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What was the colloquial German name for a Mark IV ?


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I've read several of the Stackpole Military series, like Tigers in the Mud, Infantry Aces, Panzer Aces and Grenadiers etc, recreating the battles from the perspective of Knight's Cross winners... so Germans then...

They only ever refer to them as Mark IV's from what I've seen and read. Much of these books are based on Combat accounts and sometimes recollections, but in the transcripts from battle diary's they are Mark IV's.

I've once seen them refered to as 'The Work Horse of the German Army', but that was probably on a Tamiya set of instructions... ;)

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Originally posted by Richie:

I've once seen them refered to as 'The Work Horse of the German Army', but that was probably on a Tamiya set of instructions... ;)

You can just see the guy briefing them,

"you got 12 The Work Horse of the German Army now get in there and finish them off .... "

War would before before he even got to the last bit!

tongue.gif

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afaik there was no really popular, widespread colloquial name for the Pz IV.

HOWEVER, there is one almost obscure nickname it earned very early - "Rotbart".

literally "red beard", nickname of a popular historic medieval royal figure, emperor barba-rossa (sic!)

however, the nickname came from a popular commercial in the later 1930ies for a razor blade (still on sale today) marketed under that brand name.

Rasierklingen-Rotbart-Extra-Duenn_151__78102456_60.jpg

I am going by memory here so I cant say for sure wether the original slogan was "Rotbart - hauchdünn" or "Rotbart - hauchzart", it possibly also had the addition "extra dünn" (extra thin).

both slogans refer to the fact that the razor blade was very thin.

which was also what the Pz IV's armor was - rather thin. hence the mocking nickname. this especially applied to the early versions up to Ausf. D.

which is why I suspect it was mostly conceived w/r/t the early models.

It does seem to me that while the nickname *did* exist, it was *not* very widespread/popular, it also seems a rather unwieldy word.

kinda like nobody calling the UH-1 helicopter ("Huey") an "Iroquois".

Originally posted by Michael Dorosh:

"Mark" is a British word - the Americans may have used it also, but the Germans emphatically did NOT. 'Panzer 4' or "P4" seems more likely. Where is Dandelion when you need him?

"Panzer 4" is a good guess that I would venture, too.

"P4" is just plain funny, though. suggests a pistol type.

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This was posted by Christian Ankerstjerne in a discussion board at missing-lynx.com.

quote

Pz.Kpfw. I Landwirtschaftlicher Schlepper

Pz.Kpfw. II Landwirtschaftlicher Schlepper 100

Pz.Kpfw. III Zugführerwagen

Pz.Kpfw. IV Begleitswagen

Pz.Kpfw. Panther

Pz.Kpfw. Tiger Ausf. E

Pz.Kpfw. Tiger Ausf. B

unquote

While I'm still chuckling over the names of the Panzer I and II, I have no idea how seriously to take this list. I wonder to what extent these words represent actually linguistic usage. They look a bit like official names rather than colloquial ones.

Any comments?

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The designations for the I and II mean agricultural tractor. They are the names they were given during developemnt and production to hide from the rest of the world that the Germans were making tanks. In exactly the same way that the word 'tank' came into being to hide from the Germans that the British were making a secret weapon.

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Officially it was Panzerkampfwagen IV, abbreviated to Panzer IV. Which is how it's called in Germany now, which means they called it the same back then. Just like the Tiger or the Stuka. Or the Typ VII U-Boot.

'Mark' can be translated as 'Typ'(english 'type'), so it is a 'Panzer vom Typ IV'. Literally 'Tank of the type IV'.

Another designation might have been Metallsärge - metal coffins.

Begleitwagen and Zugführerwagen, heh, didn't know that. It surely sounds less dangerous than Panzerkampfwagen - Armored Fighting Vehicle.

