Posts Tagged ‘Panzer T Shirts’

TIGER 1 vs T-34 TANK BATTLE OF KURSK “THE LAST CITADEL” BOOK REVIEW

November 20, 2009

The awe inspiring Tiger tank...Hitler’s super weapon of the WW2 battlefield. So superior to all other tanks of the enemy that the Battle of Kursk was delayed to allow the Tiger 1 to spearhead the attack that would drive the Russians back and bring victory back to the Germans on the eastern front…or so they hoped. “The Last Citadel” by David L Robbins is a fictional novel based on this premise and this is my review.

Tiger Panzer Tank

Achtung Tiger Panzer Tank T Shirt red

Tiger 1 Tank Profile Jagd Panzer German Ww2 Rc SS sport

Tiger 1 Tank Panzer German Ww2 Rc SS sport tee

tiger tanks of kursk

Tiger Panzer Tank Iron Cross German Army red

The Last Citadel by David L Robbins, is a fictional book based on historical events surrounding the epic tank battle at Kursk Russia in 1943 during WW2.  The German forces were bogged down by the Russian winter, the Russian victory at Stalingrad and then the subsequent spring rain and mud.  In the summer of 1943 the Germans had amassed a huge force to attack Russia and regain lost ground.  This would lead to the largest tank battle in history and also lends a dynamic backdrop to this book.

Hammer Sickle T-34 Tank Russian Red Army Stalingrad

Hammer Sickle T-34 Tank Russian Red Army Stalingrad green tee

World of tanks WOT Is2 Is3 Russian Stalin armor

IS-2 Heavy Russian Read Army Stalin World of Tanks

There are 4 main characters that drive this story.  The first is a Spanish officer Captain Luis Ruiz de Vega serving with the SS Liebstandarte Panzer Division.  He was wounded in the Battle of Leningrad and is but a shell of his former greatness. The next 3 are all from the same Russian Cossack family. Dimitri Berko, a private driving the T-34 in the Soviet 3rd Mechanized Division.  He is commanded by Sergeant Valentin Berko, Dimitri’s son, and Katya Berkovna, Dimitri’s daughter, a night bomber with the famous all-female bomber squadrons of the Red Air Force, so-called the Night Witches by the Germans that they bomb.  The 3 main story lines follow de Vega being assigned to escort the new super panzer of the German Army, the Tiger 1 Panzerkampfwagen VI, via train to the front and assure that the Tigers are delivered intact.  He then starts itching for action to command one of the Tigers at the Battle of Kursk.  He soon realizes how the Tiger is most effective in battle.  With Demitri and son Valentin in the same T-34 there is much of the father/son tension along with the tank battles that ensue.

T34 Red army Mother Russia Tank ww2 spt

T34 Preferred Weapon of Mother Russia Tank ww2 t shirt

Su 152 Russian World of Tanks

Su 152 Russian Tank Destroyer Red Army Stalingrad gray

The author keeps all entities separate into what seems like 3 different stories revolving around the build up to the tank battle at Kursk.  Each character has there own well detailed back stories that are fleshed out through memories, flashbacks and boastful story telling during the breaks in the battles.  The best aspect of this book is the historical accuracy and detail of the Tiger tank and the Battle of Kursk.  This book was very close to being non-fiction in the level of detail, but also very engrossing character development.  After reading about David L Robbins amount of research that was conducted, I knew just how realistic this book was.  He had spent 3 weeks on the battlefields of Kursk in the middle of summer getting a feel for the heat and sun of the Russian steppes.  He also trained in how to derail a train using explosives as the Partisan Russian

T-34 World War 2 Russian Soviet Red Army Tank

Achtung T-34 World War 2 Russian Soviet Red Army Tank red

fighters attempted in stopping the shipment of the Tiger tanks in the story.  Time was also spent in pouring over accounts from German and Russian tankers’ first hand battle accounts.  “Hands on” equipment training was given to him ranging from small arms to the tanks at the Aberdeen Ordinance Museum in Maryland and being driven around in a restored Russian T-34 in Virginia.

David L Robbins certainly did his homework for this book and you will feel it when you read it.  This is a must read for any Tiger 1 fan and any WW2 fan in general.

