1st tanks

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Generaloberst Heinz Guderian visited the 13./SS-Panzer-Regiment 1 of the Leibstandarte Division in his capacity as Inspector General of the Armored Forces in mid-April 1943, Kharkov area, Ukraine. The company commander’s tank Tiger ‘405’ is displayed for Guderian.

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Tiger ‘332’ from schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 101 is seen at Elbeuf town situated by the banks of the Seine at the end of August 1944. Because of the lack of crossing capacity, the tank had to be blown up. The officers are from the Leibstandarte Division, which broke out of Falaise encirclement en masse the days before, and crossed the Seine near Elbeuf.

A column of tanks of the 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (LSSAH) stops on the road to Kharkov (Kharkiv) during the Third Battle of Kharkov. Known to the Germans as the Donets Campaign, and to the Soviets as the Donbas and Kharkov operations, the German counter strike led to the destruction of approximately 52 Soviet divisions and the recapture of the cities of Kharkov and Belgorod. Near Kharkov (Kharkiv), Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine, Soviet Union. March 1943

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Tiger Tanks from the 13./SS-Panzer-Regiment 1 of the Leibstandarte Division on the move in the area of operation west of Kiev in late 1943.

First Team Shermans

Original Caption: The 1st Cavalry Division’s 603rd Light Tank Company also reorganized and reequipped with M4A1s while in Australia. The photo above is dated April 22 1944, and shows tanks of the 603rd supporting the 162nd Infanty Regiment, 41st Infantry Division in Hollandia, New Guinea. “Sad Sack” which can be seen to be USA 3061012 was accepted in March, 1943. Despite a government directive to change to white, PCF appears to have continued to paint the USA Registration Number in blue drab throughout production. While many field modificatons were available in kit form by this time, priority was given to Shermans slated for the D-Day invasion, and the 603rd’s tanks appear to be “as built.”

US Marine Tanker, Private Bruce Rutherford from Bristol, Tennessee is seen cleaning his Thompson submachine gun while playing with rescued puppies ‘Nanci’, 'Shoto’, 'Sake’, 'Zero’, 'Banzai’, and 'Okinawa’ on the Pacific Island of Okinawa.
1st of June 1945.

Our research tells us (so far) that this Marine could be sitting on a Sherman M4A2 of the 1st Marine Tank Regiment.
The two Marine units on Okinawa were the veteran 1st Btn., who were equipped with the M4A2 and the newer 6th Battalion using the M4A3.

The 1st Battalion started the campaign with 47 M4A2 tanks in May. During the course of the fighting, operational strength plummeted from 47 to 28 tanks by June 22nd.
The heaviest casualties were during the fighting for Kunishi Ridge in mid-June, with a single day’s loss of 21 tanks.

“The Marines on Kunishi critically needed reinforcements and resupplies; their growing number of wounded needed evacuation. Only the Sherman medium tank had the bulk and mobility to provide relief. The next several days marked the finest achievements of the 1st Tank Battalion, even at the loss of 21 of its Shermans to enemy fire. By removing two crewmen, the tankers could stuff six replacement riflemen inside each vehicle. Personnel exchanges once atop the hill were another matter. No one could stand erect without getting shot, so all "transactions” had to take place via the escape hatch in the bottom of the tank’s hull. These scenes then became commonplace: a tank would lurch into the beleaguered Marine positions on Kunishi, remain buttoned up while the replacement troops slithered out of the escape hatch carrying ammo, rations, plasma, and water; then other Marines would crawl under, dragging their wounded comrades on ponchos and manhandle them into the small hole. For those badly wounded who lacked this flexibility, the only option was the dubious privilege of riding back down to safety while lashed to a stretcher topside behind the turret. Tank drivers frequently sought to provide maximum protection to their exposed stretcher cases by backing down the entire 800-yard gauntlet. In this painstaking fashion the tankers managed to deliver 50 fresh troops and evacuate 35 wounded men the day following the 7th Marines’ night attack.“ (by Colonel Joseph H. Alexander, USMC Ret)

Colourised by Paul Reynolds.

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Tiger tanks from the 13./SS-Panzer-Regiment 1 of the Leibstandarte Division roll out on a mission west of Kiev in late 1943.

Interior of the captured German tank A7V 542 “Elfriede” showing the position of one of the 7.92-mm MG.08 machine guns. It was captured by ‘A’ Coy 1st Battalion Royal Tank Corps, at the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux, 24th April 1918
(Photo source – © IWM Q 29585)
(Colourised by Doug)

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Elements of the Leibstandarte Division at the Kaiserbaracke Crossroads in the Ardennes traveling west toward Recht and north toward Ligneuville, 18 December 1944.

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A Tiger from the Leibstandarte Division fires its main gun near Petrivka, Ukraine, March 1944.