|Destroyed PzKfw IV|
But the Germans did do some mountain fighting in the Soviet Union during that mammoth slugfest from 1941 to 1945. Their advance to the Caucasus springs to mind. So that might possibly be a picture from southern Russia, neh?
But it isn't.
A little background before I get any further along - whilst hunkering down at Chez Sarge during this virus-thing, I've been standing by my work laptop, awaiting the call to action. (Which I don't think is coming anytime soon, I hope I'm wrong.) During this period, while reading the occasional email from work, I've been up on my home computer (which is conveniently next to the laptop table). I've been doing many things to keep from going batshit crazy. (Yes, I see what I did there.)
A friend of mine has written a book, a very good book I might add, and asked me to review it, make suggestions, comments, what have you, which I've been doing. (As you might gather, it's an unpublished work, I hope he gets it published, I'd actually buy a copy, even though I already have the draft, it's that good.) But I can't spend the entire day reading. So I watch videos, music and tank videos. (No Stefan, not those tank videos.) Okay, the occasional History Guy video as well.
Some of my favorite videos are done by this fellow -
|Nicholas Moran (left) and Z (right).|
For those of you who don't know it, Major Moran works for Wargaming.net as an advisor for their World of Tanks online gaming empire. As he's a currently serving armor officer in the Nevada Army National Guard, he's the right man for the job.
Anyhoo, before I drone on much further, at the end of his series on the Jagdpanzer IV, he made mention of that online game and again stressed the fact that it was free to try out. Which indeed it is. How do I know? Well, I signed up Tuesday evening and spent quite a bit of time over there learning the ropes. I haven't gone head-to-head with my fellow humans just yet, I will be doing that soon.
Is it fun and awesome? You betcha. Otherwise, I wouldn't be doing it.
All that being the preface of what seems to be turning into a somewhat lengthy tale, I was watching another Inside the Chieftain's Hatch series on the Panzerkampfwagen (PzKfw) IV, an example of which lies destroyed in that opening photo, when he mentioned something which made me sit up and say "Huh?" At the end of the third and final episode, Major Moran mentioned that the last PzKfw IV destroyed in battle was of a tank operated by the Syrian Army in the Golan Heights, in June of 1967.
Yup, twenty-two years after the Nazis surrendered.
Of even more interest was the fact that that former German tank had been knocked out by an Israeli Sherman. While I did remember at the time (yes, I was alive, I was fourteen) that the Syrians had a number of former German armored vehicles in their army and that the Israelis had a number of American Shermans in their army (modified to their own excellent standards), I never put two and two together and wondered if the two had met in battle.
Well, they had.
Which was, to me anyway, a very interesting story.
A note on the video, something which a lot of folks do is use the phrase "German panzer tanks." While technically it's not as bad as saying "ATM machine" or "hot water heater," it's close. The generic German word for a tank is "Panzer," which literally means "armor," so saying "panzer tank" could be excused as meaning "armored tank," it still kind of grates, even to this rusty old, non-native semi-German speaker.
Aber ich schweife ab...
No, that's it I think, I've got to get this to the publisher and hire a new editor after Angus McThag noticed in yesterday's post that I had captioned a photo of the Wiesel with it being next to a "real tank," a vehicle which is most emphatically not a tank, real or otherwise. In actuality it's a self-propelled artillery vehicle, armored yes, a tank no. Does it look like a tank a little when viewed by someone focusing on the vehicle in the foreground? Yes, it does. Should I have looked more closely at the photo before captioning it? Yes, I should have. Here's the vehicle in question -
|German soldiers with 4th Battery, 131st Artillery Battalion carry out a fire mission with a PzH 2000|
FWIW, the PzH in that designation stands for Panzerhaubitze, literally "armored howitzer." I know you wanted to know. I mean you come here for the pictures and stay for the German, right? (Well, except for maybe Paweł, I know how the Poles feel about the Niemcy.) Also, as a final note, that PzH 2000 is actually bigger than a tank.
- Last Sherman vs Panzer Battle
- The Last Battle
- Panzers in the Golan Heights
- How Israel Won Many Wars With Outdated World War II Sherman Tanks
- More photos of that wrecked PzKfw IV (Really those are more for juvat...)