A reminder of armoured warfare - warning, graphic image
Well I warned you. This photo I found online - I believe it an archival image, not a private one but cannot recall where to give proper acknowledgement.
It graphically shows the aftermath of a brewed up PzKpfw IV with the short barreled 75mm gun somewhere in Africa ( in November 1941 the longer barreled gun began to be fitted ) The remains of the driver are being extracted ( as best as can be done by two British soldiers – a most grisly job. As collectors, we can overlook the harshness of war and sometimes a jog back to the reality of the circumstances around what we collect is necessary. When General Sherman made his “war is hell” quote, it was scenes like this he meant ( though he could scarcely envision this scene 80 years earlier )
The Panzerlied has never been as true with outcomes such as this.
Und läßt uns im Stich einst das treulose Glück,
Und kehren wir nicht mehr zur Heimat zurück,
Trifft uns die Todeskugel, ruft uns das Schicksal ab, ja, Schicksal ab.
Dann wird unser Panzer ein ehernes Grab!
And if we are abandoned by treacherous luck,
And if we don't return home again,
If death's bullet finds us, and fate calls us away, yes, us away.
Then our tank shall become an iron grave!
" When you're chewing on life's gristle, don't grumble, give a whistle "
10-11-2015 10:06 AM
That poor bugger didn't stand a chance!...
It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.
I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...
Having been a Police diver for over 8 years I can fully empathise with the poor buggers whose job it was to recover the fallen from inside these machines.
The picture is dated the 30th of March 1942, so it's pre El Alamein. Here's another pic of the same tank, showing the impact point of at least one HEAT round.
'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'
In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.