From All of Us,
Alles Gute zum Geburtstag – Happy Birthday to you, Hans-Wilhelm!
Have a wonderful Day!
From All of Us,
Alles Gute zum Geburtstag – Happy Birthday to you, Hans-Wilhelm!
Have a wonderful Day!
Hello All Members,
I’m writing this to discuss the website and historical society in which we will cover some of the good things and issues we are running into while going into 2019.
We are growing. While we do not have a brick and mortar organization as of yet, we are seeing an uptick and improvement in membership and donations while we are working on growing the website in all areas from writing to photography. This is something we strive to bring to all who enjoy this website: the information of history with current events and photos. As we boast, we by far have one if not the largest collection of German historical and military photos beneath the actual German Federal Archives.
We are still focusing on the writing and mainly working on the World War II area of German military history. This will in time change to other areas such as World War I and other parts of German history. I know, I know. We are working towards that for the WWI buffs. But if we come across pictures from all eras, they will be posted soon after when time allows.
I hope everyone has enjoyed my short report on things. Any questions, please send them to our inbox. Danke.
Mit Freundlichen Gruß,
Hans-Wilhelm B. von Richter, Chancellor of the Society
Historical Society of German Military History
Please make a Donation to help the study of German History and to help honor German Veterans. Danke.
The Historical Society of German Military History’s main goal is covering German military history and honoring veterans from the wars of Germany’s past. While we do have other lesser goals, we do cover Germany’s history and current history. We are not just limited to military history, but all German events and history. With this said, we also cover current German events or things that affect Germany in modern day history.
We have been troubled when ignorant people come along and say we are ‘political’, or they feel threatened when we defend Germany against her attackers, etc. We are sorry that you feel this way, but in the end we are not. We are not going to soothe your feelings or be ‘politically correct’ to make everyone happy. We are going to tell you something real simple…..
We are not political, but covering history will always involve speaking about politics. Covering today’s events are history. Today will pass and yesterday will be history. That is history which covers all events.
When Donald Trump attacks Europe, Germany, and everyone that does not agree with him, we are going to defend Germany. So the members, fans, and followers will see us write and place these articles on the website to defend the Fatherland. If you do not agree, you have the right. We are not going to debate, discuss, or listen to you since this modern time has brought about many ‘pc warriors’ who attack, threaten each other, demean others, etc. If you attack us, you never again will have the chance to be a part of this premier organization.
We do have great respect for the United States of America and the institutions of this country. But this mistake of a choice for President in which over 50% of the population consider him a racist, less than 50% voted for him, and only 22% are true supporters, we know that many of you do not support him. We are not here to insult him either, but we are not going to tolerate his attacks on Germany. So if you do not agree then leave. Another simple fact, no one in Europe cares for him nor do most of the world.
The other controversial topic we discuss from time to time is Israel in which many Americans try to defend this ‘so-called democracy’. Our Official position is we do not support Nazism, Neo-Nazism, White Supremacy, and we agree the Holocaust is a stain on German honor and an awful tragedy. But we do not support the Jewish State, if there is a link between the news on Israel and Germany, we are going to discuss this. Israel and the Jewish population have stood on the platform of guilting Germany for the sins of the past for many years. They need to consider the sins of their current state in the Middle East.
Israel treats the Jewish citizens very democratically, but Arabs (non-Palestinians) are treated as 2nd class citizens, with final group of Palestinians being treated as a slave class. Israel keeps then barred up in small areas just as South-Africa had done during Apartheid with the constant stealing of Palestinian lands in the West Bank. They shoot protesters with live ammunition, over use of military power in responding to Hamas attacks on Israel, and keep them in a constant state of poverty. While we do not agree with Hamas’ position or support them, they need to also stop the attacks on Israel. But Israel is no democracy.
