere of camaraderie. The training contained also thorough jump training. Unlike Allied paratroopers, each Fallschirmjäger packed his own parachute. While the Fallschirmjäger usually were assigned the best weapons available and special uniforms, their Achilles heel was their parachute gear itself: the RZ parachute rig (Rückfallschirm, Zwangablösung or Backpack Parachute, Static Line Deployment) was inferior compared to Allied rigs. It had only one riser, so steering the parachute during the descent was impossible and the jumper literally hung on the riser like a spider on web and landed on his knees. The landings were hard compared to Allied parachutes, and taking the rig off was impossible in prone position and could be done only whilst standing. It was slow to take off, and landing on water resulted almost always in drowning. The only weapon they carried on the jump was a pistol and a knife: all long weapons were dropped on separate canisters. The usual jump plane was Junkers Ju 52, and jump altitude being 80 to 100 metres (240 to 300 ft).

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The training of the ''Fallschirmjäger'' was intense and hard, and was stressed on survival and swift light infantry operations. The formal discipline of the troop was far more relaxed than in other German formations, creating an atmosphere of camaraderie. The training contained also thorough jump training. Unlike Allied paratroopers, each Fallschirmjäger packed his own parachute. While the Fallschirmjäger usually were assigned the best weapons available and special uniforms, their Achilles heel was their parachute gear itself: the RZ parachute rig (Rückfallschirm, Zwangablösung or Backpack Parachute, Static Line Deployment) was inferior compared to Allied rigs. It had only one riser, so steering the parachute during the descent was impossible and the jumper literally hung on the riser like a spider on web and landed on his knees. The landings were hard compared to Allied parachutes, and taking the rig off was impossible in prone position and could be done only whilst standing. It was slow to take off, and landing on water resulted almost always in drowning. [[note]]There was a logic behind this design, which was completely different from survival parachutes carried by Luftwaffe pilots and airmen: a RZ parachute could be inflated and deployed in less than 40 meters of flight, which meant paratroopers, commandos and spies could be dropped at treetop level, beyond most means of interception. But this plan could not make up for inefficiency of the design and difficulty of operation.[[/note]] The only weapon they carried on the jump was a pistol and a knife: all long weapons were dropped on separate canisters. The usual jump plane was Junkers Ju 52, and jump altitude being 80 to 100 metres (240 to 300 ft).
4th Jul '17 10:19:40 AM Kalmbach
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The U-boats (''unterseeboot'', "undersea boat") were not true submarines in the modern sense of the word, but rather submersibles - they spent most of their time on the surface and were slow underwater[[note]]And they had batteries for just around a hour at full speed submerged[[/note]]. Midway through the war Germany employed the ''schnorchel'' (snorkel) device, which they copied from a pair of Dutch submarines captured in 1940 (their design having been begun in in 1938), allowing U-boats to draw air from the surface and stay underwater indefinitely. The U-boats were probably the single most successful weapon at the ''Kriegsmarine's'' disposal, but even they had issues; persistant problems with faulty torpedoes led to many vessels escaping destruction, and at least two U-boats sank ''themselves'' with faulty acoustic homing torpedoes. Even with those corrected, U-boat tactics and technology would be outpaced by Allied anti-submarine warfare (ASW) tactics and technology, leading to tremendous losses for the U-boat service. Three out of every four U-boat crewmen never returned from the war, a permanent casualty rate that no branch of any armed service has suffered and yet continued to function, and a third of all lost boats were sunk on their first patrol.

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The U-boats (''unterseeboot'', "undersea boat") were not true submarines in the modern sense of the word, but rather submersibles - they spent most of their time on the surface and were slow underwater[[note]]And they had batteries for just around a hour at full speed submerged[[/note]]. Midway through the war Germany employed the ''schnorchel'' (snorkel) device, which they copied from a pair of Dutch submarines captured in 1940 (their design having been begun in in 1938), allowing U-boats to draw air from the surface and stay run their diesels underwater indefinitely.indefinitely (this was mainly used to hide from aircraft. The diesels made so much noise they were easily detected by ships). The U-boats were probably the single most successful weapon at the ''Kriegsmarine's'' disposal, but even they had issues; persistant problems with faulty torpedoes led to many vessels escaping destruction, and at least two U-boats sank ''themselves'' with faulty acoustic homing torpedoes. Even with those corrected, U-boat tactics and technology would be outpaced by Allied anti-submarine warfare (ASW) tactics and technology, leading to tremendous losses for the U-boat service. Three out of every four U-boat crewmen never returned from the war, a permanent casualty rate that no branch of any armed service has suffered and yet continued to function, and a third of all lost boats were sunk on their first patrol.
4th Jul '17 10:18:27 AM Kalmbach
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Commencing the ''Heer's'' late-war policy of trying to put an 88 mm gun on absolutely everything (tanks, tank destroyers, chairs, trees, surprised farm animals, etc), the Panzer VI ''Tiger I'' was the [[LightningBruiser first of the new heavy tanks]]. While it used a traditional armour scheme and was hideously over-engineered (to the point where the manual was a picture book made ''by'' the tank crews), it proved a fearsome opponent. It was fast, manoeuvreable and extremely well armoured. Its dreaded 88 mm [=KwK=] 36 (short for ''Kampfwagenkanone'', "fighting vehicle cannon") gun could penetrate ''any'' Allied armour at ''any'' distance. Almost as famous, and produced in much larger numbers, was the Panzer V Panther medium tank which featured thick, sloped armour, excellent firepower, good mobility and is widely viewed as the best all round tank of the war. However, the late war tanks suffered from rushed development and were never as reliable in service as their American and Soviet opponents. In addition, their high quality and over-engineering meant that Panthers and Tigers were incredibly outnumbered by Shermans and T-34s, which the Americans and Soviet could crank out in vast numbers very quickly. Another factor that limited their effectiveness was Allied air superiority. Tigers and Panthers could not risk staying in the open too long for fear of being strafed by Allied planes. By the end of the war, both the Americans and Soviets had developed tanks that were even better than the Panther, but mostly held back on deploying them in large numbers in favor of continuing the mass production of slightly-improved versions of the Sherman and T-34. Nevertheless, the highest scoring German tank commanders received similar kudos as fighter aces, and several Tiger aces, such as Michael Wittmann and Otto Carius, would have over 100 destroyed enemy tanks on their credit, with countless anti-tank guns, trucks and softskins.

