German Tanks of World War II: Panthers and King Tigers in battle and for sale.
Latest hand-picked WWII news.
Rare Panther tank a step closer to becoming the UK's first running example
Donington Park race circuit owner Kevin Wheatcroft opened the doors to his world-renowned private collection of military vehicles in March to perform the first public firing of his 1943 Panther tank engine – a major milestone in the restoration of the infamous German machine. The Wheatcroft Collection, one of the world`s largest collections of WW2 military vehicles, researches, restores and maintains rare tanks, armoured cars, boats, cars and motorcycles – and the Panther is its biggest project so far, now nearing completion.
Remains of Kurt Knispel, the highest scoring WWII tank ace, located in a grave the Czech Republic
The remains of the world's greatest ever tank ace have been found in a grave the Czech Republic. The remains of Kurt Knispel were found by historians at the Moravian Museum in Vrbovec lying in an unmarked grave for German soldiers at a cemetery in Znojemsko. With 168 confirmed and 195 unconfirmed kills Knispel was by far the most successful tank ace of the Second World War, even knocking out a T-34 at 3,000 metres. He fought in every type of German tank as loader, gunner and commander, and was awarded the Iron Cross, First Class, after destroying his fiftieth enemy tank and the Tank Assault Badge in Gold after more than 100 tank battles.
Catch That Tiger: WWII mission to capture a deadly Tiger Tank from the Germans
"Major! I want you to go and catch me a Tiger. I want you to bring me a Tiger tank. Park the bloody thing outside my front door. Do you understand," barked Winston Churchill. "Perfectly sir," replied Major Douglas Lidderdale. So started one of the most dangerous WWII missions, which only a handful of people have known about. Now a book -- Catch That Tiger, which is based on Lidderdale's diaries -- explores the mission for the first time. The Tiger tanks had started rolling off the production line in winter 1942 and were wiping out Allied tanks, decimating morale. Allied tank crews' terror of Tigers was so widespread it had its own nickname: Tigerphobia.
Tiger tank #131 is put through its paces for anniversary challenge after 2-year restoration
With its huge cannon and almost impenetrable armour, the German Tiger tank struck fear into the Allied troops. Although 1,300 were made, this is the only working example in existence. Tiger 131 has been restored to its original war time specification after a 2-year restoration project costing £80,000. The 55-ton tank can be seen tackling the tank course at Bovington Tank Museum in Dorset. It has been fitted with a genuine German WWII Maybach engine and its fan drives have been re-engineered from original blueprints. The tank, which features its 88mm cannon, soon gained legendary status after its introduction in 1942.
Photos of unmarked Panther tanks during testing or training - Thread at Axis History Forum
Photos of unmarked Panthers during testing or training - Thread at Axis History Forum.
Replica of German Sturmgeschutz III assault gun toured Jersey streets as it made its way to the Jersey War Tunnels
A replica WWII German tank was on the streets of Jersey as it made its way to a new home. The tank was commissioned by the Jersey War Tunnels museum, in St Peter. The 16-tonne Sturmgeschütz III Ausf. G tank - created from the shell of a British Army tank - has been recreated to the smallest detail. Hohlgangsanlage 8, known as the German Underground Hospital or more recently the Jersey War Tunnels, was an underground complex built for the German occupying forces. It includes more than 1km of tunnels and was turned into an occupation museum a year after the island was liberated.
Fans building a working replica of Tiger I tank (6-minute video, 70 photos)
Fans building a working replica of Tiger I panzer (6-minute video, 70 photos).
German WWII assault gun Stug III stolen (replaced with a replica) near Moscow
A rare German-made self-propelled assault gun has disappeared from a memorial site at a small village in the Moscow region after being replaced with a replica during restoration. One of the few remaining Sturmgeschutz III Ausf D assault guns was dug up from a marsh in the 1980s and set up as a memorial near the village of Strokovo. The vehicle was recently dismantled for restoration work, but when it was put back on a pedestal in July 2011, it turned out to be a similar-looking replica made with the use of modern technology. Another remaining Stug III Ausf D is on display at the Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War in Moscow.