As for the Holocaust, this should never have happened to any human being. This is down right disgusting what Hitler allowed Himmler and the SS to do. The Holocaust is the most talked about human massacre in history due to being around World War II and being pushed on to others by a segment of the Jewish population. There is little reminder of the Japanese atrocities during the war, the massacres committed by Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia in the 70’s, the 90’s massacres in former Yugoslavia by Serbia, the past atrocities committed by the British Empire in Africa during Colonialism, the Spanish destruction of the Aztec and Inca Empires and large scale massacres of their populations, the current and recent massacres being committed to this day in Africa, the current extermination and expulsion of the Rohingya in Burma, and the largest massacre of over ten million citizens of the Soviet Union being committed in the Ukraine and Russia in the 1930’s by the government of Josef Stalin. This being the worst atrocity in human history. The scale of the constant reminders of the Holocaust make these other massacres seems like small homes compared to a skyscraper.
Israel needs to remember these other tragedies when dealing with the Palestinians. They need to understand that they have been given an opportunity built on their blood to do this right. They feel that the world owes them this, and it is their right due to the persecution of the Jews their entire history. That land in Jerusalem and the Palestine is everyone’s. Arab, Jewish, Muslim, Christian all have a claim. Share it. Do not fight over it.
We support a strong Germany and a restoration of some form of the German Reich. The guilt from the past is over. There is no Nazi Germany anymore and never again will be. We would like to see some form of the return of the monarchy from the restoration of the imperial Reich or to form of constitutional monarchy. If this is never possible then a restoration of the Kingdom of Prussia, but still part of Greater Germany. A return to heritage and traditions of the strong Germany with a strong military presence and one of the leaders of Europe. We do support the republic, but a limitation of the European Union. Cross border cooperation is good for Europe, but never an erosion of German culture.
In the end, a proud and strong Germany with the citizens honoring the German veterans of the past wars. Germany without any guilt from the past and striving for the future. No matter what, we will defend Germany from any attackers in the present and will always defend Germany’s past history.
We are at 50,000 plus likes on our Facebook Page! The count now is currently at 51,862 and counting!
Thank you to all for enjoying & learning about German History!
Thank you / Danke !
Jaroslaw Kaczynski, head of the ruling party in Poland, has again demanded Berlin pay Warsaw World War Two compensation. His comments come two days after his government watered down a controversial Holocaust law.
In an interview with the state-run Polskie Radio on Friday, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the de facto senior politician in Poland, renewed demands for Germany to pay compensation for Poland’s war time losses incurred by Germany.
“This is a Polish-German issue. It was Germany who invaded Poland, murdering millions of people, destroying material goods and we must be compensated for this,” he said.
Kaczynski has been calling for financial reparations from Germany for more than a decade.
In March two PiS politicians said that Poland should demand reparations worth $850 billion (€780 billion) for destroyed property and people killed.
“For many, many years, there has been a defamation campaign offending Poles, completely altering the sense of World War II,” Kaczynski went on. “Today we have started on a route in the opposite direction and I think this road will be difficult and steep … If we did nothing, we would get nothing.”
Kaczynski’s revival of war reparations demands follows Poland watering down a controversial law criminalizing any comments suggesting some Polish people might have helped Germans during the war.The threat of jail terms has now been removed but the law has faced considerable criticism from the US and Israel.
Kaczynski said on Wednesday that the move was because Israeli authorities had “fully confirmed Poland’s position” on Germany’s responsibility for the Holocaust.
Friday’s comments also come as Berlin-Warsaw relations remain fraught over the EU’s migration policy and EU disquiet over the Polish government’s judicial reforms.
They also coincide with rumors that Kaczynski’s recent illness has led to infighting within the party and the government over who could succeed the 69-year old.
No claims filed
However, the Polish government has said it doesn’t want its demands to affect cooperation within the EU and its relationship with Germany and hasn’t yet filed any official claims.
The German government has meanwhile dismissed previous demands, referring to a Polish renunciation of claims in 1953. German parliamentary legal experts said last year that Warsaw had no right to demand reparations.
Poland’s then Communist government waived its right to German post-war compensation in 1953, but in 2017 several government ministers refuted the validity of the waiver.
