Browse Our Free Content

Timelines

Third Reich Day by Day

The rise of the Third Reich as it happened from its beginnings to the start of World War II in September 1939.

Weapons & Technology

Aircraft

Focke Wulf Fw 189

Focke Wulf Fw 189
Focke Wulf Fw 189

Despite its unusual appearance, which brought more than a few words of scepticism from conservative Luftwaffe pilots, the Fw 189 Uhu (Owl) was extremely effective in its intended role of army cooperation and short-range reconnaissance. It was only one of two such aircraft produced for the Luftwaffe – somewhat strangely considering it was designed primarily as a tactical air force for the support of the army. The prototype first flew in July 1938 – none of the subsequent prototype aircraft were alike – yet it was unknown by the Allies until it was disclosed in 1941 as the “Flying Eye” of German armies.

Read more …

Artillery

Kanone 39

Kanone 39
Kanone 39

In the 1930s Krupp responded to a requirement of the Turkish Army with the development of a powerful gun in 150mm calibre. Production got under way in the later stages of the decade, but delivery of the first completed weapons was prevented by the outbreak of World War II in September 1939 (notwithstanding its spectacular victories, the German Army entered the war with a shortage of equipment).

Read more …

Ships

Blücher

Blücher
Blücher

Launched in June 1937, the heavy cruiser Blücher was one of five vessels in her class, the others being the Lützow, Seydlitz, Prinz Eugen and Admiral Hipper. On 9 April 1940, flying the flag of Admiral Oskar Kummetz, she took part in the German invasion of Norway, leading a group of warships carrying 2000 troops and bound for the Norwegian capital, Oslo.

Read more …

Small Arms

MP 41

MP 41
MP 41

Given the fact that far-sighted submachine guns such as the MP 38 and MP 40, with their all-metal construction and features to facilitate mass production, had clearly indicated the most practical line of development for such weapons under wartime conditions, the Maschinenpistole 41 could be seen only as something of an anachronism demanding somewhat greater manufacturing resources for a weapon that offered little operational advantage, something that Germany really could not afford given the industrial power of the enemies ranged against her.

Read more …

Tracked Vehicles

PzKpwf MkII 748 (e)

PzKpwf MkII 748 (e)
PzKpwf MkII 748 (e)

German victories in the first three years of the war resulted the capture of large numbers of enemy vehicles. These were pressed into service. The problems with this was the lack of spare parts and eventual obsolescence. Due to the small numbers involved, it was not worth the setting up of spare parts manufacture, and as a result most of these vehicles were lost due to maintenance problems. French and Italian armoured vehicles could be relatively easily maintained because those countries (which Germany occupied) had large stocks of spares, but armoured vehicles captured from other adversaries presented problems.

Read more …

Free Media

Caption Competition

Hitler and Mackenesen
Hitler and Mackenesen

You must be logged in to submit a caption. Please login or signup if you don’t have an account yet.

Help required!

We have a large photo collection, many of which are uncaptioned, or for which we have incomplete information or are guessing. If any readers can give us correct captions (or more informed captions than we hold at the moment) we would be very grateful. We will display on the site the best or most accurate captions for the photos that we are putting up. Please make your captions no longer than 150 words - shorter if possible.

View suggested captions

Photo Galleries

Heydrich at Prague Castle

Heydrich at Prague Castle
Heydrich at Prague Castle

Reinhard Heydrich (on left) at Prague Castle. His predecessor in control of the Czech lands incorporated into Germany, Konstantin von Neurath, was effectively pushed aside and sent on leave because he was felt to have been too soft on the Czechs. Heydrich cracked down on any manifestations of Czech nationalism, but the rewards he gave to workers in key industries increased productivity.

Read more …

Commanders

Commanders

Erwin Rommel

Erwin Rommel
Erwin Rommel

No discussion of the German Army’s performance in North Africa can exclude an analysis of Erwin Rommel, the “Desert Fox.” The war in North Africa made his reputation. On February 12, 1941, Hitler dispatched Rommel by air to Tripoli in response to the major defeat that the Italian units had just suffered at the hands of British and Commonwealth forces. The new commander had with him just a small mobile force to stiffen Italian resolve and to assist them in reversing the possibility of total defeat at the hands of the British-led forces advancing from Egypt. Hitler did not, however, envisage the Africa Corps making spectacular successes, lest the need to protect these accomplishments from British ripostes led to the diversion of precious German reserves away from the impending Barbarossa invasion of the Soviet Union to the North Africa theater.

Read more …