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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

Henschel Hs 126

A development of the earlier Hs 122 trainer and light reconnaissance aircraft of 1934, the Hs 126 provided the Germans with the bulk of their battlefield reconnaissance capability in World War II. It gained a new wing, cantilever main landing gear and a canopy over the pilot’s cockpit, which were fitted to an Hs 122 airframe to produce the Junkers Jumo 210-powered prototype that first flew in autumn 1936. This was followed by two development aircraft powered by a Bramo Fafnir 323A-1 and 10 Hs 126A-0 pre-production, some of which were evaluated by German forces fighting alongside the Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War.

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Artillery

Jagdtiger

Jagdtiger
Jagdtiger

Introduced to service during February 1944 and otherwise known as the Panzerjäger Tiger Ausf B für 12.8cm PaK 44, the six-man Jagdtiger (hunting tiger) was the last word in the German Army’s search for a tank hunter/destroyer capable of destroying with a single hit any tank fielded or likely to be fielded by the Allied powers.

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Ships

Lützow

Lützow
Lützow

Originally named Deutschland, the Lützow was one of three armoured ships – the so-called “pocket battleships” – laid down between 1928 and 1931. Deutschland was the first of the class, being launched in May 1931 and completed in April 1933. She was originally used as a seagoing training ship, to familiarize crews with her new technology.

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Small Arms

FG 42

FG 42
FG 42

The German paratroop arm was an element of the air force, and many of its weapons were therefore different from those of the army. Thus when the army issued its specification for an assault rifle, the air force decided not to adopt the 7.92mm kurz (short) intermediate-power round and therefore contracted with Rheinmetall-Borsig for an assault rifle suitable for airborne use and chambered for the original 7.92mm high-power round.

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Tracked Vehicles

PzKpwf M15/42

PzKpwf M15/42
PzKpwf M15/42

When the Italian Army received an updated model of its medium tank, designated M15/42, the German Army reaped the rewards. The Italians quit the Axis in September 1943 (only 82 had been delivered to the Italian Army before this date), and the German Army took control of 92 of the new tanks. Overall they still had many of the faults typical of Italian armoured fighting vehicles, but they did give the Germans some sorely needed fighting vehicles in the Italian theatre.

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Free Media

Caption Competition

Hitler and Mackenesen
Hitler and Mackenesen

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Photo Galleries

Balkan/Hellenic Operations

Balkan/Hellenic Operations
Balkan/Hellenic Operations

April 1941. The terrain indicates that this picture was probably taken in Yugoslavia or Greece. The vehicles from left to right are: a sIG 33 (basically a mobile 150mm howitzer), a DKW NZ350 solo motorcycle and an SdKfz 10 halftrack with, judging by his black panzer uniform, one of the sIG 33’s crew standing beside it.

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Commanders

Commanders

Hermann Göring

Hermann Göring
Hermann Göring

Born in Rosenheim, Bavaria, to minor gentry, he joined an infantry regiment in World War I, but arthritis made him unfit for his duties. By pulling strings he became a fighter pilot and established himself as one of Germany’s aces with 22 victories.

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