More photos about the PzKpfw IV Ausf J found in Poland in April 2011
A thread at the War Relics forum features about twenty photographs of the PzKpfw IV Ausf J which was recently discovered near Stargard Szczecinski in Poland. The parts of the tank - supposedly blow up by its crew in 1944 or 1945 - are at the Museum of Polish Arms in Kolobrzeg, Poland. The museum plans to restore the Panzer IV.
How to fix your... Tiger Tank - The Tiger Tank Owner's Workshop Manual
It was once one of the Nazis' deadliest weapons - but now its secrets have been exposed in the most mundane of places. The mechanics of the world's only working Nazi Tiger tank have been revealed in a new version of the Haynes maintenance manual. Experts at The Tank Museum in Bovington are the only ones in the world to have working knowledge of Hitler's favourite panzer. The Tiger Tank Owner's Workshop Manual was written by staff and lays out the Tiger Tank 131 - of which there are only 6 left in the world. The book displays a series of photos of the inside and outside of the tank explaining its engine, weapon systems, and how the museum experts manage to drive it.
German WWII tank found underground near a scrap metal yard in Poland
A World War II-era German Panzer tank has been discovered underground near a scrap metal yard in northern Poland. The Museum of Polish Arms in Kolobrzeg is working to salvage the tank, which was located a few metres below ground near Stargard Szczecinski. Museum officials called the tank a "jewel" and the first of its kind in Poland's arms collections.
Photos of destroyed or captured Panther tanks (Axis History forum thread)
This Axis History forum thread features loads of black-and-white photographs of captured or destroyed Panther tanks.
In Graphs: WWII Tank Production - Did Nazi Germany had a chance against the Soviet Union and the United States
People like to think that individuals can change the course of the history. That somehow Michael Wittman's actions with his Tiger tank in June 1944 when he took out 14 Allied tanks in 15 minutes, or Erich von Manstein's counterstrike during the Third Battle of Kharkov in 1943 when it for a moment seemed that the Red Army will wrap up the entire eastern front after their victory in Stalingrad, make a major difference in the outcome. However, in most wars, the reasons for victory come down to a significant economic advantage, as the following graphs about the Armored Fighting Vehicles (AFVs) production during the Second World War reveals.
Early Panzer Victories by Frank De Sisto (book review)
If you randomly pick up a book about German WW2 tanks, you will most likely find a lot of information about the famous Panther and Tiger tanks. The earlier tank models are blatantly disregarded, in spite of the fact that Panzer III and Panzer IV were by far the most produced German tanks during the World War Two.
"Early Panzer Victories" - a 72 page book filled with photographs and published by the Concord for its "Armor at War" series - comes handy if you need a break from all the Panther praising.
Wehrmacht Panzer Divisions 1939-1945 : An Essential Tank Identification Guide
"Wehrmacht Panzer Divisions" - a guide to Wehrmacht Panzer Divisions - is a good groundwork for any military modeler. In addition to the unit histories, the book covers insignia and the equipment that Panzer divisions had at these various times. Illustration includes WWII photographs and colour profiles of the different bits of kit that they used at different times.
German WWII Tank production by year and tank model (U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey)
German World War II Tank production by year and tank model - part of the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey. Tank models cover everything from Panzer Mark I to Tiger II, plus Self-propelled Guns, Assault Gun III/IV, Jagd 38 t and 38 t.
How Allies used serial numbers in Nazi tanks to figure out the German tank production per month
In WWII Allied forces admitted that Nazi tanks were superior to their own tanks. The key question was: how many tanks Nazi Germany was able to produce per month. The Allies tried intelligence gathering: POWs, spying, etc. Via this method, they estimated that from June 1940 to September 1942, the Third Reich manufactured 1,400 tanks each month. Ridiculous number, because the Axis powers had only 1,200 tanks during the Battle of Stalingrad. Then Allied intelligence noticed each German tank contained a unique serial number. Using this, the Allies created a mathematical model, which suggested the Germans produced 255 tanks per month.
