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Männer gegen Panzer

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Originally posted by Lascar:

This is an interesting training film used by the German army during the war. It features close in infantry assaults against T-34s and KV-1s with an assortment of infantry anti-tank weapons.

English subtitles included.

Part 1

Part 2

About the film

Wonderful stuff. Tom Mouat showed this at the Conference of Wargamers (COW) the year before last, and everyone enjoyed it hugely.

All the best,


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I think i actually went so far as to make a CMBB battle roughly based on this film. A Jager platoon with piles of magnetic mines and grenade bundles, assisted by a Pioneer SL squad and a 37mm ATG with a handful of HEAT projectiles face some T-34s (I think I counted 3 in the film? And was the last tank a KV-2?)... I suppose I might as well put it up on the proving grounds.

[ November 28, 2007, 05:07 PM: Message edited by: z-warfare ]

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It is indeed, which is why it figures in a number of long defunct threads on the Forums. Had never seen the About piece, though. Nice that they got one who'd been and done in the training film! The antitank close combat techniques are fascinating, and seeing a Puppchen and a Pak-36 with the huge HEAT muzzle loading projectile in action, even though the combat's simulated, is a treat.

Notice how narrow the slit trenches are. Clearly, some hard lessons were learned earlier in the war about wider trench vulnerability to mortar and artillery fire. Also, I couldn't help noting the similarity between dusty Stahlhelmed heads popping up from the trench and tiny brown ground owl heads appearing the same way at the old Hughes Aircraft plant in Culver City, California.


John Kettler

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Der Alte Fritz,

I don't know about titles per se, but YouTube has tons of German war footage on it, to include the combat trials of the Ju-87 tankbuster against Russian landing craft in the Crimea, a Sturmtiger's firing on Warsaw, and the monstrous Karl Gustav railroad gun. The various branch of service songs (Panzer Lied, Lied der Sturmartilleries, Lied der Panzergrenadiere, etc.) alone will pull up all manner of goodies, including rare color footage of 21 Panzer Division

(the one with all the converted French armor whose battles Kingfish is busy modeling in CMAK).

Here's a quick example I pulled up.



John Kettler

[ November 29, 2007, 04:54 PM: Message edited by: John Kettler ]

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I do collect lots of contemporary german training stuff from the 1930ies - early 40ies, mostly books (field manuals, tactics/maneuvre training), but also started to find those rare german training films. Hundreds were made during (and before) WW2 and I wonder how many are still buried in archives on film rolls, non digitized version!

My first training film on CD (MPG format) is "die Gruppe als Spaehtrupp" (german squad as reccon patrol), a 48 minute long training film showing all stages of a german reccon patrol in action, starting with explaining the situation, briefing the squad in the field until return to freindly MLR with everything in between in great detail. I already have great detail in contemporary books, but the film is an invaluable addition!8)

Interesting enough, I´m curently waiting for a version of the same film at youtube (Manner gegen Panzer) that a friend is about to send me on CD. Another film freely available is the german sniper training and I also know of a film that showcases officer training of the german bad boys (Waffen XX). Didn´t have it yet so can´t tell more. If anybody out there has access to further contemporary german training films, please PM me! smile.gif

What yet can be said to "Manner gegen Panzer" is that it shows german defense tactics (vs russian armor) in interesting detail! The main doctrine always was, divide enemy infantry from the supporting tanks, even if the enemy armor is about to roll over the main infantry defenses, trying to hold out in those small slit trenches. The slit trenches are not just to provide smaller target to enemy shelling, they also provide greater standfasteness, when tanks roll over. Off course greatly depends on ground/soil. However, the russians adapted in 1943/44, to deal with german close quarter AT defenses better.

Think the film showcases the tactics and means used in 1942/43 at the russian front mainly. If no AT guns were nearby, the infantry´s main effort (beside fending off enemy infantry) was to immobilize and blind enemy tanks which then were sittting ducks and could be finished off with other available hand held AT means, which mainly were grenade bundles made of stick grenades, AT mines, molotov cocktails, satchel charges and any of the newly introduced HEAT grenades as rifle grenades (1942), the Hafthohlladung H3 (1943) and other well known devices (Panzerfaust ect.)

The film also showcases well that german infantry AT warfare was both, organized/pre planned and supported from personal initiative of german soldiers starting in 1942, after all that terrible experiences at the russian front in 1941, where close quarter AT defense was mostly based on improvisation.

One can see in the film that a local infantry AT group organizes with supporting groups (fighting enemy infantry) and single supporting men who cover the single Rambo who tries to approach enemy tanks with handheld stuff. No idea how many died in this process though.

Although the films are all reenactements, they are very professionally made and I doubt you´ll find any real frontline films that give the wealth of detail as seen here. They´re not free of "propaganda" elements though, but it´s suffice to state what they´re good for. (rasing morale, self confidence, combat spirits ect.)

An interesting film scene was where a young german soldier in the trenches was about to break when the russian tank attack started. The german non com (or was it an officer? Do need to look again) nearby showed how to keep coolness and gave instructions to fight enemy infantry to enable the tank hunters doing their hazardous job. (a "Rally" in wargames like CM ect.) My guess the film was mainaly aimed at non coms (squad leaders and up) and less to the lowest rank soldiers. They surely were showed to all at last!

Another interesting detail is the means of camouflaging the trenches! BFC..look at this if working on CMx" WW2! ;) As can be seen, patches of grass and local material was used to better mold the trenches into the terrain. CM uses a one fit all, but personally I prefer one of the avilable trench mods that have the unrealistic sand bag attachements removed. I´ve never seen sand bags in use by germans under those conditions, except maybe in the desert and at those places where you can´t dig (urban terrain) normally. Otherwise sandbags, if left uncamouflaged are a simple "here we are - invite to kill" marker. tongue.gif

Left to be said, all the mentioned actons and tactics work pretty well in the CM series games, even if most of it is abstractly modelled, as the infamous infantry "close assault", where you just see hand grenades thrown at tanks, followed by the occasional "hit" (or "Treffer" in german version) result/message or even disabling (mostly immobilizing) enemy armor that is either slow moving or stationary (hint! This is how it works in CM best!).

So if seeing that "close assault" in CM happening the next time, just imagine what you did see in "Manner gegen Panzer" and pay respect to BFC! 8)

Would love to see detailed infantry AT tactics in CMx2 working! Wouldn´t that be cool? 8)

(purchased CMSF two weeks ago, so I know the "potential" is there!)

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