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Thanks for these pics, SD. The majority of them look so damn young. While I think the Germans got their just desserts, it is still hard to fathom how that Western society could be taken down the path towards war and genocide. While I realize WWI had many branches and sequels as a result of that war, I occasionally speculate what our world would be like today had Germany and Japan been stopped earlier, and world war never happened. What would Europe be like today? Russia, China, etc.

Cheers!
RL
 
DECEMBER 12 1942 Operation Winter Storm. Manstain Army Don failed relief ofensive at Stalingrad Front.
On the map, Army Group Don seemed to fill the hole, but reality fell far short of that. The units in Manstein’s force were wretched, mostly ad hoc Gruppen—groups of varied size, hastily tossed together and named for whichever officer happened to be available to take command. Rather than divisions and corps, Manstein’s order of battle included Group Stahel, Group Stumpffeld, and Group Spang among many others. Their ranks consisted of rear-area supply troops, stragglers, remnants of destroyed formations, and a new breed: Luftwaffe field divisions made up of air force personnel pulled from bases at the rear, given rudimentary infantry training, and hustled to the front to fight on foot. While some of these units bravely defended their positions, too many melted away at their first contact with Soviet tanks.
Given these difficulties, Manstein’s attempt to relieve Stalingrad—Operation Winter Storm—was a long shot from the start. The army was so threadbare that Manstein could assemble only a single corps, the 57th Panzer, for the relief offensive. The corps had two divisions: the 6th Panzer, just transferred from France, and the battered 23rd Panzer, which had seen a great deal of hard fighting and badly needed a refit. Together these two groups, which probably added up to a division and a half, were to launch a 90-mile drive to Stalingrad in the teeth of strong Soviet opposition.
The offensive opened on December 12. Assembling southwest of Stalingrad at the railway town of Kotelnikovo, the two divisions drove straight up the rail line, with 6th Panzer to the left of the tracks and 23rd to the right. Although the assault lacked real surprise and any attempt to maneuver, it penetrated the Soviet defenses on day one. Under the command of one of the army’s most aggressive tankers, General Eberhard Raus, 6th Panzer led the attack and made its presence felt. Its partner, 23rd Panzer, had only 30 tanks to its name and barely kept pace.
The German tempo slowed. By day two, Soviet reinforcements were hammering the attackers’ flanks. The adversaries were locked in tough fighting for individual ridges and villages, with heavy losses all around—the very type of engagement the brittle German force had to avoid. The weather went from good to terrible, German tanks ran out of fuel, and the Soviets resisted fiercely. General Raus and his panzers ground forward, but never came close to penetration and slowed to a halt 35 miles from Stalingrad. On December 23, Manstein canceled Winter Storm and left 6th Army to its fate.
Manstein had failed at Stalingrad. Or had he? Even a genius has needs—men, supplies, and vehicles—and Manstein came up short. He made no obvious mistake in Winter Storm, but in that context an error-free effort hardly mattered. His task was to reopen a supply line, perhaps in concert with a breakout by 6th Army from inside the city, and that did not happen.
From Robert M. Citino article.
Please note:
Operation Torch used all German reserve into futile defence of Tunesia.This affected all German Operation on Eastern in first half of 1942 icnuding Operation Winter Stom and made all Red Army Operation on Southern part of Eastern Front much easer.
Note the influence of Allies African Operation and landing in Sicily and Italy. They were not a decisive influence but make Soviet Red Army operations much easier.

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506th heavy tank battalion Tiger along a muddy road. In the background, a wrecked American-made Studebaker US6 Soviet truck towing a 76.2mm divisional cannon and other burning equipment. Ukraine March - April 1944
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Volksgrenadiers come out of the subway and surrender their weapons at the end of the Battle of Berlin. May 1945
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Machine gun pair entrenched with the grain elevator looming in the background. Stalingrad, 1942
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"Two German prisoners gather wood under guard. 22 September 1944, Oosterbeek. Operation Market Garden.
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Last week I was at the Altmark training area. These objects are in near the range control buildings. Unfortunately there was a fence around is so I could not check the signs. Not sure if it is in the right topic, but it is second world war and German. Unfortunately the weather was foggy and clouded.
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8.8 cm barrel with several kill markings

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I think a 2cm autocannon, but I'am not sure

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3 'modern'' Soviet/Russian tank rounds

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Calibre and type of gun unknown by me, if someone knows.....

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Even a bigger round, I'am 1.94 meter and it was taller than me (and more diameter.....). Also, when someone knows the calibre and type of gun

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Since there was a V3 test site at Hillersleben, could this be the ammunition (sleek, aerodynamic for long ranges?)

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Type and calibre?

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I really don't know what the thing on the right is supposed to be. It looks like some garden ornament with fountain.....
 
Parts of the steel turret of the so-called Scharnhorst bunker which was located in the northern part of the current training area of Altmark/Hillersleben.
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Perspective from a U-Boat conning tower as an unidentified Allied freighter is torpedoed in 1941
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Pzkfpw II passing by a Soviet Valentine Mk.III knocked out in the area of the Istra River, November 1944.
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