WW2 snippets-Das Panzerlied

World War 2 inspired much patriotic art in the forms of films and music. Germany and the Nazi cultural and propaganda corps specialized in this, with films such as “Triumph of the Will” and “Olympia 1936” which are still being studied as masterpieces of propaganda.

Then there was the German anthem which started with “Deutschland uber alles, uber alles in der Welt” which naturally sounded ominous to other countries. And there were outright Nazi songs such as the Horst Wessel song.

Naturally, the anthem (for West Germany and now united Germany) was changed to something more innocuous and other songs were banned (along with “Mein Kampf”).

There were also some purely military songs which also earned a bad name, even though they were not really propagandist or supporting the Nazi ideology. Like this song of the tank-men of the Wehrmacht Das Panzerlied (or “The Tank Song”).

This shows the translation of the full song. The full form is not well known now:

A nice catchy tune, one must admit. One cannot really find fault with the lyrics, except when it gets fanatical (from 2:45 onward, “And if we are abandoned….”).

This became better known in the English-speaking countries through the 1965 Hollywood film “Battle of the Bulge”:

Here, it is the first stanza repeated 4 times rather than the entire song.

Note the commander played by the versatile Robert Shaw, whose last major role was that of the veteran shark-hunter in “Jaws”. And the orderly Hans-Christian Blech, one of many German actors who specialized in roles of soldiers and junior officers (as in “The Longest Day”).

As years passed, it was still sung by the West German and later united German army (besides versions in other languages in countries such as Italy and Chile). Recently the defence ministry had it deleted from the official song book although it was not banned.

It seems that a number of clips of this song have been removed from Youtube  in recent months as it had become popular among Nazi supporters.

And finally, here the instrumental version by a Japanese orchestra a few years ago. The Youtube comments have a number of snide remarks about the Axis coming together again:

Also see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzerlied