Adolf Hitler's rise to power began in Germany in September 1919 when Hitler joined the political party then known as the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei – DAP (German Workers' Party). ... Hitler's "rise" can be considered to have ended in March 1933, after the Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act of 1933 in that month.

Invasion of Poland 1939

Above: Invasion of Poland Aug 1939

Hitler was made Chancellor of Germany in 1934 the old Kaiser was forced out and the Nazi's took complete power. The slow arament build up began the Germans even visited Britain to see how we built tanks and deployed them in the field. But Germany had a better was of using tanks along with Troops and Aircraft and we were soon to see it in Poland on Sept. 1st 1939 .....Blitzkrieg!

Before the world knew it was too late they had invaded Poland with the Largest and most up to date Army in the World at that time.

Double click to insert body text here ...

Mephisto – (Shown above in captured) is the rarest tank in the world. After 70 years is on exhibition in Queensland the First World War German tank Mephisto has arrived at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra to celebrate the First Wold War

A7V German W Mem

Moving Maphisto

The recovery of Mephisto in France began a long history of movement for this only remaining example of a German First World War Tank.

In July 1918 the abandoned tank was dragged back to allied lines from near Villers-Bretonneux. From there it was sent to Australia via Vaux, Dunkirk and London, the war trophy arriving at Norman Wharf, Brisbane, in June 1919. In August it was towed from there to the Queensland Museum on Gregory Terrace by two Brisbane City Council steamrollers. The tank remained on display outside the old museum building for more than 60 years where it was a familiar icon.

In 1986, Mephisto was relocated to the South Bank campus of the Queensland Museum. It resided in a purpose built climate controlled space in the Dinosaur Garden until the floods of 2011.

Since then Mephisto has made the journey north of Brisbane to a facility where it underwent conservation and in early 2013 was moved once again to The Workshops Rail Museum.

From July 2015 to June 2017, Mephisto was on display at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

Mephisto will move to its permanent home in the Anzac Legacy Gallery at Queensland Museum South Bank and be on display when it opens in late 2018.

Visit Canberra web page below.

Below: Mephiso being off loaded at Norman Wharf Brisbane Australia.

Mephisto Cam A
Mephisto Cam B

Below is a copy of Wotan a 'Sturmpanzerwagen' A7V mostly fabricated from wood and metal it's unfortunate that a German Museum does not have its own real WW1 tank, this replicar is shown at the Deutsches Museum in Munster, Germany.

Wotan Copy Deutschesches Panzer at Munster

Left: Troop Compartment
Centre: PERI sight for the commander.
Right: Gunners sight with MUSS Sensor.
Below: Puma MK30-2/ABM Gun.

German PUMA F Gun

Now back to the WW2 GermanTank developement

Panzer 4

Panzer IV  b

The Panzer IV (4) was designed quickly as a stop gap Medium tank (Panzerkampwagen IV) to facilitate the Panzer III wihich was becoming outdated first seen in the Desert campaigns although it was used briefly to run the BEF out of France but not a lot was known about it.

Known by the German tankers as Big, Weak and Uncomfortable.

Similar to the case of the Pz.Kpfw. III, in the beginning, the British had limited knowledge about the Pz.Kpfw.I V. They knew by hearsay that the tank was heavier than the Pz.Kpfw. III. In intelligence reports, it was called a medium tank, while the Pz.Kpfw. III was classified as a medium-light tank.

It is worth mentioning that British tankers encountered the Pz.Kpfw. IV in 1940 in France, however, due to a rapid defeat of the Expeditionary Force, they had no possibility to get a sample for a study. The British didn’t even have accurate information on its armour plating and ammunition load. Nonetheless, they issued a drawing with its image and on December 16, 1940, they sent it to the armoured school.

Panzer IV  a

The Pz.Kpfw. IV first appeared in North Africa in the spring of 1941. Although as stated briefly seen in France as they ran the BEF out, (British Expeditionary Force).

Formed on February 19, the Afrika Korps had two units: 15th Panzer Division and 5. Leichte Division. They went into battle by the end of March, totalling, among other tanks, only 49 Pz.Kpfw. IV, which were numerically inferior to the Pz.Kpfw. III.

The British got their first trophy pretty quickly: in early May, they could inspect an abandoned Pz.Kpfw.IV and get some information about it.

It was shipped back to the UK but the ship was attacked and the tank was fire damaged but the crews managed to save it for later inspection.

The tank front hull and turret armour were 30 mm, and its side armour was 20 mm. The armour of its command pod was also 20 mm, its base and its engine compartment roof were covered by a 10 mm armoured plate. The front hull was shielded with an additional 30 mm plate, while its sides were partially shielded with 20 mm plates. Its turret was not shielded.