[ August 22, 2007, 11:36 AM: Message edited by: Subcomandante ]

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Originally posted by Bigduke6:

And just so everything is clear, the Russian word for tank is, unsurprisingly, "tank". Thus no extra points for guessing what the "T" stands for.

ooh ooh gotta tell you lot a story here.

Some of you may remember the 'wargamers digest' magazine from the 70s?

Anyhow some person of the political hard left persuasion wrote in once ranting that the reason Soviet tanks were called T34s, SU152s, BT7s etc etc was really an 'extreme right' plot to make Soviet armor less appealing to the working class, unlike the named German and US tanks.

Why those fiendish right wingers! :D

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Originally posted by Mace:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Bigduke6:

And just so everything is clear, the Russian word for tank is, unsurprisingly, "tank". Thus no extra points for guessing what the "T" stands for.

ooh ooh gotta tell you lot a story here.

Some of you may remember the 'wargamers digest' magazine from the 70s?

Anyhow some person of the political hard left persuasion wrote in once ranting that the reason Soviet tanks were called T34s, SU152s, BT7s etc etc was really an 'extreme right' plot to make Soviet armor less appealing to the working class, unlike the named German and US tanks.

Why those fiendish right wingers! :D </font>

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  • 3 weeks later...
Originally posted by Michael Dorosh:

'Panzer 4' or "P4" seems more likely. Where is Dandelion when you need him?

Lurking in the shadows for sure!

Nicknames was not the norm in the German army. It might seem to have been, given the widely known Ofenrohr, Möbelwagen and what have you. But it wasn't, and I don't know of any popularly conceived nicknames for german tanks used by Germans during the war. Nor do I recall any female names or other colourful, romantic names. I am challenged to find any German tanks wearing US-type Pinup girls or cartoonish figures on them. If colourful at all, German tanks would be decorated with colourful unit emblems, not individual such.

In contemporary sources, in particular war diaries, one will often find individual tanks refered to by their call-name (radio call, such as "Sun One" or "Red Two" etc). When tank types were still mixed (II, II and IV) the Pzkpfw IV can be referred to as Heavy (Heavies).

Tiger, Panther, Lynx - these names were all quite dedicated PR efforts, projected from top down, thus not popularly conceived nicknames in any sense. A success they were too, as these names stuck real quick among friend and foe alike.

Incidentally, wouldn't the Panther be a "Mark Five" to a Brit/CW soldier? Or did they stick with "Panther"?

Regards

Dandelion

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Originally posted by ActionMan:

The designations for the I and II mean agricultural tractor. They are the names they were given during developemnt and production to hide from the rest of the world that the Germans were making tanks. In exactly the same way that the word 'tank' came into being to hide from the Germans that the British were making a secret weapon.

Or how the "DD" Sherman was designated such to hide what it really was as well.
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Originally posted by Dandelion:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Michael Dorosh:

'Panzer 4' or "P4" seems more likely. Where is Dandelion when you need him?

Lurking in the shadows for sure!

Nicknames was not the norm in the German army. It might seem to have been, given the widely known Ofenrohr, Möbelwagen and what have you. But it wasn't, and I don't know of any popularly conceived nicknames for german tanks used by Germans during the war. Nor do I recall any female names or other colourful, romantic names. I am challenged to find any German tanks wearing US-type Pinup girls or cartoonish figures on them. If colourful at all, German tanks would be decorated with colourful unit emblems, not individual such.

In contemporary sources, in particular war diaries, one will often find individual tanks refered to by their call-name (radio call, such as "Sun One" or "Red Two" etc). When tank types were still mixed (II, II and IV) the Pzkpfw IV can be referred to as Heavy (Heavies).

Tiger, Panther, Lynx - these names were all quite dedicated PR efforts, projected from top down, thus not popularly conceived nicknames in any sense. A success they were too, as these names stuck real quick among friend and foe alike.

Incidentally, wouldn't the Panther be a "Mark Five" to a Brit/CW soldier? Or did they stick with "Panther"?

