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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

Heinkel He 112

Heinkel He 112
Heinkel He 112

One of the first requirements issued under the Nazis by the rapidly expanded Reichsluftfahrtministerium was a specification for a monoplane fighter to replace the Arado 68 and Heinkel 51. Designed by a Heinkel team under Walter Günthers (who was also responsible for the He 70), the He 112 was Heinkel’s entry to the competition.

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Artillery

S IG 33

S IG 33
S IG 33

Of all the German infantry support guns produced for service in World War II, the most capable and powerful was the 15cm schwere Infanteriegeschütz 33. Produced by the Rheinmetall-Borsig company from 1927, the s IG 33 was a large item of equipment that gave the impression, largely as a result of its steel wheels with a diameter of 1.10m (43.3in), of being somewhat old fashioned. In this instance appearance was deceptive, for the s IG 33 was capable and very reliable, and as a result the weapon remained in large-scale service right up to the end of World War II in 1945.

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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

MG 42

MG 42
MG 42

Without doubt one of the most far-sighted and influential machine guns created in World War II, the Maschinengewehr 42 was in terms of its design and manufacturing requirements a truly outstanding weapon that has exercised a long-lasting influence over later general-purpose machine guns.

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Tracked Vehicles

Panzer 38(t)

Panzer 38(t)
Panzer 38(t)

The Czech LT-38 was one of the most successful products of the pre-war Czech armaments industry. Originating as a design in 1933, it was gradually improved so that by 1938 the latest version, the TNHP, was ordered for the Czech Army. Some 150 were ordered for the Czechs, while foreign orders totalled 200.

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Free Media

Caption Competition

Hitler and Mackenesen
Hitler and Mackenesen

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Photo Galleries

Panzer IVs at Kursk

Panzer IVs at Kursk
Panzer IVs at Kursk

Panzer IVs of II SS Panzer Corps during the early phase of the Kursk offensive. Their tracks are clearly visible in the long grass as they push on over the low inclines that marked this battlefield.

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Commanders

Commanders

Hans von Seeckt

Hans von Seeckt
Hans von Seeckt

Infantry General Hans von Seeckt (left) was the commander in chief of the German Army from 1920 to 1926. As such he played a pivotal role in shaping the evolution of the interwar German military. Confronted with the reduction of German military capabilities imposed by the draconian Versailles settlement of 1919, Seeckt utilized his experience of mobile warfare on the Eastern Front during World War I to pursue his belief that an aggressive defense conducted by mobile forces could defeat a numerically and materially superior enemy. It was Seeckt, therefore, who initially pushed motorization in the interwar German Army as he sought to inculcate offensive spirit in German troops.

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