Panzers of WW2

German Panzer Museum

An easy hour’s drive south of Hamburg is the German Panzer Museum in Munster (Örtze) which is located in/between two of the largest Bundeswehr training grounds. The museum, naturally, covers mainly tanks used by the German Army from WW1 to the present (which, since they include the East German Volksarmee in with the West German Bundeswehr means that some good examples of Russian and East Bloc stuff is included.

The collection isn’t as extensive as the British one at Bovingdon, which I covered in a previous post, but it’s not as old … and it’s pretty good anyway.

A mock-up of the A7V, the only German combat tank of WW1 – the only surviving example is in, of all places, Brisbane. They only produced around 40 of these monsters because of raw material shortages, the fact that it wasn’t a very good design, and the lack of foresight of the High Command … not necessarily in that order!
Late war German light tank prototype – yes, it looks like the British Whippet, but isn’t. Great minds think alike, I guess.
Panzer 1, the mainstay of the Panzer forces vs Czechoslovakia, Poland and in the 1940 invasion of western Europe. Pathetic. But there were a fair few, but, more importantly, the German armoured doctrine of Blitzkrieg made excellent use of them.
Panzer V Panther with zimmerit, a paste applied to the armour to make it impossible to attach magnetic anti-tank mines. Only used for several months until some bright spark noted that none of their enemies used magnetic AT mines!
Panzer III, later model, with long 50mm gun.
Panzer IV with long 75mm gun. Shipped to North Africa brand new, it broke down and was captured by the Allies within days of its arrival! How embarrassing.
German Tiger 1 – it’s marked as 321 just like the one at Bovingdon.
JPz 38T Hetzer… based on a Czech chassis … the Germans were so desperate for armoured vehicles they never threw anything away if they could repurpose it.
Prototype of the JPz IV – there are significant differences between it and the production version (which the museum also has, but isn’t pictured here)
StuG-111 with long 75mm cannon
Hummel with 150mm Howitzer (they also have a Wespe with 105mm Howitizer (not pictured here)
The Brummbar self-propelled gun based on a Panzer IV chassis, it was armed with a ‘gun’ that fired 150mm HE shells and was intended for use demolishing bunker and other fortifications (mainly – exigencies of war meant it was often used as an ad hoc tank substitute)
King Tiger with production turret.

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