Achtung Bill

NEW PANZER TANK T SHIRTS ADDED TO ACHTUNG T SHIRT

July 19, 2009

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I decided to make a variation of the Achtung Tiger” t shirt and do an “Achtung Panther” t shirt.  Both are in black and military green (olive drab).

I used the same font as the “Achtung Tiger” tee and I really like it.  As always you can visit my ebay store or my online store.

Achtung Panther Panzer WW2 German SS D-Day Rc tank

Achtung Panther Panzer WW2 German SS D-Day Rc tank

Panther Iron Cross Panzer World of Tanks

Panther Iron Cross Panzer WW2 SS Division D-Day Rc tank

Here’s some info on the World War 2 German Panther tank…Panzerkampfwagen V:

was a tank fielded by Germany in World War II that served from mid-1943 to the end of the European war in 1945. It was intended as a counter to the T-34, and to replace the Panzer III and IV, though it served along with them as well as the heavier Tiger tanks until the end of the war. The Panther’s excellent combination of firepower, mobility, and protection served as a benchmark for other nations’ late war and immediate post-war tank designs and it is frequently regarded as one of the best tank designs of World War II.

Until 1944, it was designated as the Panzerkampfwagen V Panther and had the ordnance inventory designation of Sd.Kfz. 171. On 27, February 1944, Hitler ordered that the Roman numeral V be deleted from the designation.

World of tanks Jagdpanther Jagdpanzer Jagdtiger

Jagdpanther

The Panther was a direct response to the Soviet T-34 and KV-1 tanks. First encountered on 23 June, 1941,the T-34 outclassed the existing Panzer III and IV.At the insistence of General Heinz Guderian, a special Panzerkommision was dispatched to the Eastern Front to assess the Russian tanks.Among the features of the Soviet tank considered most significant were the sloping armor, which gave much improved shot deflection and also increased the effective armor thickness against penetration, the wide track, which improved mobility over soft ground, and the 76.2 mm gun, which had good armor penetration and fired an effective high-explosive round. Daimler-Benz (DB) and Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg AG (MAN) were given the task of designing a new thirty to thirty-five-ton tank, designated VK30.02, by April 1942 .

World of tanks panther strategy guide

Panther Tank T Shirt

The  design was a direct homage to the T-34. It resembled the T-34 hull and turret form. DB’s design used a leaf spring suspension whereas the T-34 originally used coil springs. The DB turret was smaller than that of the MAN design and had a smaller turret ring which was the result of the narrower hull required by the leaf spring suspension. The main advantages of the leaf springs over a torsion bar suspension were a lower hull silhouette and a simpler shock dampening design. Like the T34, the DB design had a rear drive sprocket. Unlike the T-34, the DB design had a three-man turret crew: commander, gunner, and loader. But as the planned L/70 75mm gun was much longer and heavier than the T-34’s, mounting it in the Daimler-Benz turret was difficult. Plans to reduce the turret crew to two men to stem this problem were eventually dropped.

Panther Panzer WW2 German SS Division D-Day Rc tank pink

Panther Panzer WW2 German SS Division D-Day Rc tank pink

The MAN design embodied more conventional German ideals with the transmission and drive sprocket in the front and a turret placed centrally on the hull. It had a petrol engine and eight torsion-bar suspension axles per side. Because of the torsion bar suspension, the MAN Panther was higher and had a wider hull than the DB design. The slightly earlier, Henschel designed Tiger I heavy tank’s use of a “slack track” Christie style pattern of large road wheels with no return rollers for the upper run of track, and with the main road wheels being overlapping and interleaved in layout, were design concepts broadly repeated with the MAN design for the Panther.

Grossdeutschland Ww2 Panzer Tank Infantry Division Insignia Logo

Grossdeutschland Ww2 Panzer Tank Infantry Division Insignia Logo bk

The two designs were reviewed over a period from January 1942 through March 1942. Reichminister Todt, and later, his replacement Albert Speer, both recommended the DB design to Hitler because of its several advantages over the initial MAN design. However, at the final submission, MAN improved their design, having learned from the DB proposal, and a review by a special commission appointed by Hitler in May 1942 ended up selecting the MAN design. He then approved this decision after reviewing it overnight. One of the principal reasons given for this decision was that the MAN design used an existing turret designed by Rheinmetall-Borsig while the DB design would have required a brand new turret to be designed and produced, substantially delaying the commencement of production.

