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The Race Across Northwest Europe (August 1944 - May 1945)

The Race Across Northwest Europe (August 1944 - May 1945)



The North West Europe Campaign of 1944-1945, fought by the British Second Army and First Canadian Army as elements of the British 21st Army Group. The campaign started with the landings in Normandy and ended on May 4th, 1945 with Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery taking the German military surrender of all German forces in Holland, north west Germany and Denmark on Luneburg Heath, (situated between the cities of Hamburg, Hanover and Bremen). As with the first campaign the British Commonwealth forces were on the northern flank of the Western Front. The Twelfth United States Army Group, was to their immediate south, further south still was the Sixth United States Army Group, (that was also known as the Southern Group of Armies as the French First Army was a constituent part).
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German Sd. Kfz. 186 Jagdpanzer VI Jagdtiger Heavy Tank Destroyer with Zimmerit - Unidentified Unit, Alsace, 1945 German Sd. Kfz. 251 Ausf. D Half-Track - 97.Jager-Division, Bohemia, 1945 Captured Sherman Firefly Mk. VC Medium Tank - Unidentified Unit, Germany, 1944
German Sd. Kfz. 186 Jagdpanzer VI Jagdtiger Heavy Tank Destroyer with Zimmerit - Unidentified Unit, Alsace, 1945 (1:72 Scale)
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German Sd. Kfz. 251 Ausf. D Half-Track - 97.Jager-Division, Bohemia, 1945 (1:72 Scale)
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Captured Sherman Firefly Mk. VC Medium Tank - Unidentified Unit, Germany, 1944 (1:72 Scale)
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Early in 1943, orders were given to design a heavy, self-propelled anti-tank gun, which would mate a 12.8cm gun with a Tiger II chassis. On October 20th, 1943 a wooden mock-up of the enormous vehicle was shown to the OKH planners who authorized that a prototype be finished by April 1944. The Sonderkraftfahrzeug (Sd. Kfz.) 251 half-track had its origins in the same requirement as the smaller and lighter Sd. Kfz. 250. Intended as an armored personnel carrier, the Sd. Kfz. 251 entered service in 1939, and quickly became the standard means of transport for the panzergrenadiers. The M4 Sherman medium tank was regarded by many as the workhorse of the US Army during World War II. In fact, virtually all of the Allied armies employed the Sherman in their armed forces, including the British, who developed an upgunned variant called the "Firefly".
Captured Sherman Firefly Mk. VC Medium Tank - Unidentified Unit, Germany, 1945 German Sd. Kfz. 182 PzKpfw VI King Tiger Ausf. A Heavy Tank w/ Porsche Turret and Zimmerit - schwere Panzer Abteilung 506, Arnhem, June 1944 German Sd. Kfz. 186 Jagdpanzer VI Jagdtiger Heavy Tank Destroyer with Henschel Turret - schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 653, Alsace, 1945
Captured Sherman Firefly Mk. VC Medium Tank - Unidentified Unit, Germany, 1945 (1:72 Scale)
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German Sd. Kfz. 182 PzKpfw VI King Tiger Ausf. A Heavy Tank with Porsche Turret and Zimmerit - schwere Panzer Abteilung 506, Arnhem, June 1944 (1:72 Scale)
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German Sd. Kfz. 186 Jagdpanzer VI Jagdtiger Heavy Tank Destroyer with Henschel Turret - schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 653, Alsace, 1945 (1:72 Scale)
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The M4 Sherman medium tank was regarded by many as the workhorse of the US Army during World War II. In fact, virtually all of the Allied armies employed the Sherman in their armed forces, including the British, who developed an upgunned variant called the "Firefly".