The tank armament consisted of a 75-mm cannon and presumably of two 7.91 mm Spandau LMG, its ammunition load counted 83 explosive fragmentation projectiles. The quality of the tank armour plating was estimated as very low, even worse than that of Czech tanks, but it was assumed that other vehicles could have better armour plating. It was noted that the Boys anti-tank rifle penetrated 25 mm of German armour at a distance of 450 yards (410 m) in combat conditions, which made the tank sides very vulnerable, despite partial shielding. As its welds were very weak too, they could crack even under fire of light weapons.

Its maximum estimated speed was 37 km/h. According to the calculations of British experts, the Pz.Kpfw.IV could overcome a 3.2 meters wide anti-tank ditch and climb a 68 cm high obstacle. The trophy tank fuel distance was estimated to be 120 km, though, according to the British, this characteristic could be overstated.

Single Click on Images to Expand

Panzer IV  c

Above: British soldiers and officers looking at the captured Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf.G. Picture was taken in Cairo on December 29, 1942. The inscription “Christmas greetings to the chief of military intelligence from the 1st armoured division” is on the board. On the front, left wing is a white rhinoceros – the emblem of the British Union.

Panzer IV  d insp


The German high command wanted the new Panther tank in production by December 1942 so that there would be enough numbers available for the spring and summer offensives of 1943. In May 1942, the Daimler-Benz VK.30.02(DB) and the M.A.N. VK.30.02(M) paper designs were submitted.

The M.A.N. design eventually won the contract because of several issues with the Daimler-Benz design. The major ones were that its turret was not ready for production. Its chassis was too small to mount the approved larger Rheinmetall-Borsig turret. It did not use an engine that was already being produced and fitted in other tanks. This would have caused a logistics problem as well as manufacturing delays. The suspension system and wider tracks of the M.A.N. design gave a lower ground pressure reading.

It should be noted that the M.A.N. tank chassis prototype design did not use the strong interlocking tenon joint design on its armor plate junctions. This Damiler-Benz feature was added to the final production design. Both the V1 and V2 prototypes displayed numerous minor design aspects that were not used in the production Panther. The two prototype vehicles were used to test different features prior to starting a production run.

The Panzer V Ausf.D
The first production Panther tank was the Ausf.D not the Ausf.A. This confuses many people. In the past German tank versions started with the letter A and then went on to B, C, D etc. In January 1943 M.A.N produced the first production series Panther Ausf.D tank. ‘Ausf’ is an abbreviation for the German word ‘Ausfuehrung’ which means version. The Panzer V Ausf.D Panther tank Fahrgestell-Nummer Serie chassis numbers range from 210001 to 210254 and 211001 to 213220.

Panther Headlight Unit Std
Pan,Tiger, Stug H Light


Panther vision port

ABOVE: Panther Vision Port shown to the Left of the Headlamp
fold out design

The Driver’s Vision Port

On the early Panzer V Ausf.D tanks a rectangular hole was cut out of the front armor on the left side of the tank and covered with an armored vision port. The driver could open this hinged port when not in a combat zone. This was perceived as a weak spot and was also a feature that took time to fabricate. To stream line production, to enable more tanks to be built quickly, the driver’s vision port was not fitted on later models. He could only see where he was driving by looking through two fixed armored periscopes and later only one swivelling periscope, that projected out of the chassis roof.

Pan Hull MG
Pan Glacis Hull MG

Hull Machine Gun (Above: Later Type Machine Gun)

The early Panzer V Panther tanks were not fitted with an armoured ball mount for the 7.92 mm MG34 machine gun. A rectangular ‘letterbox’ slit was cut into the front sloping glacis plate to enable the radio operator to fire his machine gun when necessary. A small armoured door covered this opening. He had two periscopes fixed to the roof of the chassis: one faced forward and the other to the right side of the tank.

Panther Wheels and suspension

Panther Tracks

Its wide tracks and large interleaved road wheels resulted in lower ground pressure. This helped it traverse waterlogged, or deep-snow covered rough terrain, providing better traction and mobility.

The Panther Tank’s track was a ‘Trockenbolzen-Scharnierkette’ (dry single-pin track). There were 87 track links per side kept together with a dry ungreased metal rod. It had a cap on the inside section and a split ring in a groove on the outside. The track was in contact with the ground for a length of 3.92 m. The tracks gave the tank a ground pressure reading of 0.88 kp/cm² on the Panther Ausf.D and Ausf.A and 0.89 kp/cm² on the Panther Ausf.G, which was good for such a large heavy vehicle. A complete length of track weighed 2,050 kg.

The track was called Kgs 64/660/150. The number 660 means the width of the tracks (660 mm). The number 150 is the ‘chain pitch’ (150 mm). The chain pitch was the distance between one drive sprocket tooth to the next. The letter ‘K’ was an abbreviation for ‘Schnelllauffähige Kette für Kraftfahrzeuge’ (fast running track for motor vehicles – unlike agricultural tractors). The letter ‘g’ was the code for ‘Stahlguß aller Legierungen’ (steel castings of all alloys) and the letter ‘s’ was short for ‘schwimmende Bolzen’ (swimming/rotating bolt).
Because of reported problems of tanks slipping the track link was redesigned. Starting in July 1943 new track links were cast with six chevrons on each track face.