World of Tanks Hetzer Gonna Hetz

Hetzer Gonna Hetz WOT Panzerjager 38t SdKfz 138 tanks gray

The MAN design also had better ability to handle water hazards, easier gun maintenance and higher mobility due to better suspension, wider tracks, and a larger fuel tank.  A mild steel prototype was produced by September 1942 and, after testing at , was accepted. It was put into immediate production. The start of production was delayed, however, mainly because there were too few specialized machine tools needed for the machining of the hull. Finished tanks were produced in December and suffered from reliability problems as a result of this production haste. The demand for this tank was so high that the manufacturing was soon expanded beyond MAN to include Daimler-Benz, Maschinenfabrik Niedersachsen-Hannover (MNH) and Henschel and Sohn in Kassel.

The initial production target was 250 tanks per month at MAN. This was increased to 600 per month in January 1943. Despite determined efforts, this figure was never reached due to disruption by Allied bombing, manufacturing bottlenecks, and other difficulties. Production in 1943 averaged 148 per month. In 1944, it averaged 315 a month (3,777 having been built that year), peaking with 380 in July and ending around the end of March 1945, with at least 6,000 built in total.

Radio Controlled German Panzer Tanks

June 4, 2009

By now you should have guessed that I love German WW2 panzer tanks.  I have loved all types of army related toys, movies, book, etc. ever since I can remember.  As I got older I started doing plastic scale model kits of my favorite tanks.  At first I would just stick to American, olive drab colored, army tanks.   I soon realized that the German panzers were much cooler and started doing more and more of the panzers as far as models go.  I still do scale models and have about 30 kits that are gathering dust in my basement waiting to be built.  Now I want to get into another “time sink” with RC tanks.  I have seen some that are pretty big,  1/6 scale made by Armortek, a company in the U.K.   I would love to buy one of the Armortek’s all metal 1/6 scale Tiger’s.  This is the scale of Gi Joe’s that are 12″ tall and that makes for a very large scale of a radio controlled tank.  Don’t get me started on my Gi Joe craze!!!  Well I think I will ease into this new hobby and try and find time between creating t shirts with my ebay store Achtung T Shirt and my Auctiva store Achtung T Shirt.

Some info on the Stug III:
Sturmgeschutz III was one of a series of assault guns/tank destroyers produced by the Germans during the war. Assault guns were easier, cheaper and less time consuming to produce than turreted tanks and that is why German factories built them in large numbers. Cost of single Ausfuhrung G was 82500RM making it less expensive than both PzKpfw III Ausfuhrung M at 103163RM and PzKpfw IV Ausfuhrung F2 at 115962RM. It is interesting to see that almost four Ausf Gs could be purchased for the cost of single King Tiger.In 1935, Colonel Erich von Manstein proposed that Sturmartillerie units were to be formed and used for direct support of infantry divisions. They were to be equipped with assault guns mounted on tracked chassis. Used to accompany the infantry into the attack, the assault gun’s main aim was to knock out pill-boxes, machine gun nests, anti-tank guns and other obstacles.  On June 15 1936, the order was given to Daimler-Benz AG to develop and produce an armored infantry support vehicle mounting 75mm gun.

 

Stug III Sturmgeschutz Panzer Tank Ww2 Assault Gun Tee Shirt green.jpg
Stug III Sturmgeschutz Panzer Tank Ww2 Assault Gun Tee Shirt red.jpgStug III Sturmgeschutz Panzer Tank Ww2 Assault Gun Tee Shirt black.jpg

The gun was to have a limited traverse of minimum 25 degrees in order to provide direct support up to 6 kilometres. The gun was to be mounted in a superstructure that provided full protection for the crew. The height of this vehicle was not to exceed the height of an average man. Daimler-Benz AG being already involved in the development and production of PzKpfw III tank decided to use its chassis and components for this new vehicle. The experimental “0” series of five prototypes (chassis number

