German Musical composition of the German Wehrmacht

The Panzerlied (English: "Tank Song") was a Wehrmacht military song of the Nazi era. It was sung mostly by the Panzerwaffe, the tank force of Nazi Germany during World War II. It is one of the well-known songs of the Wehrmacht and became more popular with the 1965 film Battle of the Bulge.[1] It is used in the Chilean and Brazilian armies,[2] but it was banned in 2017 to denazify (remove Nazi ideology) Germany. Modern-day Germany has stopped using it because it was used in the Nazi era.

Das Panzerlied
English: The Tank Song
MusicOberleutnant Kurt Wiehle

History change

The Panzerlied was composed in 1933 by Oberleutnant Kurt Wiehle.[3]

Some motorized and parachute units of the Italian Army sing the song, especially the 185th Paratroopers Division Folgore under the name "Sui Monti e Sui Mar".[4] In France, they changed some of the lyrics to become the "Marche de Chars" which is used by the 503e Régiment de chars de combat.[5] Half of the song was used as a Namibian patriotic song and unofficial anthem under South African rule, called "Das Südwesterlied". It is called "Canção da Tropa Blindada" in the motorized and parachute units of the Brazilian Army.[6] There is a Spanish translation of the song used in the Chilean Army. It is used in the Chilean Armoured Calvary and the Chilean Naval Academy as a pasacalle.

The lyrics were changed and used in a Kriegsmarine song.

Lyrics change

Verse German Directly Translated English Singable English

Ob’s stürmt oder schneit,
Ob die Sonne uns lacht,
Der Tag glühend heiß
Oder eiskalt die Nacht,
Verstaubt 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 the faces,
But joyful are our minds,
Yes, our minds.
Our tank roars there,
Along in the storm winds.

In blizzard or storm,
Or in sun warm and bright,
The day hot as hell
Or bone-chilling be the night,
Our faces may with dust be laid,
But spirits never fade,
No, never fade;
Relentless, our tank
Thunders out on a raid.


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 Reih'n.

With thundering engines,
Quick as lightning,
Towards the enemy,
Protected in the tank.
Ahead of our comrades,
In combat we stand alone,
We stand alone.
So we strike deep
Into the enemy's ranks.

With engines a-thundering,
Fast as is the wind,
We head for the foe,
Safe, as we're in armor skinned.
Our comrades still behind us roam;
We'll fight the foe alone,
Yes, fight alone.
We stab through the line
To break the foe's backbone.


Wenn vor uns ein feindliches
Heer dann erscheint,
Wird Vollgas gegeben
Und ran an den Feind!
Was gilt denn unser Leben
Für uns'res Reiches Heer?
Ja Reiches Heer
Für Deutschland zu sterben
Ist uns höchste Ehr'.

When before us an enemy
Army then appears.
Shalt full throttle be given
And run to the enemy!
What then do our lives count for,
For our empire's army?
Yes, empire's army
To die for Germany
Is our highest honor.

Whene'er a foe
may appear in our sights,
we'll ram throttle full,
And we'll humble all his might,
For what use would our life be,
If country served freely,
Yes served freely,
to die for our Country,
Our honor shall be.


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 onto them, don't drive.
And guns before us threaten,
hidden in the yellow sand,
in the yellow sand.
We look for ways
No others have found.

With tank traps and mines,
Our foe tries to impede.
We laugh at his ruses;
For he shall ne'er succeed.
For if much threat his cannons stand,
Half-cow’ring in the sand,
Yes, in the sand,
We can find our way,
Over much safer land.


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 should we get abandoned
once by treacherous luck,
And return we will no more,
Back to home,
Hitting us, the deathly bullet,
Fate calls us away,
Yes, fate away.
Then becomes the tank for us,
an iron grave.

And should at long last,
Our cruel Lady Luck leave,
Then we'll remain here,
Leaving family to grieve,
A bullet with our names on it,
Shall find us and seal our fate,
Yes, our fate,
Our tank, our grave
will be on that final date.

References change

  1. Nieuwint, Joris (2016-10-18). "Watch: Panzerlied - The Wehrmacht Tankmen's Song (Battle of the Bulge)". WAR HISTORY ONLINE. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  2. Panzerlied Chile 2017 at YouTube
  3. Jennings, Ralph (2017-01-02). "Nazi imagery from Taiwan stems from ignorance, not hate, analysts say". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2023-05-19.
  4. "Sui monti e sui mar" - Italian Paratrooper Song, retrieved 2023-03-04
  5. "La Marche des Chars" [The Tank March].
  6. "Hinos e Canções". Centro de Instrução de Blindados (in Brazilian Portuguese). Archived from the original on 2020-10-24. Retrieved 2021-02-16.