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Because Nazi Germany was inclined to do battle by attempting sweeping encirclements, starving and forcing surrender of enemy units, they ended up capturing a lot of weaponry from their enemies. Due to Nazi Germany’s disadvantageous resource situation compared to its opponents, much of this equipment was pressed into service for some use or another.

Equipment that was obsolete was handed to second-line and security units in occupied territories. Tanks however were often rolled into Panzer divisions or Panzergrenadier divisions, under the moniker of “Beutepanzer” which literally means “prize tank” but is also sometimes rendered as “trophy tank” in various wargaming materials of dubious quality.

One of the first major uses of Beutepanzer was after the fall of France. France had a lot of decent tanks for the time, and a good few were used to fill in the “scouting roles” of utter benchwarming shit like the Panzer II. During Barbarossa the Wehrmacht captured a lot of Soviet equipment and also deployed it, including Beutepanzers. Many times, equipment was captured intact, often because of poor operational leadership on the Soviet side leading to mass surrenders or the abandonment of heavy weapons without any attempt to sabotage them first.

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Here for example we have a T-34 with a bunch of Germans on it.

In theory, getting a Beutepanzer was like getting a tank for free. Germany didn’t have to waste precious resources to make it, and a lot of the times they had enough ammo to keep it shooting for a while. Particularly with Soviet tanks, the Beutepanzer could fulfill the role of a line tank like the Panzer IV perfectly and slot in tactically without problems. Even Elite units like the Das Reich used Beutepanzers! The Das Reich boasted a whole unit of captured T-34s in Kursk.

In practice, Beutepanzers led to a massive clusterfuck of logistics in an army that already suffered from having an arsenal clogged with tons upon tons of fucking vehicles and vehicle modifications. Cronyism at every level of development led to companies each building their own stupid vehicles and versions of existing vehicles with their little idiosyncratic touches to them that all needed their own spare parts and servicing and technical know-how to deal with. On top of that system you had the Beutepanzers. Now suddenly logistics personnel and engineering staff also had to deal with tanks from whole other countries that they didn’t readily have access to parts for, didn’t have a renewable supply of ammo for, etc. You could have 9-10 different model tanks in one unit, with half of those being from outside Germany!

Sometimes they solved that problem by just giving that shit away. Romania got a ton of Soviet shit. It didn’t really do much to make Romanian units anything more than a gradual trainwreck.

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That’s a KV-1 given to Finland. For whatever reason Finland rolled with a huge Swastika on that shit rather than an iron cross like normal Axis.

The Germans were not the only ones who captured tons of enemy equipment. In Demyansk but to a much, much greater scale in Stalingrad, enemy equipment was acquired by the Soviet Union. But Soviet logistics relied on simple equipment that was easy to repair or replace and that was mass produced in the motherland and traveled on a relatively short and steady supply line to the front, and German equipment was very much not that, and fit poorly in Soviet units.

The MG42 for example was a much more complicated device than the Soviet Degtyarov and Maxim machine guns, with many more parts, many small parts, and more labor-intensive to manufacture. Handing an MG42 to a unit was not so simple. Similarly German tanks were difficult to field repair for anything more complicated than a busted track, and had complicated systems like electrical turrets and gyro stabilized guns that could not be easily replaced or repaired in the Soviet Union.

A lot of the times captured German shit was dismantled and studied by the Soviets or shot at for ballistic studies, instead of used outright. 

Other Allies did a lot less capturing, mostly because they did a lot less fighting of enemies with decent shit to capture in general. Japanese equipment was not great compared to American and British equipment, and the Americans and British were not fighting the Germans in circumstances where they could potentially capture a ton of stuff. However, they did manage to get some pieces, such as a Tiger tank in Tunisia. But they mostly studied the equipment, rather than use it.

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Bored? 
Here’s a list of movies to watch on spring break!