60201 to 60215) was produced in 1937 by Daimler-Benz – Pz.Sfl.III (s.Pak). Prototypes were pre-production Panzerkampfwagen III
Ausf B tanks mounted with mild-steel superstructures housing short-barrelled 75mm StuK (Sturmkanone) gun designed and manufactured by Krupp. Vehicles were extensively tested at Kummersdorf, Doberitz and other testing / training facilities e.g. Jueterbog. Prototypes remained in use as training vehicles as late as 1942.  First production vehicles based on PzKpfw III Ausf F chassis and components, entered production in 1940. The 75mm StuK 37 L/24 gun was mounted offset to the right in a sloped superstructure. Superstructure was made of armor plates and was mounted on the welded hull. Side hull escape hatches present in the original Panzer III Ausfuhrung F hull were removed and frontal hull armor protection was increased from 30mm to 50mm. From January to May of 1940, 30 Sturmgeschutz III Ausf A were manufactured by Alkett.  First 24 Stug 3 Ausfuhrung A assault gun out 30 produced equipped Sturmartillerie Batteries 640, 659, 660 and 665 and first saw service during the French Campaign. Each battery according to organization scheme from November of 1939 had 6 assault guns in three platoons (with 2 assault guns each). Sturmartillerie Battery 640 became organic to Infantry Regiment Grossdeutschland and was renamed to 16th Sturmartillerie. Last 6 assault guns were issued to SS Sturmartillerie battery of Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler division. Two more batteries were formed – 666th and 667th but didn’t see combat in France.  In August of 1940, Sturmartillerie units were reorganized into Abteilungen (battalions) with 18 assault guns in three batteries (with 6 assault guns each). In early 1941, the battalions were renamed – Sturmgeschuetz Abteilungen and batteries to Sturmgeschuetz
Batteries. In March/April of 1941, all Sturmgeschuetz Batteries had the number of assault guns increased to seven.In 1942, with the introduction of long-barrelled Sturmgeschutz III (75mm L/43 and L/48), Sturmgeschuetz Abteilungen were reformed and number of assault guns was increased to 28 per battalion. Each battalion still had three batteries but number of assault guns in platoons was increased to three. In November of 1942, Sturmgeschuetz Abteilungen were reformed again and number of assault guns was increased to 31 per battalion with three additional assault guns for battery commanders. This type of organization often referred to as Sturmgeschuetz Brigade remained in use until the end of the war. In June of 1944, new organization scheme was introduced – Sturmartillerie Brigade with 45 assault guns, including 33 Sturmgeschutz III/IV (75mm L/48) assault guns and 12 Sturmhaubitze 42 (105mm L/28) assault howitzers. Brigade had three batteries with 2 Stug 3s for each battery command, while each battery had two platoons of four Stug IIIs and one of four StuH 42s. This organization scheme was used alongside the Sturmgeschuetz Brigade scheme to the end of the war. In practice, these ideals were hardly ever achieved and then only highly favoured formations received the full complement.  Towards the end of the war, Stugs (40) were often issued to other units as replacement for tank destroyers and even tanks.Since 1944, Stug 3 (40) were also used as replacements for PzKpfw III, PzKpfw IVand even PzKpfw V Panther in Panzer Abteilungs. That practice was a mistake, but the desperate situation and the overall shortage of tanks made it a necessity. During the course of war, Stug 3 assault guns were issued to Sturmartillerie Batteries,
