Panzer Freiburger Wierebahnhof (LFS06317)

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After sucessful campaign in France in July 1940 German tanks convoy through Freiburg and loading the tanks at Wiehrebahnhof.


Die Panzer gehören zur Gruppe Guderian auf dem Rückmarsch von Frankreich: Am 15. Oktober 1935 wurde Hein Guderian (* 17. Juni 1888, Kulm - † 14. Mai 1954, Schwangau bei Füssen) zum Kommandeur der neu gebildeten 2. Panzer-Division in Würzburg ernannt. Als solcher wurde er am 1. August 1936 zum Generalmajor befördert. Am 1. Februar 1938 wurde er zum Generalleutnant befördert. Als solcher wurde er am 4. Februar 1938 zum General des XVI. Armeekorps ernannt. Am 1. November 1938 wurde er zum General der Panzertruppen befördert. Am 20. November 1938 wurde Guderian zum Chef der schnellen Truppen im Oberkommando des Heeres ernannt. Im Sommer 1939 wurde er zum Kommandierenden General des XIX. Armeekorps ernannt. Als solcher nahm Guderian bei der Heeresgruppe Nord am Polenfeldzug teil. Ihm wurden bereits in den ersten Wochen die Spangen zu seinen Eisernen Kreuzen verliehen. Für die Leistungen seines Korps wurde er am 27. Oktober 1939 mit dem Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes ausgezeichnet. 1940 nahm er dann mit seinem Korps bei der Heeresgruppe A am Frankreichfeldzug teil. In der zweiten Phase des Frankreichfeldzuges wurde sein Panzerkorps zur Gruppe Guderian erweitert. Der von ihm entwickelte Einsatz geschlossener Panzerverbände bewährte sich hier. Am 19. Juli 1940 wurde er zum Generaloberst befördert. Zu Beginn des Russlandfeldzuges führte er dann die Panzergruppe 2 beim Angriff auf Mittelrussland. Mit seiner Panzergruppe trug Guderian wesentlich zu den Siegen bei Kiew, Orel und Brjansk bei. Am 17. Juli 1941 wurde ihm das Eichenlaub zum Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes verliehen. //


Reference / film number :  LFS06317
Date :  1940
Coloration :  Black and white
Sound :  Mute
Running time :  00:22:00
Film-maker :  Unseld, Friedrich
Reel format :  8 mm
Genre :  Amateur movie
Thematics :  Borders, War, Second World War : German occupation - Annexation of Alsace
Archive :  Haus des Dokumentarfilms

Context and analysis

The footage can be divided into three thematic parts. The first section begins with a train loaded with soldiers, cars and trucks driving past a railroad crossing at the camera. Following are various shots of soldiers in Freiburg. Often one sees Gaffers of children and adolesence. Some of the recordings are clearly staged, for example, when an officer drives a motorcycle on display. In the second section, the column of vehicles and tanks drives through the streets of Freiburg. Here you can see next to cars, trucks and crads, a motorcycle with attached sidecar and simple motorcycles and various tanks and self-propelled guns with heavy guns. Finally, the column stops and there is a boisterous mood. Children climb on the tanks and play. Soldiers drink schnapps and they talk. At the end of the second section, the vehicles in the Neue Wiehrebahnhof are loaded onto wagons bearing the inscription "Stuttgart". The third section shows scenes from the private sector of the soldiers. A teenager poses and walks around with a steel helmet on his head. Two soldiers drink sparkling wine with a woman in the living room. It's going to be an exuberant evening.

Regarding the newspaper article "Black tank hussars in Freiburg" (Freiburger Zeitung, 15.7.1940) the tanks were loaded on Sunday, July 14th 1940. The headline refers to the black uniforms of the armored force and the attempt to place the armored troop in the tradition of mounted cavalry. Special reference was made here to the Prussian skulls, as there were two skulls on the tanker uniform. The article praises the armored weapon, which contributed to the final victory as a relatively young weapon. The tank crew is raised to the status of a silver bullet. This is confirmed by the rapid success in Poland and in the recently completed successful campaign in France. In fact, the German tanks were instrumental in the victory, but this was due more to the advanced deployment tactics and less to the tank models. The article expressly mentions the enthusiastic welcome and cheering of the population. The film and photos of the newspaper show children happily climbing the tanks. The article concludes that the troops left happy guys "who know no other wish today than to become a dashing armored shooter". Here the education in the national socialism becomes clear, which envisaged among other things an education to the obedient and self-sacrificing soldier by the Hitlerjugend.

Identification division

The soldiers and vehicles seen in the film can be assigned to the 2nd Panzer Division. It can be seen from the painted G that they belonged to the Panzer Group of Colonel General Heinz Guderian. The identification of the division is possible because in the middle part of the film an assault tank I - in long version also 15 cm sIG 33 (Sf) on armored car I Ausf B called - can be seen. Only 38 pieces of these tanks were built and used in heavy infantry gun companies, each with two assault tanks I. In the 2nd Panzer Division, this was the Heavy Infantry Gun Company 703. In addition, the images show a vehicle with the inscription Bismarck, which can be assigned directly to the 2nd Panzer Division.

The 2nd Panzer Division

The 2nd Panzer Division was one of the first fully motorized divisions worldwide and was set up in October 1935 under the command of Heinz Guderian in Würzburg. After the annexation of Austria, the division was transferred to Vienna. The 2nd Panzer Division took part in the 1939 raid on Poland and met there after several attempts briefly to the Red Army. On May 10th, 1940, the 2nd Panzer Division with other Panzer divisions in the context of the incipient Westfeldzuges crossed the Luxembourg border and broke through the southern Belgian fortifications. The division came through the Ardennes and was involved in the French campaign, including in the Battle of Dunkirk. Then she was relocated to Germany for reorganization. This return transport show this private footage.

As of April 6th, 1941, the 2nd Panzer Division participated in the Balkan campaign and advanced to Greece, where the division was involved in the capture of Athens. On May 6th, when transferred to Italy, two of the transport ships ran on a mine lock. The division lost 184 soldiers and officers and a significant part of the artillery. On June 22nd, 1941 - the attack on the Soviet Union - the division was initially only part of the reserve and later participated in the attack on Moscow. In the summer of 1943, the division was involved in Operation Citadel. In early January 1944, the division was relocated to northern France and thus came in June 1944 - in the wake of D-Day - in the fighting in Normandy. The division suffered heavy losses until the fall and had to be repositioned in September. From December 16th 1944 to January 21st 1945, the division was part of the Battle of the Bulge and advanced to the Meuse before. After the failure of the offensive, the division withdrew to the east and capitulated finally in May 1945 in Plauen, Saxony.

Julius Dreher, Michael Patzer

Places and monuments

Wiehrebahnhof Freiburg

  1. This film analysis is still in progress. It may therefore be incomplete and contain errors.