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Das Panzerlied

“Das Panzerlied” (“The Tank Song”) was a German military march of World War II. It was sung primarily by the Panzerwaffe (Tank Force) of the German Wehrmacht (Armed Forces) from 1933 to 1945. The Panzerlied was composed in 1933.

“Das Panzerlied” is one of the most well known songs of the Wehrmacht. It was featured in the 1965 film Battle of the Bulge.

Kampfpanzer (Battle Tank) Leopard 2A5s of the Deutches Heer (German Army)

“Das Panzerlied” was banned from German Army song books in 2017, along with other German marching songs of the Second World War. This decision was initiated by the Minister of Defense, Ursula von der Leyen, as part of new efforts at denazification.

“Das Panzerlied” was sung by motorized and parachute units of the Italian Army during the Second World War. “Das Panzerlied” was the song of the 185ª Divisione Paracadutisti Folgore, 185th Paratroopers Division Folgore (Thunderbolt), under the title of “Sui Monti e Sui Mar” (“On the Mountains and On the Sea”). The 185th Paratroopers Division was a parachute division of the Italian Army (Regio Esercito) from 1943 to 1945.

In France, the lyrics of “Das Panzerlied” were adapted slightly to become the Marche des chars (March of the Tanks) used by the 501e Régiment de chars de combat.

Part of “Das Panzerlied” was used for the Namibian patriotic song, Das Südwesterlied (The Southwest song).

After the Second World War, Germany was without any armed forces after the Wehrmacht was dissolved in 1945. The four Allied Powers, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and the Soviet Union, were responsible for the security of Germany.

When the Federal Republic of Germany was founded in 1949, it was without any armed forces. Germany remained completely demilitarized until the Deutsches Bundeswehr (German Federal Armed Forces) were established in 1955. The armed forces of Germany were combined when East Germany and West Germany were united in 1990.

Since 1975, women have served in the medical services. From 1993, women have served as enlisted personnel and non-commissioned officers in the medical service, and in military bands. Since 2001, women have served in all branches of military service, without any restriction. In 2011, Germany suspended compulsory conscription for men. Women were never subject to compulsory conscription.

The Leopard 2 series Main Battle Tank first entered service in 1979. Its service life is anticipated to end around 2030. In May 2015, the German Ministry of Defense announced plans to develop a new Main Battle Tank jointly with France. The goal is to replace the current German Leopard and French Leclerc tanks.

“Das Panzerlied” “The Tank Song”
Deutsches Bundeswehr
German Federal Armed Forces 1955 – Present
Lyrics and Translation

  Ob’s stürmt oder schneit,
Ob die Sonne uns lacht,
Der Tag glühend heiß
Oder eiskalt die Nacht,
Bestaubt sind die Gesichter,
Doch froh ist unser Sinn,
Ja unser Sinn.
Es braust unser Panzer
Im Sturmwind dahin.
  Whether it storms or snows,
Whether the sun smiles upon us,
[Whether in] The day’s scorching heat,
Or the ice-cold of the night,
Dusty are our faces,
But joyous is our mind,
Yes, our mind.
Our tanks roar there,
There in the stormwinds.
  Mit donnernden Motoren,
Geschwind wie der Blitz,
Dem Feinde entgegen,
Im Panzer geschützt.
Voraus den Kameraden,
Im Kampf steh’n wir allein,
Steh’n wir allein,
So stoßen wir tief
In die feindlichen Reihn.
  With thundering motors,
Fast as lightning,
Against the enemy,
safely inside our panzers.
Ahead of our comrades,
In combat we stand alone,
We stand alone.
So we strike deep,
In the enemy ranks.
  Wenn vor uns ein feindliches
Heer dann erscheint,
Wird Vollgas gegeben
Und ran an den Feind!
Was gilt denn unser Leben
Für unsres Reiches Heer?
Ja Reiches Heer
Für Deutschland zu sterben
Ist uns höchste Ehr.
  When before us an enemy
Army then appears.
Shalt full gas be given
And run to the enemy!
What then do our lives count for,
For our nation’s army?
Yes, nation’s army
To die for Germany
Is our highest honor.
  Mit Sperren und Minen
Hält der Gegner uns auf,
Wir lachen darüber
Und fahren nicht drauf.
Und droh’n vor uns Geschütze,
Versteckt im gelben Sand,
Im gelben Sand,
Wir suchen uns Wege,
Die keiner sonst fand.
  With obstacles and mines
the opponent holds us up,
We laugh about it
and upon them, don’t drive.
And guns before us defend,
hidden in the yellow sand,
yes, yellow sand.
We search for our way
No others have found.
  Und läßt uns im Stich
Einst das treulose Glück,
Und kehren wir nicht mehr
Zur Heimat zurück,
Trifft uns die Todeskugel,
Ruft uns das Schicksal ab,
Ja Schicksal ab,
Dann wird uns der Panzer
Ein ehernes Grab.
  And left in a stitch
once by treacherous luck,
And to return we will no more,
Back to home,
Meeting us, the deathly bullet,
Calling our fate away,
Yes, fate away.
Then become the tank for us,
A brazen grave.