This version of the Matilda II was fitted with a 3" Howitzer that fired an effective high explosive shell in contrast to the 2 pounder high velocity gun normally installed. Note the frontal hits to the storage compartment and deformed barrel on the tank on the left, as well as the spiked barrel on the other tank.
"Their crews disliked it for its slow speed and unreliable propulsion, and it compared badly to the KV-1 or the T-34. One of its major flaws was the abundance of snow and mud which gradually clogged the drivetrain and suspension.Its narrow tracks was also an issue during the winter and the Russians devised a simple expedient, welding sections of steel to each link for better grip in the snow. As the losses rose and were not replaced, the Matildas practically disappeared by 1943 on the Eastern Front."
"Their crews disliked it for its slow speed and unreliable propulsion, and it compared badly to the KV-1 or the T-34. One of its major flaws was the abundance of snow and mud which gradually clogged the drivetrain and suspension.
Its narrow tracks was also an issue during the winter and the Russians devised a simple expedient, welding sections of steel to each link for better grip in the snow. As the losses rose and were not replaced, the Matildas practically disappeared by 1943 on the Eastern Front."
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It’s probably from the end of the war when really young and old citizens were enlisted in a panic for soldiers. Most likely a member of the 12th SS Panzer Division “Hitlerjugend” which sustained 43% casualties during the Normandy campaign. SS recruiters for the division accepted boys as young as 14 into the ranks. Also by judging from the helmet cover he has on it looks to be the “pea” pattern cameo type which did not show up until late ’44/early ’45. So it’s probably in France.
Little trivia, you can tell if a photo of Hitler was taken before or after the war started based on the colors he is wearing. Before the war started, he wore brown to symbolize leading the National Socialists. After the war, he wore gray to symbolize leading the military.
Did Herve Villechaize pursue his acting career after this trip?
Photo by Horst Faas.
After the liberation of the camp the dead bodies were buried in mass graves. The SS prison guards were forced by British soldiers to load the bodies into the trucks. Note British troops in background with Sten submachine gun and Lee-Enfield rifles. Photo taken on April 17, 1945, Germany. The prison guards were part of SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS-TV), an independent unit within the SS with its own ranks and command structure. The whole of the SS-Totenkopfverbände training was based on elitism, toughness and comradeship, together with a regime of ruthless discipline. While the Totenkopf (English: Death’s Head) was the universal cap badge of the SS, the SS-TV also wore the insignia on the right collar to distinguish itself from other SS units. One of the unique aspects of the Holocaust was the blatant orchestration and implementation of rounding up, documenting, and ensuring that every Jew within the conquered Nazi territory was killed. This policy of finding every single Jew within the vast territory under Nazi control, marking them for death in callous bureaucratic manner, finding ways to transport them to death camps or killing them with mobile killing units, gas, etc. was a unique aspect of the Holocaust, in that the killing was so organized and efficient. There were no gas chambers at Bergen-Belsen, since the mass killings took place in the camps further east. Nevertheless, an estimated 50,000 Jews, Czechs, Poles, anti-Nazi Christians, homosexuals, and Gypsies died in the camp. Anne Frank lost her life in this camp. After liberation, the camp was burned in an effort to prevent further spread of disease, and Anne Frank was buried in a mass grave at an unknown location.
I see the one guy on the left with an Adolph moustache.
Wonder how many of them were still alive four years later...
One of these soldiers is just a tad bit bolder.
What’s attached to their chest? Why does that one guy have flowers? What’s in their pockets? Are those the standard issue “duffles” at the time?
If Hitler had just let his generals do their thing, instead of being all "I'm gonna take over all of Europe at once," there's a good chance this comment would be in German right now.
What was the point of the baggy pants around the hip areas? I always wondered that. It is more of a "fashion" (lack of a better word) of the time or was there actually some function to it?
Hi!As we hope you can appreciate, the Holocaust can be a fraught subject to deal with. While don't want to curtail discussion, we also remain very conscious that threads of this nature can attract the very wrong kind of responses, and it is an unfortunate truth that on reddit, outright Holocaust denial can often rear its ugly head. As such, the /r/History mods have created this brief overview that addresses common questions, and included a short list of introductory reading. It is not intended to stifle further discussion, but simply lay out the basic, incontrovertible truths to get them out of the way.
