25 November 2012

Marder II "Kohlenklau" of Unteroffizier Helmut Kohlke

Image size: 1600 x 1126 pixel. 298 KB
Date: Sunday, 21 March 1943
Place: Somewhere in middle Russia
Photographer: Kriegsberichter Walter Henisch from Propaganda-Kompanie (PK) 693

The famous 7,5cm Panzerjäger "Marder II" (Sd.Kfz.131) auf Panzer II "Kohlenklau" (Coal Thief, a German music hall character) of Unteroffizier Helmut Kohlke (standing with pride, Kopfhörer/headphone on his ears) - recognizable by the cartoon painted on both sides - on the Eastern Front in 1943. The ring markings on the barrel indicate 19 claimed kills for the vehicle. The Marder II (SdKfz. 131) was an open-topped, lightly-armored German tank destroyer armed with a 7.5 cm Pak 40 antitank gun built on the obsolete Panzer II chassis. Kohlke received Deutsches Kreuz in Gold (German Cross in Gold) in 16 October 1942 as an Unteroffizier and Geschützführer in 3.Kompanie/Panzerjäger-Abteilung 561/XXVIII.Armeekorps/18.Armee/Heeresgruppe Nord. In the same day he also bestowed with Heeres-Ehrenblattspange (Army Honor Roll Clasp).He would be missing in action in the late stage of war. Panzerjäger-Abteilung 561 carried "IA" symbol as a Berlin unit. Kohlke's gun carried a triangle symbol. Other Kompanien carried different shape according to Schmitz/Thies, namely rectangle and circle. The original ''Kohlenklau'' was a cartoon figure during the Nazi era in a campaign to conserve energy in the home ''für die deutsche Rüstungsindustrie'' - it was not literally a person who steals coal, or the act of stealing coal, but someone who wastes energy. So, there is no literal translation. Kohlenklau in just the bad habbit of "wasting energy" and taking it away from where it is needed more (arm production, transportation). BTW, this "Kohlenklau" Marder II became famous because it was chosen as the box art of Tamiya Marder II 1/35 kit!

Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-197-1235-15

1 comment:

  1. german marders are a varry different idea its on a panzer 2 chassie witch makes varry mobile but all so thin armor