Destroyed German Tank and a Shot of the Battlefield! Never Before Seen WWII Images

in #wwii3 years ago (edited)

Hello Steemit People!

Welcome back for another round of previously unseen WWII photos from my grandpa Joe’s collection. If you are new here and would like to know more about the story behind these photos please check out my original post here.

You know the interesting thing is while I am researching these photos on the internet, I hardly see any other images from that period that are of this good quality. It is just amazing to me how well these are preserved and I am so happy to share them here on Steemit.

For today's series, we travel south-west from Nuremberg, Germany (check out my last post) to the French, German, and Swiss border. How do I know that? Well since my grandfather passed away nearly 30 years ago, all we have are these photos to go on. But as you will see he left many clues in the images he captured and the photographs tell a thousand words.

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Our first photograph of the day, we are taken immediately to the battlefield. Here we have this ol’ Sarge acting funny like he took the damn tank out himself. “Hands out of your pockets soldier!” Thing is, all these years later and American soldiers are still pulling off nonsense like this, I should know I was one!

Thanks to the contribution from @torsten to this post, we now know this is a Jagdtiger tank destroyer. As always, if you are interested I encourage you to check out more here. If you look closely on the right side you can see damage to the track with an accompanying crater in the ground (John Wayne here has half his leg in the crater). That to me looks like the disabling shot.

Post Edit: I originally thought this was a Panther tank.
From @torsten
"That's a Jagdtiger. A tank destroyer with 128mm main gun, but a gun in a barbette. So the "turret" can't turn which means one shot into the tracks already disables it." Please see comments for more information.

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In the photo above, we have a terrific side angle photograph of the tank! Unfortunately, for us, it is not the side with the impact. I would have liked to have seen that but at least with this angle, we have a lot more information to go on figuring out what kind of tank this was. Since he didn't photograph the impact we can assume the tank may have been destroyed by the Germans to avoid capture. Laying on the ground on the side of the tank looks like a piece from the roof armor plate as well as the "blende" (piece of the turret by the barrel) slid forward, indicating an explosion from inside. -Information from @torsten.

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Another shot of the Jagdtiger this time from the front. Now we have a better angle of the iconic machine gun sticking out the front that you would see in all the old WWII movies mowing American GIs down. It is impossible to know if this particular one was ever used in combat, the only thing we do know is that the tank was destroyed and left behind. Also, we have a little better shot of where the tank was damaged, again on the driver side there.

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And immediately following the tank photographs, we have a shot of the battlefield. I am thinking that the tank was up on the ridge and after taking a few pictures of the tank, grandpa Joe turned around and snapped a quick landscape of the battlefield. With the German tank sitting on the ridge overlooking these crossroads, they would have a good sector of fire to stop any advancing enemies. Unfortunately for them, the tank was destroyed and the rest is history.

I’m guessing before the battle this was also somewhat of a forest terrain judging by all the downed trees. If you zoom in on the wood line on the right side you can see some debris, possible cover for troops. There is a drainage ditch near there too, and I can only imagine soldiers using that as cover as they moved on through.

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Look here folks, a literal sign left by my grandpa showing us exactly where he was. This sign brings us to Weil am Rhein, the German border town on the border of France and Switzerland. This was only a few photos away in the role of film, leaving me to believe that this destroyed Panter was relatively close to the town.

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There are many more photographs, so please come on back next Monday and join me on this amazing journey through Germany during World War II!

Thanks, everyone for stopping by and please upvote and Re-steam this post! I am really enjoying all the comments and feedback from all you folks, thank you very much! If you have any information on any of these photographs, please, please share it in the comments.

I own all of these photographs so please respect my family history and ask permission prior to use.

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That's a Jagdtiger. A tank destroyer with 128mm main gun, but a gun in a barbette. So the "turret" can't turn which means one shot into the tracks already disables it.

The open engine hatch indicates more damage, but I don't see any penetrating hits. It was probably abandoned and the engine destroyed by its crew.

Most Jagdtiger ended this way. Given up or blown up by their crew after mechanical failure. Their armor was almost impregnable from the front, but when the mechanics fail and you can't keep the front towards the enemy, you're gone.

Wow, thank you so much! That's amazing information. I will add an edit to the post with your comment. Thanks again so cool!

I just realized the "Blende" (no idea what that is in English), the thing that protects the area around the gun, has slid forward. This won't happen unless there's a detonation inside the tank. Whether this was caused by a self-destruction obviously can*t be said. As I don't see any damage around the tank, it probably wasn't an air attack, as falling bombs or rockets would cause visible destruction around the tank.
Also, there's a metal sheet next to it in the one paper. That sheet should be the roof that has been blown out. You can see the rivet holes on it.

So the cause of the destruction can't be identified by me. It was definitely blown up though. Whether through a shell into its left side or self-destruction can't be said. But I guess we can be sure your grandpa would've taken a picture of the penetrating shot if there were one.

Many tanks were also just given up in that stage of the war due to lack of fuel. But at least the front sprocket seems to be blackened which indicates fire, although I don't see any damage on the wheel itself.

You're "Blende" is called a Mantlet in English and I agree with the idea of self destruction.

I agree with your theory that seems very plausible! Such a shame that it was destroyed, but that's the way it goes. I have updated the post, and thank you so much for your contribution! This is the reason why I am sharing these to learn more about them!

Maybe it was a combination of both. A hit to the track then they destroyed the engine. Impossible to tell. Very interesting though.

@balticbadger
Interesting, I always liked tanks, or at least as a kid playing with them...
=)
/FF

Me too! I still love building tank models too. Well it been a couple years but I have done it in my adulthood lol

Why do young guys love to "play-war" so much? I loved that...

/FF

Same reason bear cubs wrestle i guess lol

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Wow! Your grandpa joe has done a tremendous job! Look at man mate, What a pose..! I will also look at the original photos, beey much like the work. I also run a photography blog, hope you ll visit it. Keep it up mate!

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Thanks a lot, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Welcome... I also creat photography blogs.. Hope u ll enjoy that

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It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light

Awesome pics
😎😎😎

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Thank you, sir!

Yes Sir
I will be looking at your original post
Looking forward too it

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The photos do have a pretty great quality! And it's definitely interesting content to share

Thank you! I love finding out more about my grandpa every post I make.

sir balticbadger! amazing, such clear photos like you said, very very interesting. That first photo with the sarge posing, that's a classic! another great post. oh and I had a visit from lost-ninja today! lol. thank you sir, that was quite a nice surprise!

This is the first post I've seen - and this is so much fun! I'm sure for you it's like solving a mystery and getting to know grandpa in a different light.

Plus I read the intro post and did you ever find any pics with him and other ladies?

There are a few lol. I will try to put one in the next post :) when I first had these developed, I was in awe. I looked through them a couple times and then forgot about them for a few years. Now going back through them I am really getting a glimpse of his life that I never had before and wouldn't have if it wasn't for these pictures. I spent a year in Afghanistan in the shit and I am ashamed at my measly 20-30 pictures I snapped on some shitty 2006 5 megapixel camera. After seeing the amazing shots he captured I realize all the amazing thing i failed to photograph, such a tragedy.

"Measly 20-30 pictures"

It is what it is I guess. Now you know the importance of documenting your life!

Hahah 😂😂😂

Wow. What an invaluable treasure you have here. These shots are incredible and provide a really neat glimpse into history. Thanks for sharing them. I look forward to seeing more.

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