Bovington Tank Museum manages to raise enough money to restore Tiger 1 tank
The world's last working German Tiger I Tank has attracted enough funds for a restoration project. Tiger 131, captured by 48 Royal Tank Regiment during a desert battle in Tunisia in 1943, was given to Bovington Tank Museum after the war. In spite of its poor condition, dismantled so Allied tank crews could understand its weaknesses, it became one of the museum's biggest draws. Tank museum curator David Willey: "This will enable further work to be carried out to assess the impact of running this unique historic vehicle and provide the unique opportunity to return the tank to a more original condition."
German WW2 tanks: E-series was an attempt to simplify and standardize Nazi tank designs
The E-series (Entwicklung) was a Nazi effort to setup a standardised series of simpler and more efficient tank designs. The complicated Nazi tank designs caused poor production rates and unreliability. There were to be 6 standard designs (in different weights), from which specialised variants were to be build. E-5 was the basis for light tanks, reconnaissance vehicles, tank destroyers and armoured personnel carriers. E-10 replaced the Jagdpanzer 38(t). E-25 replaced Panzer III and Panzer IV. E-50 replaced Panther and Tiger I. E-75 replaced Tiger II and Jagdtiger. E-100 was to be a superheavy tank like the Maus.
Panzer VIII Maus - The largest and heaviest tank in the world
Panzer VIII Maus was a German WW2 super-heavy tank build in 1944. It is the heaviest fully enclosed armoured fighting vehicle ever built. The design was proposed by Ferdinand Porsche to Adolf Hitler in June 1942. Only one complete working prototype was built (1944). Weighing 200 metric tons, the Maus's main armament was a 128 mm KwK 44 gun - powerful enough to take out all Allied armored fighting vehicles at close or middle ranges, and even some at ranges over 3500 meters. The key obstacle was finding a powerful enough engine for its weight that could be carried in the tank - which only moved 13km/hour.
Stealing the German WWII tanks from Bulgaria - The case so far
Alexei Petrov used to be an officer, now he is accused of stealing a German WWII tank. In 2007 two Germans were caught as they were smuggling a Panzer IV tank (black market price 100,000e) out of the Bulgaria. At that time, Major Alexei Petrov was second-in-command at the unit guarding the WWII tanks in Yambol. Two months before the group was caught, the legendary Tsaritsa - a Sturmgeschütz III Ausf. G assault gun allegedly a gift from Hitler to the queen Yoanna – disappeared near Fakia. After the buzz all the German WWII tanks (including Jagdpanzer ІV L48, an early Panzer IV Ausf. F) were dug out and relocated to Yambo.
Panzer-Divisions in Battle 1939-45 by Tom Cockle (WWII book, includes 169 photos of German tanks)
Panzer-Divisions in Battle 1939-45, examines the role panzers had in Blitzkrieg (Lightning War) and WWII through a series of photos and illustrations. The volume begins with a summary of the battles and theaters in which Nazi tanks fought. This first volume covers the Invasion of Poland, the Battle for France, the Balkans, and the Desert War in North Africa. The black and white photographs show not only German tanks like the series of Panzer I, II, III and IVs (core of the panzer divisions), but also equipment such as the Pz.Kpfw.38(t) tank, a variety of armored cars, plus the Sd.Kfz.251 halftrack.
Drive-by-wire radio controlled Borgward IV German WW2 tank discovered in Vienna
Builders discovered a German World War II tank on a new train station in the Austrian capital Vienna. The German Borgward IV was one of the first drive-by-wire radio controlled weapons, which delivered a 1,000 lbs bomb blast by remote control. Explosives experts evacuated the building site while they searched the relic for live charges. Station officials have given the military vehicle to the city's Military History Museum.
UK Tank Museum in £40,000 public appeal to save German Tiger Tank
The Tank Museum in Dorset has launched a public appeal to save a 57-ton German panzer - one of the most biggest armoured vehicles in World War II. The Tiger Tank - one of 1,354 Tiger tanks made - was captured in a battle in Tunisia in 1943, having been hit by a 6-pound shot after taking out two Churchill tanks. Produced in 1942 to meet the Wehrmacht's vision of a panzer huge enough to provide a psychological edge over Allied crews. It had a lethal 88mm gun and sheet armour thick enough to resist most Allied anti-tank weaponry, but was it was put at a disadvantage in difficult terrain by its weight.