World War II started with the German invasion of Poland in 1939 and led to deaths of nearly 6 million Polish citizens by the war’s end in 1945, about half of them Jewish.
A survey published this week by Körber-Stiftung said that 76 percent of Germans think Berlin should not pay WWII reparations, while Polish opinion on the issue is split, with 40 percent saying Warsaw should not demand compensation from Germany and 46 in favor.
PiS was backed by 37.9 percent in a recent poll, up 4.5 percentage points from May. The party won the 2015 election with a similar share of the vote, becoming the first party in Poland’s post-communist era not to have to govern in a coalition.
Hallo und guten Tag,
Generally we do not keep up with other countries military developments, but we stumbled on this article many months after it was written and poorly titled.
The Leopard 2A4 is an older version that is not built for counter-insurgency attacks. They are the last of the Cold War era panzers built for tank on tank and offensive operations in which the article also states.
The other main factor is how the Turkish military is using them. Leaving single panzers without infantry support is not the purpose of these vehicles. These are long range hunters, not for close encounters against infantry/insurgents or built for protection against IEDS. In Afghanistan, the Danish 2A5s and Canadian 2A6s have performed very well. Ones knocked out by IEDS are put back into service.
In German hands, this panzer is the world’s best or second to the American Abrams. With the next generation of 2A7V models, these will be built to survive counter-insurgency and more. At the 2016 and 2018 Strong Europe Tank Challenge, Germany took first in the competition. In 2017, Germany came in 2nd to Austria which also used the Leopard. The Abrams came in 5th, 3rd, and 7th from 2016 to 2018. During the Iraq campaign, Americans Abrams tanks were lost in battle. The Iraqi army has fared even worse against ISIS with many of their Abrams being knocked out.
Training is key. German crews train and train on their machines. The Wehrmacht in World War 2 was also quiet efficient with their panzers not due to big guns and armor, but training and tactics. This article should be titled: ‘ Turks Use the Leopard with Poor Tactics and Are Crushed.’
We will let you now read the original article.
HWB von Richter
January 30, 2018 by Sebastien Roblin
Germany’s Leopard 2 main battle tank has a reputation as one of the finest in the world, competing for that distinction with proven designs such as the American M-1 Abrams and the British Challenger 2. However, that reputation for nigh-invincibility has faced setbacks on Syrian battlefields, and placed Berlin in a uniquely awkward national-level dispute with Turkey, its fellow NATO member.
Ankara had offered to release a German political prisoner in exchange for Germany upgrading the Turkish army’s older-model Leopard 2A4 tank, which had proven embarrassingly vulnerable in combat. On Jan. 24, public outrage over reports that Turkey was using its Leopard 2s to kill Kurdish fighters in the Syrian enclaves of Afrin and Manbij forced Berlin to freeze the hostage-for-tanks deal.
The Leopard 2 is often compared to its near contemporary, the M-1 Abrams. In truth, the two designs share broadly similar characteristics, including a scale-tipping weight of well over 60 tons of advanced composite armor, 1,500 horsepower engines allowing speeds over 40 miles per hour and, for certain models, the same 44-caliber 120-millimeter main gun produced by Rheinmetall.
Both types can easily destroy most Russian-built tanks at medium and long ranges, at which they are unlikely to be penetrated by return fire from standard 125-millimeter guns.
Furthermore, they have better sights with superior thermal imagers and magnification, that make them more likely to detect and hit the enemy first — historically, an even greater determinant of the victor in armored warfare than sheer firepower. A Greek trial found that moving Leopard 2s and Abramses hit a 2.3-meter target 19 and 20 times out of 20, respectively, while a Soviet T-80 scored only 11 hits.
The modest differences between the two Western tanks reveal different national philosophies.
The Abrams has a noisy 1,500-horsepower gas-guzzling turbine, which starts up more rapidly, while the Leopard 2’s diesel motor grants it greater range before refueling. The Abrams has achieved some of its extraordinary offensive and defensive capabilities through use of depleted uranium ammunition and armor packages — technologies politically unacceptable to the Germans.
