In September 1939, the tanks of Panzer-Regiment 5 swept into Poland, a devastating part of the German blitzkrieg that opened World War II with a terrifying display of military force. The following spring, the regiment rumbled across France, again showing the destructive power of the panzer. But the unit's greatest fame would come in the North African desert, where Panzer-Regiment 5 joined Erwin Rommel's vaunted Afrika Korps as it battled the British back and forth beneath the scorching sun of Libya and Egypt.
Bernd Hartmann served with Panzer-Regiment 5 throughout World War II. He lives in Germany.