3 military history buffs built a homemade full-scale replica of Panzer III German WWII tank (Article no longer available from the original source)
Three history buffs in Kent have built a replica of a Panzer III German tank – complete with turret, guns and a radio system. It's the only working Panzer III replica of its kind in Britain, says John Phillips. He and a small group of enthusiasts spent 3 months turning a British armoured personnel carrier into a World War II battle machine. Cost: carrier 5000 and buildup 15000 pounds. The military makeover gave the replica tank a 50mm high-powered gun and two MG34 machine guns. They are gas-operated, making a realistic bang and a flash. John said: "There were no Panzers round here to base it on so we bought a model and scaled it up from that."
David Shultz's radio-controlled model tanks (Tiger, Jagd Panther, Panther, StuG III) pull in crows (Video) (Article no longer available from the original source)
As soon as Dave Shultz unloaded his radio-controlled model tanks at Mukilteo's Lighthouse Park, a crowd emerged. Shultz, whose father served as a WWII tank driver, was a machinist with the Navy during the Vietnam War. He began making the RC tanks in the 1980s to re-enact the 1943 battle of Kursk. First up was "Herman", an all-aluminum, 1/6-scale reproduction of the German Mark VI, E Model Tiger tank. "Helmut" is a radio-controlled 1/3-scale model of the German Mark V, JagdPanther tank. "Heinrich" is a 1/3-scale reproduction of the German Mark V, D Model Panther tank, while "Horst" is a half-scale model of a German Sturmgeschutz StuG III tank.
The giant radio-controlled King Tiger replica tank - 1/4 scale model
It's the ultimate toy: a giant radio-controlled tank. The 6ft long tank is a 1/4 scale model of a King Tiger, the Nazi weapon which wreaked havoc among allied tanks. Weighing 250kg, the camouflaged tank has a working turret and a 2ft long gun. Powered by two 500 watt 24 volt motors, it can pull a car on a level surface. The heavy armour and powerful long-range gun gave the King Tiger the advantage against all tanks - American Sherman was unable to penetrate its armour even at point blank range. The tank is the meanest machine available at Mark 1 Tanks. The larger tanks are put together by company founder Mark Spencer, while 1/35 scale models come in kit form.
Restored Panzer 38t model F ready for World War II movies (Article no longer available from the original source)
For 40 years a rare Nazi tank lay buried in Hungary. Now the Panzer 38t model F (armed with a 37mm gun and two ZB37 machine guns) is about to star in war films. But first it will roar into life, with the only wartime Sherman Beach Armoured Recovery Vehicle (BARV) still running, at The War and Peace Show in Kent. Stephen Lamonby, whose company Plus Film Ltd has provided military vehicles for films like Saving Private Ryan and Charlotte Gray, spend 5 years restoring the 38t. It's turret still has the original number, 524, and the style of the numbering reveals it was part of the 25th Panzer Regiment of the 7th Panzer Division. Only 4 Panzers of this type still exist.
Will Foster builds fully operational half-size Panzer tank
Will Foster never has trouble getting a parking spot: Who's going to argue with a guy driving a half-scale Panzer tank? He began building the tank from scratch 2 years ago. It runs on treads and has a 360-degree cannon (compressed air). A builder since he made his first tree house at 9, he came up with his first designs for the tank when he was 14, but he didn't have the resources to pull it off. "It's been a lot of trial and error... I've probably got $2,000 worth of parts on it, but $10,000 total has gone into it because I'd buy a $200 part that didn't work... before finding a $50 part that did."
Bidders rush on Russian T-34 and German Pz IV Tanks from the WWII
The elements of over 140 firing systems made up of WWII tank parts will be put up to a secret auction - 840 auction papers are sold. The "tank scrap" consists of gun - turrets from Russian Ò-34 tanks and also of 6 German tanks' elements. This World War II military equipment got a huge interest from militaria collectors all around the world. Before restoration the tanks cost 250,000 euros, but after their overhaul they could rise to 500,000. A group of American collectors considered to offer as much as it will take to have this unique and rare military machine.
