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By Helmut Ritgen

Textual content via Oberst a.D. Helmut Ritgen with unique wartime images by way of the writer. This well-informed account of the sixth Panzer department is mainly necessary as the writer fought with the eleventh Panzer Regiment. It records the inception, formation and constitution of the department and chronologically follows its development in the course of the conflict. The textual content is supported via color pictures taken by means of the writer in the course of global warfare II and provides an in depth exam of lifestyles within the Panzers when at the same time documenting their relentless growth. Feared through Allied soldiers and devastating of their quick prosecution of the early conflict the Panzers have been the fashionable German struggling with males; good outfitted, fantastically inspired and unstoppably profitable. till the Allies have been capable of consolidate their troops, re-engineer their gear and redraw their strategies the Panzers ruled Europe with a thunderous conquering energy.

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In conference with the consul and other authorities^ the admiral gained the impression that the situation was easing. After the strong display off the coast by the destroyers^ he could at least hope that no more British vessels would be attacked. At the end of the month Hood was off again^ headed for Gibraltar and then Malta^, and she kept going back and forth all that summer. In August^ Vice-Admiral Cunningham was succeeded by Vice-Admiral Layton as commander of the force. Hood continued in her duties^ the symbol of Britain's naval power^ to be shown to those along the Spanish coast who might be forgetful of British interests.

There were little tragedies. Ordinary Signalman Donald Charles Proctor died of peritonitis on 21 August. But there were 1^400 live and lively men aboard^ and some 90 officers to train them and make them ready for the ordeal that seemed now almost certain to be ahead. On 1 September Hood was at sea and at action stations at 0400 hours^ and then many times throughout the nervous day. On the third came news of the declaration of war against Germany. The captain announced it over the speaker system.

The cruiser had struck Hood on the starboard side aft and had caused a certain amount of damage. the There were no but there was a tremendous amount of agitation about it^ as there always was when an accident harmed one of His Majesty's vessels. The damage was put to rights at Gibraltar and later at Portsmouth; the rest of it was sorted out by the Admiralty^ in time for Captain Tower to take Hood back to sea that casualties^ year. She went to the Canaries and stopped Palmas for water, provisions and some 40 at Las leave.

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