to:

Commencing the ''Heer's'' late-war policy of trying to put an 88 mm gun on absolutely everything (tanks, tank destroyers, chairs, trees, surprised farm animals, etc), the Panzer VI ''Tiger I'' was the [[LightningBruiser first of the new heavy tanks]]. While it used a traditional armour scheme and was hideously over-engineered (to the point where the manual was a picture book made ''by'' the tank crews), it proved a fearsome opponent. It was decently fast, manoeuvreable and extremely well armoured. Its dreaded 88 mm [=KwK=] 36 (short for ''Kampfwagenkanone'', "fighting vehicle cannon") gun could penetrate ''any'' Allied armour at ''any'' distance. Almost as famous, and produced in much larger numbers, was the Panzer V Panther medium tank which featured thick, sloped armour, excellent firepower, good mobility and is widely viewed as the best all round tank of the war. However, All that armor and firepower came at a cost: Weight. Cross-country performance was only average, and the tank would often destroy country roads and bridges. Even with 700 horsepower, its engine was highly taxed to move it, and poor reliability ensued, combined with a complicated suspension and weak drive train. The fact that, like all German tanks, it was powered by [[MadeOfExplodium gasoline]] rather than diesel didn't help matters. The late war tanks suffered from rushed development and were never as reliable in service as their American and Soviet opponents. In addition, their high quality and over-engineering meant that Panthers and Tigers were incredibly outnumbered by Shermans and T-34s, which the Americans and Soviet could crank out in vast numbers very quickly. Another factor that limited their effectiveness was Allied air superiority. Tigers and Panthers could not risk staying in the open too long for fear of being strafed rocketed by Allied planes. By the end of the war, both the Americans and Soviets had developed tanks that were even better than the Panther, but mostly held back on deploying them in large numbers in favor of continuing the mass production of slightly-improved versions of the Sherman and T-34. Nevertheless, the highest scoring German tank commanders received similar kudos as fighter aces, and several Tiger aces, such as Michael Wittmann and Otto Carius, would have over 100 destroyed enemy tanks on their credit, with countless anti-tank guns, trucks and softskins.
4th Jul '17 9:36:00 AM Kalmbach
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The greatest innovation in personal equipment the Nazis came up with, however, was not a weapon at all. The ''Wehrmachtskanister'', better known as the "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerrycan jerrycan]]", might seem totally ordinary nowadays, but in 1939 it was considered so advanced and secret that German soldiers were ordered to destroy them if there was a risk of their being captured. Compared to the flimsy, leaky fluid containers used by other armies (it was estimated the British in North Africa lost 30% of all shipped fuel to leaking containers), the jerrycan was nothing short of miraculous; it could be opened and closed without the use of tools, was self-sealing without additional parts, included a pouring spout rather than requiring a funnel, couldn't be overfilled as a failsafe against heat and vapor expansion and was still cheap to manufacture despite being much more sturdy. The design proved so good that it remains in use to this day by both military forces and civilians.

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The greatest innovation in personal equipment the Nazis came up with, however, was not a weapon at all. The ''Wehrmachtskanister'', better known as the "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerrycan jerrycan]]", might seem totally ordinary nowadays, but in 1939 it was considered so advanced and secret that German soldiers were ordered to destroy them if there was a risk of their being captured. Compared to the flimsy, leaky fluid containers used by other armies (it was estimated the British in North Africa lost 30% of all shipped fuel to leaking containers), the jerrycan was nothing short of miraculous; it could be opened and closed without the use of tools, was self-sealing without additional parts, included a pouring spout rather than requiring a funnel, couldn't be overfilled as a failsafe against heat and vapor expansion and was still cheap to manufacture despite being much more sturdy. Even the handles were clever: It had three along the top, making it easier to pass from one man to the next, or allowing a soldier to carry two empty cans comfortably in one hand. The design proved so good that it remains in use to this day by both military forces and civilians.
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