Sturmgeschuetz Abteilungen, Sturmgeschuetz Brigades,Sturmartillerie Brigades, Ersatz (Reserve) Abteilungen and Funklenk (Remote Control) Companies. Sturmgeschutz 3 assault guns served on all fronts of WW2 to the end of the war.Only, elite Wehrmacht (e.g. Grossdeutschland) and Waffen SS (eg. LSSAH, Das Reich, Totenkopf) divisions had Sturmgeschutzbrigaden as permanent part of their divisions.  Sturmgeschutz III was originally designed as an assault weapon, but as war progressed it became more of a defensive one.It evolved into an assault gun and tank destroyer in one. Its main role was to providing anti-tank support to the units in its area of operation.  Ausfuhrung A was followed by improved Ausfuhrung B, C, D and E, all armed with short 75mm StuK 37 L/24 gun. All versions featured number of modifications specific to vehicles that followed them in production. Last Ausfuhrung E was manufactured in March of 1942. Total of 822 Ausfuhrung A, B, C, D and Es was produced by Alkett and their official designation was Gepanzerter Selbstfahrlafette fur Sturmgeschutz 7.5cm Kanone Ausfuhrung A-E / Sd.Kfz.142. Early Stugs remained in active service until mid 1943. Many Early models were recalled to the factory to be rearmed with newer guns and up-armored by addition of armor plates. Some older variants returned for repairs were often re-equipped with parts from newer variants creating completely non-standard variants (e.g. Stug 3 Ausf C armed with 75mm StuK 40 L/48 gun in Saukopf mantlet destroyed at Altdamm, 1945 and Sturmgeschutz 3 Ausfuhrung E armed with 75mm StuK 40 gun destroyed in Berlin, May 1945).  Sturmgeschutz 3 Ausfuhrung E was the first of the series to be provided with 7.92mm MG34, which was carried inside the superstructure for local defense.  Three Ausf D vehicles were send to North Africa and saw service with Sonderverband z.b.V 288 – special deployment unit. In March of 1942, Ausf F entered production. It was not only an assault gun but also a badly needed tank destroyer. Early models were mounted with long 75mm StuK 40 L/43 and late models (31) with longer L/48 gun. It was produced until September 1942 with 359(360) produced. Ausfuhrung F was then replaced by Ausf F/8 armed exclusively with L/48 gun. It was produced until December of 1942 with 334 produced. Ausfuhrung F/8 paved the way for final Sturmgeschutz III model – Ausfuhrung G. Sturmgeschutz 3 Ausf F, F/8 and G’s were also called Sturmgeschutz III (40), because they were all armed with 75mm StuK 40 guns. Sturmgeschutz 3 Ausf F and Ausf F/8 were produced by Alkett and their official designation was Gepanzerter Selbstfahrlafette fur Sturmgeschutz 7.5cm Sturmkanone 40 Ausf F-F/8 / Sd.Kfz.142/1.  In order to improve Stug III’s performance,in 1942, small number of various Sturmgeschutz 3 models (from Ausfuhrung B to Ausf F) was rearmed with 75mm Stuk L/33 guns, which externally resembled 105mm StuH 42 L/28 howitzers causing confusion. In reality Sturmgeschutz was never armed with this of gun. 75mm Stuk L/33 gun was invented by the British, who misinterpreted German photos of Stug III Ausfuhrung F with its longer L/43 gun, which had the muzzle break painted out by censors as new type of gun – L/33.  In May and June of 1943, 10 of retired and battle damaged Stug 3 Ausf F/8 were converted into flame-thrower tanks armed with 14mm Flammenwerfer.
They were designated as Sturmgeschutz III (Fl). From June of 1943 to January of 1944, all Sturmgeschutz III (Fl) were used for training in Germany, while from January to
April of 1944 all were rearmed with 75mm StuK 40 L/48 guns.  Ausf G entered production in December of 1942 and remained in production until March/April of 1945. It was the most numerous from all Sturmgeschutz III guns and some 7893 were produced by Alkett (Altmaerkische Kettenfabrik GmbH) and MIAG (Muehlenbau-und-Industrie AG). Production reached its peak when in 1944, 4013 Ausf Gs left factories. Alkett produced over 5000 Ausf, while MIAG began production in March of 1943 and produced some 3000 vehicles. Production numbers include 165 PzKpfw III Ausfuhrung M chassis used to produce Ausf Gs in 1943 and 173 PzKpfw III Ausfuhrung Ms converted to Ausfuhrung Gs by Alkett and MIAG in 1944. Ausfuhrung G was produced in four production series – chassis numbers 76101 to 77550, 91751 to 94250, 95001 to unknown and 105001 to unknown.  Ausfuhrung G used Ausf F/8’s hull, suspension, engine and other components, while superstructure was modified. Superstructure was widened, its 30mm sides were sloped at 79 degrees, the roof was raised in the rear and its rear 30mm superstructure wall was mounted at 90 degrees. This provided more room for both the panzer commander and loader.During the production, modifications were made to Ausf G. They included introduction of 80mm cast Saukopf (also known as Topfblende) mantlet in February of 1944; the coaxial MG in early 1944, installation of Nahverteidigungswaffe (90mm NbK 39 close-in defense weapon) and roof mounted remote