Therefore, later models of the Leopard 2A6 now mount a higher-velocity 55-caliber gun to make up the difference in penetrating power, while the 2A5 Leopard introduced an extra wedge of spaced armor on the turret to better absorb enemy fire.
German scruples also extend to arms exports, with Berlin imposing more extensive restrictions on which countries it is willing to sell weapons to — at least in comparison to France, the United States or Russia. While the Leopard 2 is in service with 18 countries, including many NATO members, a lucrative Saudi bid for between 400 and 800 Leopard 2s was rejected by Berlin because of the Middle Eastern country’s human-rights records, and its bloody war in Yemen in particular.
The Saudis instead ordered additional Abramses to their fleet of around 400.
This bring us to Turkey, a NATO country with which Berlin has important historical and economic ties, but which also has had bouts of military government and waged a counter-insurgency campaign against Kurdish separatists for decades. In the early 2000s, under a more favorable political climate, Berlin sold 354 of its retired Leopard 2A4 tanks to Ankara.
These represented a major upgrade over the less well protected M-60 Patton tanks that make up the bulk of Turkey’s armored forces.
However, the rumor has long persisted that Berlin agreed to the sale under the condition that the German tanks not be used in Turkey’s counter-insurgency operations against the Kurds. Whether such an understanding ever existed is hotly contested, but the fact remains that the Leopard 2 was kept well away from the Kurdish conflict and instead deployed in northern Turkey, opposite Russia.
In the fall of 2016, Turkish Leopard 2s of the Second Armored Brigade finally deployed to the Syrian border to support Operation Euphrates Shield, Turkey’s intervention against Islamic State. Prior to the Leopard’s arrival, around a dozen Turkish Patton tanks were destroyed by both ISIS and Kurdish missiles. Turkish defense commentators expressed the hope that the tougher Leopard would fare better.
The 2A4 model was the last of the Cold War – era Leopard 2s, which were designed to fight in relatively concentrated units in a fast-paced defensive war against Soviet tank columns, not to survive improvised explosive devices and missiles fired by ambushing insurgents in long-term counter-insurgency campaigns where every single loss was a political issue.
The 2A4 retains an older boxy turret configurations which affords less protection from modern anti-tank missiles, especially to the generally more vulnerable rear and side armor, which is a bigger problem in a counter-insurgency environment, where an attack may come from any direction.
This was shockingly illustrated in December 2016 when evidence emerged that numerous Leopard 2s had been destroyed in intense fighting over Islamic State-held Al Bab — a fight that Turkish military leaders described as a “trauma,” according to Der Spiegel. A document published online listed Islamic State as apparently having destroyed 10 of the supposedly invincible Leopard 2s — five reportedly by anti-tank missiles, two by mines or IEDs, one to rocket or mortar fire, and the others to more ambiguous causes.
These photos analyzed by Bellingcat confirm the destruction of at least eight. One shows a Leopard 2 apparently knocked out by a suicide VBIED — an armored kamikaze truck packed with explosives. Another had its turret blown clean off. Three Leopard wrecks can be seen around the same hospital near Al Bab, along with several other Turkish armored vehicles.
It appears the vehicles were mostly struck the more lightly protected belly and side armor by IEDs and AT-7 Metis and AT-5 Konkurs anti-tank missiles. Undoubtedly, the manner in which the Turkish Army employed the German tanks likely contributed to the losses.
Rather than using them in a combined arms force alongside mutually supporting infantry, they were deployed to the rear as long-range fire-support weapons while Turkish-allied Syrian militias stiffened with Turkish special forces led the assaults. Isolated on exposed firing positions without adequate nearby infantry to form a good defensive perimeter, the Turkish Leopards were vulnerable to ambushes.
The same poor tactics have led to the loss of numerous Saudi Abrams tanks in Yemen.