The Holocaust refers the genocidal deaths of 5-6 million European Jews carried out systematically by Nazi Germany as part of targeted policies of persecution and extermination during World War II. Some historians will also include the deaths of the Roma, Communists, Mentally Disabled, and other groups targeted by Nazi policies, which brings the total number of deaths to ~11 million. Debates about whether or not the Holocaust includes these deaths or not is a matter of definitions, but in no way a reflection on dispute that they occurred.
Unfortunately, there is a small, but at times vocal, minority of persons who fall into the category of Holocaust Denial, attempting to minimize the deaths by orders of magnitude, impugn well proven facts, or even claim that the Holocaust is entirely a fabrication and never happened. Although they often self-style themselves as "Revisionists", they are not correctly described by the title. While revisionism is not inherently a dirty word, actual revision, to quote Michael Shermer, "entails refinement of detailed knowledge about events, rarely complete denial of the events themselves, and certainly not denial of the cumulation of events known as the Holocaust."
It is absolutely true that were you to read a book written in 1950 or so, you would find information which any decent scholar today might reject, and that is the result of good revisionism. But these changes, which even can be quite large, such as the reassessment of deaths at Auschwitz from ~4 million to ~1 million, are done within the bounds of respected, academic study, and reflect decades of work that builds upon the work of previous scholars, and certainly does not willfully disregard documented evidence and recollections. There are still plenty of questions within Holocaust Studies that are debated by scholars, and there may still be more out there for us to discover, and revise, but when it comes to the basic facts, there is simply no valid argument against them.
Beginning with their rise to power in the 1930s, the Nazi Party, headed by Adolf Hitler, implemented a series of anti-Jewish policies within Germany, marginalizing Jews within society more and more, stripping them of their wealth, livelihoods, and their dignity. With the invasion of Poland in 1939, the number of Jews under Nazi control reached into the millions, and this number would again increase with the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. Shortly after the invasion of Poland, the Germans started to confine the Jewish population into squalid ghettos. After several plans on how to rid Europe of the Jews that all proved unfeasible, by the time of the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, ideological (Antisemitism) and pragmatic (Resources) considerations lead to mass-killings becoming the only viable option in the minds of the Nazi leadership.First only practiced in the USSR, it was influential groups such as the SS and the administration of the General Government that pushed to expand the killing operations to all of Europe and sometime at the end of 1941 met with Hitler’s approval.
The early killings were carried out foremost by the Einsatzgruppen, paramilitary groups organized under the aegis of the SS and tasked with carrying out the mass killings of Jews, Communists, and other 'undesirable elements' in the wake of the German military's advance. In what is often termed the 'Holocaust by Bullet', the Einsatzgruppen, with the assistance of the Wehrmacht, the SD, the Security Police, as well as local collaborators, would kill roughly two million persons, over half of them Jews. Most killings were carried out with mass shootings, but other methods such as gas vans - intended to spare the killers the trauma of shooting so many persons day after day - were utilized too.
By early 1942, the "Final Solution" to the so-called "Jewish Question" was essentially finalized at the Wannsee Conference under the direction of Reinhard Heydrich, where the plan to eliminate the Jewish population of Europe using a series of extermination camps set up in occupied Poland was presented and met with approval.
Construction of extermination camps had already begun the previous fall, and mass extermination, mostly as part of 'Operation Reinhard', had began operation by spring of 1942. Roughly 2 million persons, nearly all Jewish men, women, and children, were immediately gassed upon arrival at Bełżec, Sobibór, and Treblinka over the next two years, when these "Reinhard" camps were closed and razed. More victims would meet their fate in additional extermination camps such as Chełmno, but most infamously at Auschwitz-Birkenau, where slightly over 1 million persons, mostly Jews, died. Under the plan set forth at Wannsee, exterminations were hardly limited to the Jews of Poland, but rather Jews from all over Europe were rounded up and sent east by rail like cattle to the slaughter. Although the victims of the Reinhard Camps were originally buried, they would later be exhumed and cremated, and cremation of the victims was normal procedure at later camps such as Auschwitz.
There were two main types of camps run by Nazi Germany, which is sometimes a source of confusion. Concentration Camps were well known means of extrajudicial control implemented by the Nazis shortly after taking power, beginning with the construction of Dachau in 1933. Political opponents of all type, not just Jews, could find themselves imprisoned in these camps during the pre-war years, and while conditions were often brutal and squalid, and numerous deaths did occur from mistreatment, they were not usually a death sentence and the population fluctuated greatly. Although Concentration Camps were later made part of the 'Final Solution', their purpose was not as immediate extermination centers. Some were 'way stations', and others were work camps, where Germany intended to eke out every last bit of productivity from them through what was known as "extermination through labor". Jews and other undesirable elements, if deemed healthy enough to work, could find themselves spared for a time and "allowed" to toil away like slaves until their usefulness was at an end.
