Men And Machines: German Army During WW1

The Great War of 1914-18. went down in history as the first armed conflict with massive use of the latest technical resources and achievements of civilization for extermination.  The debut of tanks and chemical weapons took place then. Guns became larger and long-range, operetta gala uniforms gave way to the muddy colors of khaki.

Here are some images of the German Army during WW1: Both men and machines.

German soldiers with captured machine guns and a car on a rail carriage

German anti-aircraft guns were called "Balloon defense guns" (Ballon-Abwehr-Kanonen- BAK). They were to shoot down observation balloons.

The balloon-busting BAK again

The Ballon Abwehr Kanone were meant to shoot down balloons but they shot a British warplane. Wreck of a RE8 fitted with V12 engines. The Royal Aircraft Factory (R.E.8 ) was a British two-seat biplane reconnaissance and bomber aircraft of the First World War designed by John Kenworthy.

Crashed German warplane
This German plane LVG B.11 has crashed neatly. And it did not burst into flames. LVG had been involved in the operation of dirigibles before it started design, in 1912, of the company's first original design, the B.I. The B.I was an unequal-span two-seat biplane with a fixed tailskid landing gear. It was powered by a nose-mounted 80 kW (100 hp) Mercedes D.I engine. After entering service an improved variant, the B.II was developed with a cut-out in the upper wing to improve visibility for the pilot in the rear cockpit and fitted with a 90 kW (120 hp) Mercedes D.II engine. The B.II entered service in 1915 and although mainly used as a trainer it was also used for unarmed reconnaissance and scouting duties. A further variant was the B.III which had structural strengthening to allow it to be used as a trainer.

A German field artillery gun is carried on a truck. 1916.

German truck carrying soldiers
The trucks were used mainly for carrying troops. Note that the truck had no power steering and no pneumatic inflatable tyres of today. No weakling could drive the truck.

1917. German army trucks.

This German staff car met with an accident in Munich in 1915. The driver proudly poses for an photograph.

german 21 cm gun towed tractor
 A German 21 cm gun towed by a tractor

 Cadets from a German military school fool around

A German propaganda picture. The foes are soldiers of the Allied armies including a bearded Cossack

Two German soldiers pose against a destroyed 25cm British gun

German soldier with destroyed British tank Battle Arras
A German soldier looks at a British tank during the Battle of Arras

German soldier destroyed French tank, Schneider CA1
A German soldier poses against a destroyed French tank, Schneider CA1 which was the first tank the French made.

Elfrida German Armored train
A trophy in Paris. "Elfrida". A monster A7V vehicle.


The A7V was a tank introduced by Germany in 1918, near the end of World War I. One hundred vehicles were ordered during the spring of 1918, but only 20 were delivered. It was nicknamed "The Moving Fortress" by the British because of the shape of the hull. They were used in action from March to October of that year, and were the only tanks produced by Germany in World War I to be used in operations

ww1 Captured German guns  Paris Elysees
A mountain of German guns at Champs Elysees, Paris in 1918.

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Quotes about war....

"War grows out of the desire of the individual to gain advantage at the expense of his fellow man."
--Napoleon Hill

"We have failed to grasp the fact that mankind is becoming a single unit, and that for a unit to fight against itself is suicide."
--Havelock Ellis

'Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed."
--Mao Tse-Tung (1893 - 1976)

"I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in."
--George McGovern

"The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic."
--Joseph Stalin

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
--Voltaire, War

In war, truth is the first casualty.
-- Aeschylus

"The ability and inclination to use physical strength is no indication of bravery or tenacity to life. The greatest cowards are often the greatest bullies. Nothing is cheaper and more common than physical bravery."
--Clarence Darrow, Resist Not Evil

"The victor will never be asked if he told the truth."
--Adolf Hitler

"To walk through the ruined cities of Germany is to feel an actual doubt about the continuity of civilization."
--George Orwell

"Patriots always talk of dying for their country and never of killing for their country."
--Bertrand Russell

Men are at war with each other because each man is at war with himself.
--Francis Meehan

Snippets From History

German Soldiers in Russia: Part 1

Hubert Menzel was a major in the General Operations Department of the OKH (the Oberkommando des Heers, the German Army headquarters), and for him the idea of invading the Soviet Union in 1941 had the smack of cold, clear logic to it: 'We knew that in two years' time, that is by the end of 1942, beginning of 1943, the English would be ready, the Americans would be ready, the Russians would be ready too, and then we would have to deal with all three of them at the same time.... We had to try to remove the greatest threat from the East.... At the time it seemed possible.'

Battle for Berlin, 1945

'We started to fire at the masses,' says one former German machine gunner. 'They weren't human beings for us. It was a wall of attacking beasts who were trying to kill us. You yourself were no longer human.'


Berlin after it fell to the Russians, 1945

"Vladlen Anchishkin, a Soviet battery commander on the 1st Ukrainian Front, sums up the horror of the whole event, when he tells how he took personal revenge on German soldiers: 'I can admit it now, I was in such a state, I was in such a frenzy. I said, 'Bring them here for an interrogation' and I had a knife, and I cut him. I cut a lot of them. I thought, 'You wanted to kill me, now it's your turn.'
Read More


Dramatic Pictures: Battle For Stalingrad
"...Effective command no longer possible... further defense senseless. Collapse inevitable. Army requests immediate permission to surrender in order to save lives of remaining troops."
General Paulus' radio message to Hitler on January 24, 1943

"...Capitulation is impossible. The 6th Army will do its historic duty at Stalingrad until the last man, the last bullet..."

Hitler's response to General Friedrich Paulus' request to withdraw from the city


Points To Ponder....

The fall of France was shocking. It reduced France to virtually a non-player in the Second World War. The efforts of Charles de Gualle were more symbolic than material. But the martial instincts of the French must never be doubted. Under Napoleon they were a formidable military power. The French definitely have more iron in their blood then say, the Italians [I do not mean it in a derogatory sense. War never makes sense]


Bias Of Western Historians

Soviet resistance made possible a successful Allied invasion of France, and ensured the final Allied victory over Germany.

It can hardly be called mere 'resistance'! If it hadn't been for the Russians, Hitler would have made mincemeat of British forces in Africa and landed on British shores in no time. Hitler attacked Russia first because it had more land and resources than Britain. It is as simple as that.

Eastern Front: Bias Of Western Historians