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This is amazing and never in mein wild dreams would I ever imagined it to be a fact....und here I was thinking how clever of my self having an optional und removable all Female crew on mein 1/16th RC Tiger 1 panzer.
Now I have a real Tank number and division markings to use. I'm always happie when I can model a subject from real historical means.
It is hard to say for certain... The Germans did use women for auxilliary combat roles like FlaK gun crews, search light operators, etc. There is some indication that more front line service occurred in the spring of 1945.
There is a well known photograph of a Nordland division halftrack knocked out in Berlin with a dead soldier laying next to it. There is an obscure second photo of the back of the vehicle and the corpse there is of a uniformed woman. The photo appeared in the English edition of Militaria Magazine #17. What her role was in the vehicle is unknown. Perhaps she was a comat nurse as has been suggested elsewhere. The particular vehicle has been identified as a command halftrack.
The Russians used women in tank crews as the driver. I do not know of any female tank commanders in the Russian army although at least one vehicle had a husband-wife team. The Russians also made some use of female fighter pilots; namely the Night Witches, but there were others.
That 1946 heading was there because it was the original information release.
I just got an e-mail from the guy who posted it. I asked the same question.
I am also getting more information about this from a German WWII Panzer historian. He is looking into it but there was not a lot published on this as most men would have thought it not news worthy....for those years...that is understandable. Waiting for a replay as we speak.
I can not find ONE thing more on her or Tank 069....but that does not mean it never happened.
I am certain that the pic is not photoshopped, and was taken in 1944 or '45. Very likely the film roll was developed in June, 1946, possibly when the camera's owner was released from detention.
It was a common practice for German soldiers to take pictures of their sweethearts (or whomever ) dressed in their uniforms as gag photos, usually in a "morning after" situation. This girls' soldat was a Scharfuehrer (Sergeant) in an SS regiment, and the camoflagued over-tunic she is wearing was manufactured and distributed to SS troops beginning in the Spring of 1944, in the months immediatly prior to the Allied invasion of Normandy, and continued to be worn for the duration of the war.
I am still not 100% sure that this deal is not completely fake.
You want funky? You got it!
At my local Fred Myer aka Croger super Store for some of you mid west and East.
There is this old old old...and I mean OLD dude who still wares his black SS Field cap with the panzer skull....he's been in the U.S. since 1955 but he speaks German very well and I have seen the inside of the cap....its old and the stamps make it official with the date and his name.
He was almost to be sent to active duty after being in the SS Youth program but then the War ended.
He is certain that the SS did experiment with female crews like the Russians did taking advantage of limited available men and the fact that their size was better suited for Panzer interiors.
The photo is indeed real....was she an actual crew person or team support personal ...who knows?
Just because there is nothing on the net does not mean it did not happen.
Rudolf suspects that not a lot of literature exists because it was a man dominated world back then and possibly a "who cares" type of attitude....especially when they lost the war to begin with.
I'm not sure about that.....me myself...I figure if there were Female SS Panzer crews....one would think that there would be stuff all over the web and in books....probably even a film about such events and that one Female in particular ...her especially.