In January 1943, a new Tiger tank was ordered by the Waffenant, this time with a turret large enough to mount the fearsome 8.8cm L/71 gun. Besides improving its tank killing capabilities, the new Tiger was also intended to be more survivable on the battlefield. Early in 1943, orders were given to design a heavy, self-propelled anti-tank gun, which would mate a 12.8cm gun with a Tiger II chassis. On October 20th, 1943 a wooden mock-up of the enormous vehicle was shown to the OKH planners who authorized that a prototype be finished by April 1944.
German Sd. Kfz. 173 Jagdpanther Tank Destroyer w/Zimmerit - 'Red 112', schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 654, Western Front, 1944 German Sd. Kfz. 173 Jagdpanther Tank Destroyer w/Zimmerit - schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 559, Belgium, 1944 German Sd. Kfz. 186 Jagdpanzer VI Jagdtiger Heavy Tank Destroyer with Henschel Turret - schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 653, Germany, 1945
German Sd. Kfz. 173 Jagdpanther Tank Destroyer w/Zimmerit - "Red 112", schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 654, Western Front, 1944 (1:72 Scale)
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German Sd. Kfz. 173 Jagdpanther Tank Destroyer w/Zimmerit - schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 559, Belgium, 1944 (1:72 Scale)
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German Sd. Kfz. 186 Jagdpanzer VI Jagdtiger Heavy Tank Destroyer with Henschel Turret - schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 653, Germany, 1945 (1:72 Scale)
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The Jagdpanther mounted a powerful 8.8cm Pak L/71 cannon within a fixed turret, which was situated atop a standard Panther V chassis. Although production of the tank was begun at MIAG in January 1944, it took another ten months before the larger NMH plant could expand the production run in time for the Wacht am Rhein ("Watch on the Rhine") winter counteroffensive. The Jagdpanther mounted a powerful 8.8cm Pak L/71 cannon within a fixed turret, which was situated atop a standard Panther V chassis. Although production of the tank was begun at MIAG in January 1944, it took another ten months before the larger NMH plant could expand the production run in time for the Wacht am Rhein ("Watch on the Rhine") winter counteroffensive. Early in 1943, orders were given to design a heavy, self-propelled anti-tank gun, which would mate a 12.8cm gun with a Tiger II chassis. On October 20th, 1943 a wooden mock-up of the enormous vehicle was shown to the OKH planners who authorized that a prototype be finished by April 1944.
US M26 Pershing Heavy Tank - Alles Kaput, A Company, 18th Tank Battalion, 8th Armored Division, Northwest Europe, 1945 US M26 Pershing Heavy Tank - E Company, 67th Armored Regiment, 2nd Armored Division, NW Europe, 1945 German Sd. Kfz. 173 Jagdpanther Tank Destroyer - Germany, 1945
US M26 Pershing Heavy Tank - 'Alles Kaput', A Company, 18th Tank Battalion, 8th Armored Division, Northwest Europe, 1945 (1:72 Scale)
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US M26 Pershing Heavy Tank - E Company, 67th Armored Regiment, 2nd Armored Division, Northwest Europe, 1945 (1:72 Scale)
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German Sd. Kfz. 173 Jagdpanther Tank Destroyer - Germany, 1945 (1:72 Scale)
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Early in June 1944, Army commanders expressed a need for a new breed of tank that could mount either a 90mm or 105mm main gun. This request was approved by the Army Staff soon thereafter even though trials of the new T26E1 had already begun back at Fort Knox earlier that year. Early in June 1944, Army commanders expressed a need for a new breed of tank that could mount either a 90mm or 105mm main gun. This request was approved by the Army Staff soon thereafter even though trials of the new T26E1 had already begun back at Fort Knox earlier that year. The Jagdpanther mounted a powerful 8.8cm Pak L/71 cannon within a fixed turret, which was situated atop a standard Panther V chassis. Although production of the tank was begun at MIAG in January 1944, it took another ten months before the larger NMH plant could expand the production run in time for the Wacht am Rhein ("Watch on the Rhine") winter counteroffensive.
German Sd. Kfz. 173 Jagdpanther Tank Destroyer - schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 654 German Sd. Kfz. 173 Jagdpanther Tank Destroyer - schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 654 British Bedford QLT Cargo Truck - Unidentified Unit, Northern Europe, 1944-1945
German Sd. Kfz. 173 Jagdpanther Tank Destroyer - schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 654 (1:72 Scale)
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German Sd. Kfz. 173 Jagdpanther Tank Destroyer - schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 654 (1:72 Scale)
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British Bedford QLT Cargo Truck - Unidentified Unit, Northern Europe, 1944-1945 (1:72 Scale)
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The Jagdpanther mounted a powerful 8.8cm Pak L/71 cannon within a fixed turret, which was situated atop a standard Panther V chassis. Although production of the tank was begun at MIAG in January 1944, it took another ten months before the larger NMH plant could expand the production run in time for the Wacht am Rhein ("Watch on the Rhine") winter counteroffensive. The Jagdpanther mounted a powerful 8.8cm Pak L/71 cannon within a fixed turret, which was situated atop a standard Panther V chassis. Although production of the tank was begun at MIAG in January 1944, it took another ten months before the larger NMH plant could expand the production run in time for the Wacht am Rhein ("Watch on the Rhine") winter counteroffensive.

