This humorous continuity, or historical parallel that there’s been so many of lately caught my eye on the TopWar site. So, without further ado, here is a translation that tries to preserve the wit of the original.
A letter from grandfather “Tiger” to his grandson “Leopard”, sent to Ukraine
Guten morgen, mein lieber grandson! I am infinitely glad that you decided to continue “Drang nah Osten”. The Russians have a lot of good fertile land. But for some reason they cling to, and do not want to give it to us, the Aryans. After all, only we are able to administrate this wild land and the barbarians that inhabit it.
There are details
Firstly, take care of your health. And especially of the transmission. It breaks first. I remember three of the four T-VI broke down near Leningrad because of this damned transmission in August 1942. The repairs took a whole month. There are big issues with the winter oil. It’s a hereditary trait. I don’t know if you can get good winter oil in a normal amounts nowadays.
Winters are hard, in general. The transmission caught a cold immediately, the oil froze in it. And there so much dirt accumulated between the rollers that it was possible to scrape it out from there only by removing the wheels. You can just imagine what kind of enjoyment it is in a 20-degree frost.
Secondly, we Germans are healthy and big. We eat a lot, especially when it’s cold or we drive through mud. For example, I ate like a cursed man, 270 litres per 100 kilometres, and off–road – 480, although sometimes, when I was really hungry, I ate 6 litres per kilometre. And what would you do about that?
You, Mein Lieber grandson, have a healthy appetite, too – 720 litres per 100 kilometres. And, anyway, who knows how much exactly will you need in Russian mud? Keep in mind that Russian diesel fuel, like gasoline, does not suit us at all, and believe you me, I know that.
So, when there will be little fuel left, be sure to hide somewhere – forest is the best. And wait there until they bring you our good German diesel fuel. Otherwise the Russians will swoop in, and then it will be really bad. In a word, take care of yourself.
And never fill up the Russian diesel fuel, otherwise your injectors will wrecked. You’ll cough for a long time, like I once did. I remember how our candles stopped working from the Russian gasoline. We were driving on gasoline 84 , and the Russian barbarians were filling up their cars, light tanks and even planes with 66. I don’t think Russian diesel will suit you.
Thirdly, get ready for the fact that you will have to travel a lot on car transporters. Be careful when you mount or dismount.
Narrow tracks were specifically designed for us, “Tigers”, in order to travel on the European railway, and even then our width turned out to be 3.15 metres. I remember a few times when we got caught in the roadside structures and fell off from platforms. And with the normal tracks, in order to move through the mud, I had a width of 3.7 metres.
Special six-axle platforms were constructed to transport us by railway. They could carry 80 tonnes and accompanied each battalion to the combat area. Also, due to the heavy load, the weight distribution was monitored so that the railway bridges would withstand such a load.
You, Mein Lieber grandson, are even wider – 3.75 metres. And you weigh more, too. I don’t know how they’ll be transporting you… I’m telling you, only on a car transporter, or you’ll have to march on your own. And many of the bridges in this land of barbarians will not hold you up at all.
Fourth. Get ready to sit in the mud for a long time, waiting to be pulled out. At this time you will be a good target for the Russian attack aircraft, helicopters and artillery as well. Oh, I remember how we were tortured by the Russian “Schwarzen Tod” Il-2, when high-explosive aerial bombs were poured from above… A lot of ours burned down back then.
In my time, I had an excellent 88-millimetre cannon that allowed me to hit the Russian “thirty-fours” for a kilometre and a half, and they could not penetrate my frontal armour from such a distance. But they managed to quickly flank or, even worse, get to the rear, and then the full “das ende” would come. Simply put, kaput.
And now Russian tanks are lighter and faster. So, Mein Lieber grandson, take care of your backside.
The Russians have now got guided missiles with which they can kill you from a distance of five kilometres, while you can hit them from three and a half kilometres. And the Russians, apparently, have a better armour. So take care of yourself.
Yes, before I forget – the dementia is about to set in. The rate of fire of the Russian tanks is three times higher. They have an automatic loader. And you don’t.
If the Russians pin down the “Abrams” or the “Challengers” somewhere, don’t get into a fight. Try to hide. They are heavier and more noticeable on the battlefield, than you are. You have a chance to die last.
It is better, of course, not to go there at all. They might melt you down into a Russian nuclear icebreakers and send you to the Arctic.
In a word, Mein Lieber grandson, I and your grandmother “Panther” kiss you, and wish you all the best. But we are counting on the worst. If you die, we will definitely put a monument to you on our family graveyard plot.
Author: Stepan Bulbenko