World War II Nazi tanks for sale: Panzers, Jagdpanzers, StuG III assault guns
22 Nazi tanks that have lain forgotten in Bulgarian fields for decades are to be put up for auction, with the starting price of 100,000 euros. The World War II relics were a first line of defence against a Nato invasion. Dug into the ground, the Panzer tanks, Jagdpanzer tank destroyers and Sturmgeschuetz assault guns have been mostly forgotten since the end of the Cold War. In 2007, authorities caught persons who allegedly stole one of the tanks. Collectors were willing to pay millions for the stolen tank, reportedly a present from Adolf Hitler to the former Bulgarian queen.
Bulgaria's Army Digs out Its WW2 Panzer IV tanks
Bulgaria's army has began to dig out its vintage WW2 tanks, in order to protect them from looters. A number of Panzer IV tanks, equipped with Maybach engines and buried as stationary guns, have already been moved to a secure military base. All WW2 tanks will be in a safe place soon but it is unclear what their future will be. There are few tanks of the same type in the world still outside the military museums and robbers could make a good profit by selling tank parts to collectors. Recently authorities nailed two Germans and a Bulgarian army major over trying to grab a whole Panzer IV tank. After that there was a probe over a stolen turret of a vintage tank.
Third WWII Maybach battle tank stolen in Bulgaria
The turret of a third Maybach tank from World War II had been stolen. The tank had been buried over 50 years ago in the region of Elhovo and served as a firing point. It is the third Maybach tank theft in Bulgaria. In Dec 2007, military counter-intelligence arrested a gang, who had stolen one WWII tank and tried to seize a second one. The Maybach produced the engines for the Panther and Tiger tank, highly valued by collectors. Tank-theft seems to be profitable as in mid-January 2008 3 men were captured from the Momina Tsurkva, after they sold parts of the turret of an unknown tank for scrap metal.
Canadian War Museum shows restored German Panzer V: Panther tank (Article no longer available from the original source)
The Canadian War Museum has finished a 2-year restoration of a WWII-era German Panzer V tank. Panthers, as the Pz V tanks were known, were among the largest battle tanks made in quantity during the war. They were planned to combat the Soviet T-34 tanks that Nazi Germany ran into after the invasion of Russia in June 1941. By war's end, almost 6,000 Panthers had been deployed on all fronts. As part of the restoration, the exterior surfaces were covered with a "zimmerit" paste created from a WWII recipe. Zimmerit was used to tank surfaces to overcome magnetic anti-tank mines. Panthers and T-34s, both on display in the Museum, are considered to be the best tanks of the war.
Neville Smith, wargames with radio controlled WWII battle tank models
Neville Smith has spent $11,000 on 11 radio-controlled tanks to use in scaled-down World War II themed battles. His tanks range from the famous German Tiger 1 to the American Sherman. Each 1/16 scale model costs $1000-$2000 and takes weeks to assemble. "I guess the fact you can shoot one another and play games with the tanks won me over." When he isn't assembling tanks Smith spends hours fashioning toy soldiers and artificial trees to use on the battlefield. Those come in handy at gatherings of radio-control tank lovers. The group was formed by Smith and has 20 members throughout New Zealand. Auckland enthusiasts meet regularly to battle their tanks in wargames.
Finland auctions disused battle tanks, Sturmgeschütz III assault guns
The Finnish Defence Forces generated 916,000 dollars when it auctioned off 20 disused tanks and assault guns. Most of the buyers were foreign nationals like Mike Stallwood of Britain. "My company buys old tanks, renovates them and sells them on to museums and private collectors," Stallwood told. Stallood bought a German-made assault gun, Sturmgeschuetz III Ausfuehrung G for 260,000 dollars. The assault guns were deployed by the Finnish army during World War II.
Super-heavy tanks of World War II
Super-heavy tanks were designed in response to the arms race of ever-increasing armament and armour in battle tanks. Although some models were built, they were impractical and saw no combat. Some extreme tank designs approved by Adolf Hitler were devised to be all-conquering monsters of the battlefield. A prime example being the Maus, which only reached the prototype stage. Ultra-heavy tanks of 1,000 tonnes were considered, like the Landkreuzer P. 1000 "Ratte", an enormous tank, and the P. 1500 "Monster", a gigantic self-propelled artillery platform. These were deemed impractical and neither was built, as Albert Speer put an end to these behemoths.