controlled MG (Rundum Feuer) in late spring of 1944. In addition, vehicles produced since January of 1943 had the fighting compartment fan mounted on the rear superstructure wall instead of the roof. Two kinds of “Saukopf” mantlet were manufactured and mounted on Stug III Ausf G, one housing only the gun and other housing the gun and coaxial machine gun (from September of 1944). Original “boxy” gun mantlet was made of 50mm (front) and 30mm (sides) armor plates. Ausfuhrung Gs were also mounted with 5mm Schurzen since mid 1943.  Sturmgeschutz 3
Ausf F, F/8 and G’s were also called Stug 40 Ausf F, F/8 and G, because they were all armed with 75mm StuK 40 guns. Those last three models performed the role of tank destroyers rather than that of assault guns.  On August 1st of 1940, it was planned to convert 12 Sturmgeschutz IIIs into submersible assault guns in preparations for the Invasion of England (Operation Sealion) but conversion never took place.  From April to June of 1943, some 61 Stugs were assigned to Panzerkompanien (Funklenk) as command vehicles for SdKfz.301 (Schwere Ladungsträger Ausfuhrung A/B/C – Borgward) tracked demolition charge layers, which were radio-controlled.  Another Sturmgeschutz ace was the Knights Cross holder Wachtmeister Kurt Kirchner from Stug.Abt.667, who destroyed 30 Red Army tanks during few days in February of 1942 during fighting in Northern Russia.Hauptmann Peter Franz also the Knights Cross holder and the tank commander of Stug.Abt. “Grossdeutschland” destroyed some 43 Soviet T-34/76 tanks during the Battle for Borissovka on March 14th of 1943.In the middle of July of 1941, Oberfeldwebel Rudolf Jaenicke (Stug number 25), panzer commander of Stug platoon destroyed 12 Russian BT-2 tanks along with tractors and other equipment loaded on rail platforms.Between 1st and 4th of January of 1943, Unteroffizier Horst Naumann from Stug.Abt.184 destroyed 12 Russian tanks during heavy fighting in the Demyansk area. On January 4th, Naumann was awarded with Knight’s Cross for destruction of total of 27 enemy tanks.  The most notable of all Stug aces were von Malachowski, Franz and especially Knight’s Cross holder Oberwachtmeister Hugo Primozic of Stug.Abt.667.  The most notable Waffen SS Stug ace was SS-Sturmbannfuehrer Walter Kniep, who commanded the 2nd Sturmgeschuetz Abteilung of 2nd SS Panzer Division “Das Reich”. From July 5th of 1943 to January 17th of 1944, his unit claimed destruction of some 129 Russian tanks, while losing two Stugs. Kniep was then awarded the Knight’s Cross.
Overall, Sturmgeschutz series proved to be very successful, and served on all fronts as assault guns and tank destroyers in both offensive and defensive mode. Sturmgeschutz III with its low silhouette was a difficult target and a dangerous opponent. Sturmgeschutz crews were considered to be the elite of the artillery units and were issued special field grey (version of panzer) uniforms. Sturmgeschutz units held very impressive record of tank kills some 20000 enemy tanks by spring of 1944.As of April 10th of 1945, there were 1053 Stug 3s and 277 StuH IIIs in service.Approximately 9500 Sturmgeschutz IIIs of various types were manufactured until March of 1945 by Alkett and small number by MIAG.

Tiger Tank Diagram T Shirt

April 12, 2009

I found this diagram of the Tiger 1, panzerkampfwagen 6, and decided to make a t shirt based on it.  I think that it is the U.S. army intelligence manual on the Tiger that were captured from the Germans in World War 2.  It has the dimensions of all the major components such as the armor thickness at the turret, the mantle, glacis plate, the 88mm gun, machine guns, etc.  The diagram refers to the Tiger tank as a “Heavy Tank–PzKw 6”, not the Tiger as we all know it by.  As always you can buy this shirt from my ebay store: Achtung T Shirt.   Here’s a pic:

 

copy-of-tiger-diagram-wh-thumb

world of tanks t shirt

Tiger Iron Cross t shirt


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