The Bedford QLT lorry was the most common British-made 4x4 truck produced, with over 52,000 supplied to the British Forces between 1941 and 1945. Many of these later continued in service with the British Army in Cyprus, Korea and Malaya.

US DUKW Amphibious Truck - European Theatre of Operations, 1944 US M7 Priest Self-Propelled Gun - A Battery, 231st Armored Field Artillery Battalion, 6th Armored Division, Western Front, 1944 US M5A1 Stuart Light Tank - "Carol," 3rd Battalion, 33rd Armored Regiment, 3rd Armored Division, Normandy, France, June 1944
US DUKW Amphibious Truck - European Theatre of Operations, 1944 (1:72 Scale)
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US M7 Priest Self-Propelled Gun - A Battery, 231st Armored Field Artillery Battalion, 6th Armored Division, Western Front, 1944 (1:72 Scale)
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US M5A1 Stuart Light Tank - "Carol," 3rd Battalion, 33rd Armored Regiment, 3rd Armored Division, Normandy, France, June 1944 (1:72 Scale)
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The DUKW (colloquially known as duck) is a six-wheel-drive amphibious truck that was designed by a partnership under military auspices of Sparkman & Stephens and General Motors Corporation (GMC) during World War II for transporting goods and troops over land and water and for use approaching and crossing beaches in amphibious attacks.

Nicknamed the 'Priest' by British crews because of its pulpit-shaped machine-gun turret at the front, the M7 grew from US experience with howitzers mounted on half-tracked vehicles. The War Department soon realized that a fully tracked carriage was required, and the M3 tank was modified to fill the role.

The M5 Stuart light tank made its debut in the invasion of Casablanca in French North Africa. By 1943, and at the time of the invasion of Sicily, the upgraded M5A1 was becoming the standard light tank of the American armored divisions.

US M16 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage - Unidentified Unit, Northwest Europe, 1944 US M8 Light Armored Car - 2nd Cavalry Division, Belgium, January 1945 British Achilles IIC Tank Destroyer - Unidentified Unit, 1944
US M16 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage - Unidentified Unit, Northwest Europe, 1944 (1:72 Scale)
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US M8 Light Armored Car - 2nd Cavalry Division, Belgium, January 1945 (1:72 Scale)
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British Achilles IIC Tank Destroyer - Unidentified Unit, 1944 (1:72 Scale)
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First deployed during the end of WWII and then again in the Korean War, the Maxom quadruple .50 caliber AA machine gun mount was called "Meat Chopper" because of its impressive firepower when used against human wave attacks.

The M8 Light Armored Car was a 6x6 armored car produced by the Ford Motor Company during the Second World War. It was used by the U.S. and British troops in Europe and the Far East until the end of the war.

A British variant, designated "Achilles", was developed to mount the successful 17-pounder anti-tank gun in a modified turret. It was used by the British, Canadian and Polish armies in Italy and north-west Europe.

