Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Tanks for reading this and answering my question.

The above book arrived in the post today and fascinating it is. In it there are pictures of the Yugoslav army using German  helmets and weapons from WW2.  This led me onto thinking about what happened to the Germany’s tanks , planes etc at the end of the war. Were they recycled / reused by other countries? If so can you give me examples and suggestions about where to find out more? Thanks.

15 comments:

  1. I have read about the following elsewhere, but Wikipedia is a start. Panzer IVs and StuGs wound up in Syria after the war - I think they even made an appearance in Avalon Hills Arab-Israeli War. At least one Panther chassis wound up under a French mobile crane. The French also briefly had a post-war unit of Panthers. The Czechs continued production of the Sdkfz 251 as the OT-810. Not a great vehicle apparently but the foundation of many WWII movies in the following decades.

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  2. Tradgardmastare,

    As PatG writes, the Syrians acquired some Pzkpfw IVs and StuG IIIs and used them along the Golan Heights. The Spanish also seem to have acquired additional examples after the war to add to those they already had. The French certainly had a unit of Panthers (and copied its gun for the AMX13), and the Swiss used Hetzers. I seem to remember reading that the Bulgarians used immobile Pzkprw IVs (or it may have just been their turrets) as part of their border defences,

    The Russian captured a large number of Pzkpfw IIIs and StuG IIIs during the war, and converted them into self-propelled 76.2mm guns, it is reasonable to assume that they remained in service until they wore out.

    All the best,

    Bob

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    1. More interesting info, l especially like the Bulgarian border defence you mention, thanks Bob

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  3. The Finns were still using StuG IIIs into the 1960s.

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    1. Some interesting Cold War potentially here, thanks David.

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  4. In the early 1970's I worked on a militaria stall in Portobello Road and remember a massive quantity of German helmets coming on the market which had been repainted and badged for the Norwegian army. About the same time I went backpacking around Morocco and noticed that all the guards on municipal buildings carried MP40s.

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    1. Interesting Brian. I am particularly intrigued by the Norwegian helmets, l have not come across this before. Do you think they were never issued and ended up on your stall? But why and from where?

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    2. I have always assumed that they were confiscated from German troops remaining in Norway at the end of hostilities,for use by the home army and eventually sold off in the 70's as ex army surplus. All the London dealers had them and there was a thriving trade in fake and repro Nazi items back then so I'm certain lots of them were repainted as waffen ss which was flavour of the month at the time.

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    3. http://iacmc.forumotion.com/t10902-norwegian-uniforms-a-pictorial For link to photos of Norwegian Home Guard in the 1950/60s in German helmets.

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  5. The Battle of Britain 1969 film had lots of "Luftwaffe" planes on loan or retired from the Spanish Air Force https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064072/trivia

    "Twenty-seven Spitfires, in various degrees of repair, were found for this movie, twelve of which could be made airworthy. Only six Hurricanes where found, three of which were made flyable. The Messerschmitt 109s were all retired from the Spanish Air Force. The production company bought them all, about fifty of them, and put seventeen of them back into flying condition. They are in the movie, flown by Spanish Air Force pilots, and members of the Confederate Air Force. The thirty-two Heinkels, with crews, were on loan from the Spanish Air Force, where they still were used for transport and target towing. Two of them were eventually bought by the production company and flown together with the seventeen Messerschmitts to England, for further shooting. The two Junkers 52 were also on loan from the Spanish Air Force.
    The large number of aircraft, collected for this movie, made it the thirty-fifth largest air force in the world."

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  6. Thanks Mark ,most interesting,especially the Spanish information.

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  7. This is an excellent blog on the subject:

    https://wwiiafterwwii.wordpress.com/

    Cheers,

    Pete.

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    1. Thanks Pete for the link to a most interesting blog. It is full of fascinating stuff.

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