The Panther tank had a five-man crew. The turret was large enough for three people: the commander, gunner, and loader. The driver sat on the left-hand side of the tank chassis at the front and next to him on the right-hand side was the hull machine gunner who also operated the radio.

Panther Summer Camo

ABOVE Panther: Summer Camo

Panther Spring Camo B

ABOVE Panther: Autumn Camo

Panther Winter Camo 1943

ABOVE Panther: Winter Camo

Panther Fall Camo

ABOVE Panther: Spring Camo

Panther Prototype Grey Camo

ABOVE Panther: Origonal Factory Grey First Models.

Berge Panther 1944

Panther Ausf.D specifications

Dimensions (L-W-H) 8.86 m x 3.27 m x 2.99 m
(29ft 1in x 10ft 9in x 9ft 10in)
Total weight, battle ready 44.8 tonnes
Main Armament Main: 7.5 cm Kw.K.42 L/70, 82 rounds
Secondary Armament 2x 7.92 mm MG 34 machine guns
Armor 16 to 80 mm (Turret front 100-110 mm)
Crew 5 (commander, driver, gunner, loader, radioman/machine gunner)
Propulsion Maybach HL 210 (or 230) V12 water cooled 650hp gasoline/petrol engine
Transmission ZF AK 7-200 7-forward/1-reverse gearbox
Suspensions Double torsion bars and interleaved wheels
Max Road Speed 55 km/h (34 mph)
Operational range 200 km (124 miles)
Production 842 approx.


The Tiger I is a German heavy tank of World War II that was employed from 1942 in Africa and Europe, usually in independent heavy tank battalions. Its final designation was Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger Ausf. E often shortened to Tiger. The Tiger I gave the German Army its first armoured fighting vehicle that mounted the 8.8 cm KwK 36 gun (not to be confused with the 8.8 cm Flak 36). 1,347 were built between August 1942 and August 1944.[10] After August 1944, production of the Tiger I was phased out in favour of the Tiger II.

While the Tiger I has been called an outstanding design for its time, it was over-engineered, using expensive materials and labour-intensive production methods. The Tiger was prone to certain types of track failures and breakdowns, and was limited in range by its high fuel consumption. It was expensive to maintain, but generally mechanically reliable. It was difficult to transport, and vulnerable to immobilisation when mud, ice, and snow froze between its overlapping and interleaved Schachtellaufwerk-pattern road wheels, often jamming them solid. This was a problem on the Eastern Front in the muddy rasputitsa season and during periods of extreme cold.

The tank was given its nickname "Tiger" by Ferdinand Porsche, and the Roman numeral was added after the later Tiger II entered production. The initial designation was Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausführung H (literally 'Armored Combat Wagon/Vehicle VI version H', abbreviated PzKpfw VI Ausf. H) where 'H' denoted Henschel as the designer/manufacturer. It was classified with ordnance inventory designation Sd.Kfz. 182. The tank was later re-designated as PzKpfw VI Ausf. E in March 1943, with ordnance inventory designation Sd.Kfz. 181.

Today, only seven Tiger I tanks survive in museums and private collections worldwide. Tiger 131 at the UK's Tank Museum, which was captured during the North Africa Campaign, is currently the only one restored to running order.

Tiger 1  B Russian Park
Tiger 1  C France

LEFT ABOVE: The Vimoutiers Tiger tank in Vimoutiers, Normandy, France'

RIGHT ABOVE: Lenino-Snegiri Military Historical Museum, Russia

The STuG was well loved by the Wehtmacht Soldier as a supreme infantry suppoort vehicle crewed by four it had a short barrel Gun and MG 34 for its own protection, very useful as a general small tank.


With a 12-person crew, the French Char 2C was the largest operational tank ever made.


stug concret frontal armour

ABOVE: Many later variants were fitted with Concret Frontal Armour, a cheap fix at the time as ballistic steel was scarce, expensive and added weight.. the concrete could be pached up in the field if necessary as all countries used cement products.

stug supporting

ABOVE: Battle of Stalingrad: Infantry and a supporting StuG assault gun advance towards the city center.

STuG 3 cata 1944 Norm
STug III Ausf B in Latvia during the Baltic Operation

ABOVE: STuG III Ausf B latvia During The Baltic Campaign.

BELOW: German StuG III Ausf.F in Finland showing concrete armour added to superstructure.

STug Concr Finland

BELOW: Finnish StuG III Ausf. G (June, 1944).

While the Finnish Air Force's practice of putting Swastikas on its aircraft ended decades ago, it is easy enough to find Swastikas on objects related to the Finnish Air Force.

Finnish Swastikas can be seen on shoulder badges and at the Finnish Air Force Academy.

This might seem odd to some, but Finland has a long relationship with the Swastika that predates even Nazis use.

Finnish STuG III Ausf G June 1944