Thursday 6 September 2018

What's in a Name?

"Translated from German

General Staff of the Land Army #8/90583/44
February 27th, 1944
Top Secret
Copy #203

Contents: pseudonyms for new types of armament:

On the Fuhrer's directions, the following pseudonyms are introduced:
  • Tank type V: Panther
  • Tank type VI: Tiger
  • 88 mm anti-tank gun on the chassis of the T-IV or T-III tank: Nashorn
  • 88 mm assault gun: Elephant
  • Radio controlled demolition tankette: Goliath
  • Device for demolition of buildings using explosive gas mixtures: Typhoon
  • Heavy anti-tank gun on the Tiger tank chassis: Jagdtiger
  • Heavy anti-tank gun on the Panther tank chassis: Jagdpanther
  • 75 mm anti-tank gun on the Lorraine type chassis: Marder I
  • 75 mm anti-tank gun type 40 or 76.2 mm Russian gun on the T-2 tank chassis: Marder 2
  • 75 mm anti-tank gun type 40 or 76.2 mm Russian gun on the T-38 Czech tank chassis: Marder 3
The accepted names for heavy artillery such as Bruno or Siegfried remain in force. Other pseudonyms for all types of armament and materiel such as Wespe, Hummel, Grille, Maultier, are cancelled.

Distribute to divisions inclusive.

Translated from German: Captain Bezymenskiy
Approved by the Chief of the 4th Intelligence Department of the 1st Belorussian Front, Colonel Smyslov."


  1. Sorry once you start calling something by a nick name there is no cancelling it. Hummel, Wespe and Grille remain to today.

  2. While Roosevelt left us with M-1, M-2, M-3 and M-4 everything.

    1. There's something that really grates me about the 'renumbering' process which began with the M-1 Abrams and the B-1 and B-2 bombers, and abandoning the previous scale which included the B-17, the B-24, B-29, B-36, B-52 and also the M-4, M-26, M-47, M-60, etc. It's like dissing their own history.

    2. Stewart Millen At least the Air Force uses different letters such as B and F to classify fighters and bombers. The Army's version of just using M designating Model doesn't distinguish between Tanks and paper clips.

    3. It was the British that came up with all the nicknames for Allied tanks. Most US AFVs named for American generals, though the only cool names were not like the Wolverine and Hellcat.

    4. William Sager: remember, the USAAF also had the "P" designation (pursuit) before the "F".

    5. The M10 was never called a 'wolverine' by anyone until many years after the war.

  3. According to this even the early Ferdinands can be called Elephants.

    1. Accoding to the russians at other times even Marders, StuGs, or basically anything with a casemate was called a Ferdinand, so they werent exactly picky with minor technical details.