Sunday, August 21, 2011

Answers: First Skill testing question.

I guess maybe I should say this is only my opinion about the picture.  But it is my belief the caption is completely wrong.  So, here we go.

"Panzers of 23rd Panzergrenadiere SS Division, Nederland, in East Germany (1945). They seem to be Panzer IVF1, the short barreled 75mm version for infantry support.(Thanks Mr. Bosscher)"

Lets break it down.

"Panzers of 23rd Panzergrenadiere SS Division, Nederland
- I can see where the original caption and nathanfagan might think that this is the 23rd SS panzer Division, but its not.  Its the 14th panzer Division.  The unit symbols are very close.
14th Panzer Division

23rd SS Panzer Division

Clearly Not the 23rd SS division.

in East Germany (1945).
First clue is that these tanks are Panzer Grey.  In 1945 I doubt there were any tanks still in panzer grey in 1945.   And now knowing that this is the 14th Panzer Division, they never made it back to Germany.  They were trapped in the Courland Pocket, in the Baltic states.

Based on the colour and type of tank (which I'll get to) and the lack of leaves on the trees, my guess puts these tanks some where between Kiev and Rostov in the Fall of 1941.  Maybe, near Stalingrad in 1942.

They seem to be Panzer IVF1
"They" would imply that all 3 tanks are Panzer IV F1's.  They are not.  In fact none of them are.  The one in the foreground (I believe) is the Panzer III N G.  It had the exact same gun as the Panzer IV f1.  So I can see why the confusion.  But the mantlet is completely different on the Panzer III.

The ones in the background are definitely not Panzer III N's.  I believe they are Panzer III J late.  Although the middle one looks like a Panzer III hull with a T-26 turret.  That could just be the light and shadows playing tricks.   

Very cool picture, but the guy who posted obviously didn't do any research.

Which is a great lesson in FoW Modeling as well.  I've found decal sheets with the wrong unit designations on them.

So, what lesson have we learned?  Always, always do your research.

If you wish to contest my theory on this picture by all means. 


  1. Ah well, I was almost there thinking the front Panzer may have been an N, tank in the background is definitely not an N as the barrel is too long and thin thus thinking they're a J.

    Look forward to more questions :D

  2. I've created a history page, where i'll post these, and where people can ask questions they want answered.

  3. I think you have this mostly right but I do not think these are Pz IIIN. The foreground tank has the internal mantlet that was typical of G and earlier. Also the hull MG mount is square which was another feature of model G and earlier. I think these are Pz III G with the 5cm main gun.

  4. @ Drunken Samurai. I think you could be right. That muzzle looks too small for a 7.5 gun.

    But I don't think those back ones are G's. The Barrels look to long.

    But the fun of these old pictures... its really hard to tell.

    as I mentioned the middle one looks like a T-26 turret, but I highly doubt it is.

  5. I'm still not convinced that is a G. Might even be an M.

    I'll have to do a bit more digging.