US M4A3 Sherman Medium Tank - Houston-Kid II, 756th Tank Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division, France, 1945 German Early Production Sd. Kfz. 173 Jagdpanther Tank Destroyer with Zimmerit - 3/schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 654, France, 1944 German RW61 Sturmmorser Rocket Assault Mortar w/ Zimmerit - Unidentified Unit, Germany, March 1945
US M4A3 Sherman Medium Tank - "Houston Kid II", 756th Tank Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division, France, 1945 (1:72 Scale)
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German Early Production Sd. Kfz. 173 Jagdpanther Tank Destroyer with Zimmerit - 3/schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 654, France, 1944 (1:72 Scale)
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German RW61 Sturmmorser Rocket Assault Mortar w/ Zimmerit - Unidentified Unit, Germany, March 1945 (1:72 Scale)
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The M4 Sherman medium tank was regarded by many as the workhorse of the US Army during World War II. In fact, virtually all of the Allied armies employed the Sherman in their armed forces, including the British, who developed an upgunned variant called the "Firefly". The Jagdpanther mounted a powerful 8.8cm Pak L/71 cannon within a fixed turret, which was situated atop a standard Panther V chassis. Although production of the tank was begun at MIAG in January 1944, it took another ten months before the larger NMH plant could expand the production run in time for the Wacht am Rhein ("Watch on the Rhine") winter counteroffensive. On August 5th, 1943, a self-propelled vehicle was proposed by senior Army officials based on the Tiger I chassis but mounting a 38cm mortar. Alkett was placed in charge of the design. The Company managed to complete a prototype by October 20th, which was run through a series of field tests for approval.
US M4A3(76)W Sherman Medium Tank - Julia, 761st Tank Battalion Black Panthers, Task Force Rhine, Germany, 1945 US M4A1 Sherman Medium Tank - Battling Bitch, 7th Armored Division, France, 1944 Free French M4A4 Sherman Medium Tank - St. Quentin, France, 1944
US M4A3(76)W Sherman Medium Tank - "Julia", 761st Tank Battalion "Black Panthers", Task Force Rhine, Germany, 1945 (1:72 Scale)
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US M4A1 Sherman Medium Tank - "Battling Bitch", 7th Armored Division, France, 1944 (1:72 Scale)
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Free French M4A4 Sherman Medium Tank - "St. Quentin", France, 1944 (1:72 Scale)
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The M4 Sherman medium tank was regarded by many as the workhorse of the US Army during World War II. In fact, virtually all of the Allied armies employed the Sherman in their armed forces, including the British, who developed an upgunned variant called the "Firefly". The M4 Sherman medium tank was regarded by many as the workhorse of the US Army during World War II. In fact, virtually all of the Allied armies employed the Sherman in their armed forces, including the British, who developed an upgunned variant called the "Firefly". The M4 Sherman medium tank was regarded by many as the workhorse of the US Army during World War II. In fact, virtually all of the Allied armies employed the Sherman in their armed forces, including the British, who developed an upgunned variant called the "Firefly".
British Cruiser Tank, A27M Cromwell Mk. IV Tank - C Squadron, 5th Royal Tank Regiment, 22nd Armoured Brigade, 7th Armoured Division, Northwest Europe, 1945 British Cruiser Tank, A27M Cromwell Mk. IV Tank - Kings Own Hussars, 7th Armoured Division, Operation Blackcock, January 1945 Polish M4A1(76)W Sherman Medium Tank - Polish 2nd Armored Regiment, Polish 1st Armored Division, Holland, 1944
British Cruiser Tank, A27M Cromwell Mk. IV Tank - C Squadron, 5th Royal Tank Regiment, 22nd Armoured Brigade, 7th Armoured Division, Northwest Europe, 1945 (1:72 Scale)
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British Cruiser Tank, A27M Cromwell Mk. IV Tank - King's Own Hussars, 7th Armoured Division, Operation Blackcock, January 1945 (1:72 Scale)
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Polish M4A1(76)W Sherman Medium Tank - Polish 2nd Armored Regiment, Polish 1st Armored Division, Holland, 1944 (1:72 Scale)
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The Cromwell tank was used by the British Army during the later stages of World War II. The Cromwell was ordered in 1941 and intended to replace the lightweight Crusader "cruiser" tank by being more heavily armoured, and, it was hoped, more survivable in battle. The Cromwell tank was used by the British Army during the later stages of World War II. The Cromwell was ordered in 1941 and intended to replace the lightweight Crusader "cruiser" tank by being more heavily armoured, and, it was hoped, more survivable in battle. The M4 Sherman medium tank was regarded by many as the workhorse of the US Army during World War II. In fact, virtually all of the Allied armies employed the Sherman in their armed forces, including the British, who developed an upgunned variant called the "Firefly".
   
 
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