By contrast, more modern Leopard 2s have seen quite a bit of action in Afghanistan combating Taliban insurgents in the service of the Canadian 2A6Ms — with enhanced protection against mines and even floating “safety seats” — and Danish 2A5s. Though a few were damaged by mines, all were put back into service, though a Danish Leopard 2 crew member was mortally injured by an IED attack in 2008.
In return, field commanders praised the tanks for their mobility and for providing accurate and timely fire support during major combat operations in southern Afghanistan.
In 2017, Germany began rebuilding its tank fleet, building an even beefier Leopard 2A7V model more likely to survive in a counter-insurgency environment. Now Ankara is pressing Berlin to upgrade the defense on its Leopard 2 tanks, especially as the domestically produced Altay tank has been repeatedly delayed.
The Turkish military not only wants additional belly armor to protect against IEDs, but the addition of an Active Protection System, or APS, that can detect incoming missiles and their point of origin, and jam or even shoot them down. The U.S. Army recently authorized the installation of Israeli Trophy APS on a brigade of M-1 Abrams tanks, a type that has proven effective in combat.
Meanwhile, Leopard 2 manufacturer Rheinmetall has unveiled its own ADATS APS, which supposedly poses a lesser risk of harming friendly troops with its defensive countermeasure missiles.
However, German-Turkish relations deteriorated sharply, especially after Erdogan initiated a prolonged crackdown on thousands of supposed conspirators after a failed military coup attempt in August 2016. In February 2017, Turkish authorities arrested German-Turkish dual-citizen Deniz Yücel, a correspondent for periodical Die Welt, ostensibly for being a pro-Kurdish spy. His detention caused outrage in Germany.
Ankara pointedly let it be known that if a Leopard 2 upgrade were allowed to proceed, Yücel would be released back to Germany. Though Berlin publicly insisted it would never agree to such a quid pro quo, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel quietly began moving towards authorizing the upgrade in a bid to improve relations in the face of what looks suspiciously like tank-based blackmail. Gabriel presented the deal as a measure to protect Turkish soldiers’ lives from Islamic State.
However, in mid-January 2018, Turkey launched an offensive against the Kurdish enclaves of Afrin and Manbij in northwestern Syria. The attack was precipitated generally by Turkish fears that effective Kurdish control of the Syrian border would lead to a de facto state that would expand into Turkish territory, and proximately by an announcement by the Pentagon that it was recruiting the Kurds to form a “border security force” to continue the fight against Islamic State.
Photos on social media soon emerged showing that Leopard 2 tanks were being employed to blast Kurdish positions in Afrin, where there have several dozen civilian casualties have been reported. Furthermore, on Jan. 21, the Kurdish YPG published a YouTube video showing a Konkurs anti-tank missile striking a Turkish Leopard 2.
It is not possible to tell if the tank was knocked out; the missile may have struck the Leopard 2’s front armor, which is rated as equivalent to 590 to 690 millimeters of rolled homogenous armor on the 2A4, while the two types of Konkurs missiles can penetrate 600 or 800 millimeters of RHA.
In any event, parliamentarians both from German left-wing parties and Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union reacted with outrage, with a member of the latter describing the Turkish offensive as a violation of international law. On Jan. 25, the Merkel administration was forced to announce that an upgrade to the Leopard 2 was off the table, at least for now.
Ankara views the deal as merely postponed, and cagey rhetoric from Berlin suggests it may return to the deal at a more politically opportune time.
This article originally appeared at The National Interest.
By HWB von Richter, Chancellor of the Society
Today the 400th page has been added to the website!!
It has taken much time, work, and devotion to complete this task! This is a celebration of history, photography, honoring the fallen soldat, and the Fatherland of Germany! The road has been enjoyable.
While working on the website, I knew it was over 300 pages deep of photos and information. But once it came close to 400, I decided to mark it with a post here to celebrate. The wonderful thing about it: the website is sooo incomplete yet. Much more to go so on to the 500 page!!
Remember the website is always growing. Currently there are 26,444 images and photos on the website! It will continue so please enjoy the history and photos!