Benchwarmers


The Karate kid

21 Jump Street

Ted


The Watch

Project X


Madagascar 3


Just Go with It


This Means War


Here Comes the Boom


Mean Girls 2

Rush Hour 2

Pitch Perfect

Identity Thieft

Like Mike

10 Things I Hate About You Watch

13 Going On 30 Watch

21 Jump Street Download

500 Days Of Summer Watch

27 Dresses Watch

8 Mile Watch

Alice In Wonderland Watch

The Avengers Watch

The Amazing Spiderman Watch

A Knight’s Tale Watch

American Beauty Watch

A Walk To Remember Watch

American Psycho Watch

Angels & Demons Watch

Across The Universe Watch

Aquamarine Watch

Burlesque Watch

Black Swan Download

Bridesmaids Watch

The Blue Lagoon Watch

Bring It On Watch

Bad Teacher Watch

Baby Mama Watch

Brokeback Mountain Watch

The Breakfast Club Watch

Bride Wars Watch

Bridget Jones’s Diary Download

Bridget Jones’s Diary 2: The Edge Of Reason Watch

Brave Download

The Boy In Stripped Pyjamas Watch

Corpse Bride Watch

Confessions Of A Shopaholic Watch

Charlie & The Chocolate Factory Watch

Cry-Baby Download

Casanova Watch

Confessions Of A Teenage Dramaqueen Watch

Captain America: The First Avenger Watch

Contagion Watch

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button Watch

Chicago Watch

The Dreamers Watch

Dear John Watch

The Dark Knight Watch

The Dark Knight Rises Download

The Devil Wears Prada Watch

Dracula Watch

Dark Shadows Watch

Don Juan DeMarco Watch

Edward Scissorhands Watch - Download

Easy A Watch - Download

Ella Enchanted Watch

Eat Pray Love Watch

Fight Club Watch

Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas Watch

Friends With Kids Download

Girl, Interrupted Watch

Gone With The Wind Watch

Grease Watch

Harry Potter &:

The Hangover Watch - Download

The Hangover 2 Watch

Home Alone Watch

Home Alone 2: Lost In New York. Watch

He’s Not That Into You Watch

The Holiday Watch

The House Bunny Watch

Hugo Watch

The Hunger Games Download

Inception Download

The Illusionist Watch

Interview With The Vampire Watch

The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus Watch

Iron Man Watch

Iron Man 2 Watch

Jennifer’s Body Watch

Jawbreaker Download

John Tucker Must Die Watch

Juno Watch

Just Married Watch

Knocked Up Watch

The King’s Speech Download

Little Miss Sunshine Watch

Lost In Translation Watch

LOL Download

Love Actually Watch

Legally Blonde Watch

Legally Blonde 2 Watch

Little WomenWatch

Lion For Lambs Watch

Lolita Watch

Lord Of The Rings:

  • The Fellowship Of The Ring Watch
  • The Two Towers Watch
  • The Return Of The King Watch

The Last Song Watch

Labor Pains Watch

Marie Antoinette Watch

Mean Girls Watch

Magic Mike Download

My Sister’s Keeper Watch

Moulin Rouge Watch

Mr. & Mrs. Smith Watch

Mona Lisa Smile Watch

New Year’s Eve Watch

Never Let Me Go Watch

The Notebook Watch

The Nightmare Before Christmas Watch

Pride & Prejudice Download

Princess Diaries Watch

Princess Diaries 2 Watch

The Phantom Of The Opera Watch

Pirates Of The Caribbean:

  • The Curse Of The Black Pearl Watch
  • Dead Man’s Chest Watch
  • At World’s End Watch
  • On Stranger Tides Watch

The Parent Trap Watch

Pineapple Express Watch

The Prestige Watch

Penelope Watch

Public Enemies Watch

The Reader Watch

Remember Me Watch

The Road To El Dorado Watch

The Rocky Horror Picture Show Watch

The Runaways Watch

Ratatouille Watch

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street Download

Snow White & The Hunstman Download

Sherlock Holmes Watch - Download

The Social Network Download

Step Up Watch

Step Up To The Street Watch

She’s The Man Watch

Some Like It Hot Watch

Spice World: The Spice Girls Movie Watch

Shame Watch

Sex and The City Watch

Sucker Punch Watch

The Twilight Saga:

Thor Download

Titanic Watch 

Top Gun Download

Tangled Watch

The Tourist Watch

The Time Traveler’s Wife Watch

Up Watch

The Virgin Suicides Download

The Vow Watch

Vanilla Sky Watch

Velvet Goldmine Watch

V For Vendetta Watch

The Woman In Black Watch

What Happens In Vegas Watch

Water For The Elephants Watch

Yes Man Watch

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