Nazi-era tanks - with imperial eagle, Nazi swastika - still stand in Bulgaria
A visitor to the village of Fakiya in Bulgaria can just make out a rusting tank cannon 10 metres off the side of a road. It belongs to tank equipped with a Maybach engine, built in 1943 for Nazi Germany's World War II army, the Wehrmacht. Serial number, the stamp of the imperial eagle and a Nazi swastika are recognisable. There are around 40 such tanks in the region along the border with Turkey. "During World War II, Bulgaria was allied with Germany," explains Petko Yotov, director the Museum of Military History in Sofia. Battle tanks were never scrapped, but instead were employed, together with T-34 tanks, to secure the border after the war.
Midnight breakout out from WWII Budapest in King Tiger tank (Article no longer available from the original source)
Joe Senzig served as tank commander in the Wermacht's Panzer command: first of a Panther medium tank, then later of 63-ton King Tiger tank. In the wake of the loss at Stalingrad, German Panzer units struggled to retreat across eastern Europe, pursued by Soviet soldiers. Finally, encircled by Soviet armored units at Budapest, 13 battle tanks attempted a daring midnight breakout toward the American 3rd Army. Senzig's Tiger tank would emerge as one of 4 tanks to complete the 15-mile run for survival. The burning wreckage of the 9 tanks lighted the roadway like bonfires at a Nuremberg rally. He survived the war, including a Soviet sniper's bullet which grazed his head.
History buff collects tanks, combat vehicles, self-propelled guns
Jacques Littlefield has amassed the country's largest private collection of tanks, self-propelled guns, armored personnel carriers, and anti-aircraft and other heavy combat vehicles on the lush, rolling hills of his 470-acre ranch. The real prize is the dreaded German Panzer V Panther, which the German army sank in a Polish river during World War II to keep it from the advancing Russians. The Panther sat submerged for 50 years until Littlefield acquired it and began a painstaking restoration four years ago. As an undergrad, he built a model tank from scratch in the campus machine shop. In 1976, he bought his first combat vehicle, a WWII Scout armored truck.
Estimating number of tanks Nazi Germany produced
By 1941 the allies knew that their tanks had been superior to German Panzer tanks in combat, but they were worried about the new marks IV and V (Panther). They had very little idea of how many tanks Nazi Germany was capable of producing, and intelligence estimates were unreliable. The statisticians had one key piece of information, which was the serial numbers on captured mark V tanks. They believed that the Germans, being Germans, had logically numbered their tanks in the order in which they were produced. They estimated that the Germans produced 246 tanks per month. Intelligence said 1,400 per month. After the war records showed that production was 245 per month.
Armoured and dangerous - Shermans, Panzers, Panther (Article no longer available from the original source)
When we tumbled at Jacques Littlefield`s 10,000 square foot vehicle restoration facility, we saw several old and battered looking genuine battle tanks sitting outside the facility. Battle tanks are not something everybody collects and there are 220 military vehicles, which reside at Pony Tracks Ranch. A muscular German Panzer IV - which under Rommel's Afrika Korps attacked British forces in the desert of North Africa. A 1944 German Panther tank rescued after 40 years in a Polish bog. Numerous one-of-a-kind prototypes.
King Tiger tank from the Normandy campaign arrives Museum
A rare German tank - a veteran from the Normandy campaign of World War Two - has gone on public display at the Tank Museum for the first time since its capture. The German King Tiger (Sd Kfz 182 Tiger II) was captured after a tank battle in Nothern France in August 1944. It was issued to 1 Kompanie of SS Panzer Battalion 101 in the summer of 1944 and was commanded by an Obersharfuhrer Franz. The King Tiger was the largest and most feared German panzer of World War II. It gained a fearsome reputation as a formidable opponent: Mounting an 88mm gun and with virtually impenetrable armour to its front it has since become recognised as the most powerful tank of the war.