Regards

Dandelion </font>

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Originally posted by BeauCoupDinkyDau:

Or how the "DD" Sherman was designated such to hide what it really was as well.

Was it? I thought it was "Duplex Drive"....which is a rather accurate name for the propulstion system at least....if not giving anythign away about it's ability to sink...
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Originally posted by Dandelion:

Lurking in the shadows for sure!

Nicknames was not the norm in the German army. It might seem to have been, given the widely known Ofenrohr, Möbelwagen and what have you. But it wasn't, and I don't know of any popularly conceived nicknames for german tanks used by Germans during the war. Nor do I recall any female names or other colourful, romantic names. I am challenged to find any German tanks wearing US-type Pinup girls or cartoonish figures on them. If colourful at all, German tanks would be decorated with colourful unit emblems, not individual such.

In contemporary sources, in particular war diaries, one will often find individual tanks refered to by their call-name (radio call, such as "Sun One" or "Red Two" etc). When tank types were still mixed (II, II and IV) the Pzkpfw IV can be referred to as Heavy (Heavies).

Tiger, Panther, Lynx - these names were all quite dedicated PR efforts, projected from top down, thus not popularly conceived nicknames in any sense. A success they were too, as these names stuck real quick among friend and foe alike.

Incidentally, wouldn't the Panther be a "Mark Five" to a Brit/CW soldier? Or did they stick with "Panther"?

Regards

Dandelion [/qb]

Nice to have you back!

I have seen photos of individual names on German tanks, AFVs and guns - and pinup girls - but they seem to have been rare. The Squadron Signal books on Panzer Colors have examples, as do the pictorials on Großdeutschland, but of course the latter had a well-established PR (PK) element so one can take them with grains of salt as required.

The Kohlenklau (coal thief?) cartoon character on the Marder II seems to have been popularized by the Tamiya kit in 1/35 scale as well as the Squadron-Signal book from the 1970s on Panzerjäger in Action. Another touch seen on German vehicles not commonly (to my knowledge) seen on Allied tanks was memorial inscriptions to comrades killed in action - complete with maltese cross, name, rank, date of death, perhaps date of birth.

The Allies called the Panther either that, or a "Mark V", as you suggest. Few Canadians ever saw a Mark VI/Tiger as they were fairly rare (probably non-existent in Italy as far as Canadian tankers seeing them). I wouldn't be surprised to know that they were simply called 'heavies' on occasion, in the same way any rocket-propelled anti-tank munition fired at them was a "German Bazooka".

Intelligence seems to have been freely passed on from the Russians and military observers there. I have some Canadian Army training bulletins that have Russian front AARs, and one nifty chart showing how to knock out a PzKpfw III with Molotov cocktails. So the phenomenon that The_Enigma describes is not a surprise. The Tiger first saw action in September 1942 on the Russian front, so by the time British tankers came across them in Tunisia, there was probably at the least information pamphlets floating around the armoured unit headquarters. Not sure how fast info like that got disseminated, but the whole concept of "lessons learned" is not a new one. The wartime Canadian Army Training Memorandum series is a pretty amazing set of documents.

Knowing their lives depended on tank recognition, I would imagine silhouettes and nomenclature stuff was all "required reading" for AFV crews and anti-tank gunners. The misconception fostered by war movies that units not in contact just sit around telling dirty stories to each other is accurate, but only to a point. In actual fact, units not in contact still conduct training - and that would include recognition of new AFV types in the enemy's stable. The CATM, for example, was issued on a scale of one to every single officer in the army, once per month. And it was only one document among many circulated regularly in order to keep the troops and their leaders informed.

[ September 13, 2007, 08:43 PM: Message edited by: Michael Dorosh ]

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Originally posted by Stalin's Organist:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by BeauCoupDinkyDau:

Or how the "DD" Sherman was designated such to hide what it really was as well.

Was it? I thought it was "Duplex Drive"....which is a rather accurate name for the propulstion system at least....if not giving anythign away about it's ability to sink... </font>
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