Although some Concentration Camps, such as Mauthausen, did include small gas chambers, mass gassing was not the primary purpose of the camp. Many camps, becoming extremely overcrowded, nevertheless resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of inhabitants due to the outbreak of diseases such as typhus, or starvation, all of which the camp administrations did little to prevent. Bergen-Belsen, which was not a work camp but rather served as something of a way station for prisoners of the camp systems being moved about, is perhaps one of the most infamous of camps on this count, saw some 50,000 deaths caused by the conditions. Often located in the Reich, camps liberated by the Western forces were exclusively Concentration Camps, and many survivor testimonies come from these camps.
The Concentration Camps are contrasted with the Extermination Camps, which were purpose built for mass killing, with large gas chambers and later on, crematoria, but little or no facilities for inmates. Often they were disguised with false facades to lull the new arrivals into a false sense of security, even though rumors were of course rife for the fate that awaited the deportees. Almost all arrivals were killed upon arrival at these camps, and in many cases the number of survivors numbered in the single digits, such as at Bełżec, where only seven Jews, forced to assist in operation of the camp, were alive after the war.
Several camps, however, were 'Hybrids' of both types, the most famous being Auschwitz, which was vast a complex of subcamps. The infamous 'selection' of prisoners, conducted by SS doctors upon arrival, meant life or death, with those deemed unsuited for labor immediately gassed and the more healthy and robust given at least temporary reprieve. The death count at Auschwitz numbered around 1 million, but it is also the source of many survivor testimonies.
Running through the evidence piece by piece would take more space than we have here, but suffice to say, there is a lot of evidence, and not just the (mountains of) survivor testimony. We have testimonies and writings from many who participated, as well German documentation of the programs. This site catalogs some of the evidence we have for mass extermination as it relates to Auschwitz. I'll close this out with a short list of excellent works that should help to introduce you to various aspects of Holocaust study.
That poor helpless child. The look in her eyes is heartbreaking.
What is the metal pole for on the back of her head in frame 1?
Or do I not want to know :(?
The colorization makes it so much more...real. And haunting.
Stay classy Germany - this from Wikipedia:
The Nazis learned that extermination of smaller groups was more economical by injection of each victim with phenol. Phenol injections were given to thousands of people. Maximilian Kolbe was also killed with a phenol injection after surviving two weeks of dehydration and starvation in Auschwitz when he volunteered to die in place of a stranger. Approximately one gram is sufficient to cause death.[
Can only imagine how it must have felt. I work for a petrochemical company where we distill off phenols as a byproduct. When that shit comes into contact with your skin it burns like hell! Just one drop is enough to feel the burn and it will leave a brownish mark on you too. Seriously fucked up method of execution.
She reminds me of the girl Eleven from Stranger Things but this girl was just 26947 to these nazi f*cks. Sad, Sad world but undeniable.
To remind us what a psycho is capable to
To be honest it kinda shows how small it really is. The image in people's minds is something skyscraper sized, when really its about the size of a medium office building.
Knowing a little about how deadly the mud was in many of the 1918 battlefields, this picture brings tears to my eyes. The enlisted men in WW1 had more in common with each other than with their officers or generals (hell, even than with civilians in their own countries), and moments like this (and this infamous Christmas Truce) bring this fact home in a soul-crushing way.
Any further context/ known outcome? Were "quick sand" type holes common? I had heard of trench collapses but had not heard of this being a real issue.
“I died in hell, they called it Passchendaele” - Sassoon,
The artillery bombardments were so fierce in WWI that craters were abundant. Filled with water, poisoned by munitions, they were toxic death traps with oftentimes inescapable mud. No number of soldiers could pull the worst stuck men out. They drowned slowly, screaming all the while for help. Imagine watching your friends die slowly whilst being powerless to help. Truly chilling.
Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History podcast does an excellent job of WWI which I thoroughly recommend.
OP what is the source? Definitely German troops and a French soldier? Can anyone identify the uniforms?
Only in the memoirs of those that were there do you see how little they wanted to kill each other. You see pictures like this and you understand that. They would have just shot and left him like all the dead that im sure are all around them. War truly is a terrible and brutal thing, soldiers then and now understand that more than any of us civilians ever can
Made with Love in New York City, New Jersey & Monterrey, Mexico.