Sunday, 25 September 2011

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Panzer IV Zug in Frankreich, 1944

Today’s colourised image depicts a Panzer IV Ausf. H Zug of 8./Pz-Rgt. 3 (8th Company, Panzer Regiment 3) of the 2.Pz-Div. on manoeuvres near Amiens in early 1944.

The division had been sent to Amiens in late 1943 to refit and rearm after suffering heavy losses during a fighting retreat following the failure of Unternehmen Zitadelle (Operation Citadel, more commonly known as the Battle of Kursk).

When the invasion of Normandy began, the Division was held in reserve in the Somme on the mistaken belief that the Allies main offensive against the Pas de Calais was soon to begin. When this second offensive turned out to be a ruse they were transported to the front in Normandy, though the Division did not arrive until mid July.

Click the images to view them full-size.




Number 825 shows some interesting features. Of note are the white painted labels on the hull Schürzen that indicate their position on the vehicle. This enabled the crew to ensure they were put back in the correct places when they were removed for track maintenance. The panzers themselves were manufactured between November 1943 and January 1944.

Also note that the gunner of '825' is wearing his greatcoat over his black panzer uniform.

This photograph was taken by PK Scheck, and is part of a series of the same Panzer Kompanie.

Update: Many thanks to Tom Cockle from the missing-lynx.com forum for the correction regarding the Nahverteidigungswaffe and the information regarding production dates.

The original photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Germany license.
Attribution: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-298-1759-25 / Scheck / CC-BY-SA