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1945, The War in Europe has Changed by Theakker5 1945, The War in Europe has Changed by Theakker5
Germany, 1945.  The war in which Hitler initiated has led Germany into hell.  The merciless Soviet Union is attacking from the East, and the anxious Allies are approaching from the West.  The once great Wehrmacht of 20,000,000 has been decimated to 200,000 in 6 years.  During the last years of the war, Germany tried to stay one step ahead of everyone on the battlefield.  Tanks were made to be larger, tougher, and fire a caliber bigger than any other tank had.  Weapons like the Sturmgewehr were introduced, which combined the accuracy and firepower of a rifle but had the rate of fire of a sub-machine gun.  Anti-tank weapons like the Panzerfaust were made to counter the vast amount of tanks the Soviet Union had.  No matter what Germany did, they knew nothing could be done to dig themselves out of this hole.  The last line of defense Germany had before Berlin was Seelow Heights.  If Seelow Heights falls, then Berlin will be invaded.

Wilhelm Matthias Hennicke, 24, and now Unterfeldwebel, has faced the real sting of battle hundreds of times in the past 6 years.  During the Battle of France, a rifle round deflected off the barrel of his MG34 and cut through his cheek (He was awarded the Wound Badge in black, which he proudly had tattooed on his arm).  He spent 3 years fighting on the Eastern Front.  He fought in Stalingrad, Kharkov, and Bucharest.  Fighting has become his whole life.  The idea of National Socialism has left his brain.  All he cares about now is surviving.  He has remained a machine gunner all these years.  Now he wields the new devastatingly fast firing Maschinengewehr 42, which he calls the "Knochensäge" ('Bonesaw', in English).  If Wilhelm could get back to his wife Hildegard in Saxony, he would.  Unfortunately, their hometown Dresden was severely bombed in February 1945, and Hildegard was one of the thousands who died in the infamous Bombing of Dresden. 

Wilhelm realizes the terrible road Hitler led Germany down.  He has gained nothing, and lost everything because of the war.  As did every German during WWII.



This piece was sold for $250 to Janell Thomas.
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:iconletmeseebeuty:
LETMESEEBEUTY Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2017
Classic cool
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:iconherbert45:
HERBERT45 Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2017
Interesting.  I didn't know Germans did degenerate tats (but for the SS identification).
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:iconvakos67:
vakos67 Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2017
it would be interesting to see him the years they came after the war. If he survived that long.
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:icondanielmedina98:
DanielMedina98 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2017
God damn this and "The War in Europe has Begun" are amazing, not only for the small details that you've put into everything, but the colors that are being used, the small story that you can gathered in the picture alone, the expressions on everyone's face, and for the icing on the cake is the small story that you give in the description in this and many of your work
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:iconsieghug:
SiegHUG Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
He just looks like nothing is going on around him, lol!
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:icondastherr65:
dastherr65 Featured By Owner May 31, 2017
That's normally what happens to one in war.  Wilhelm Has been in ww2 from start to finish, and since he's fought on the eastern front for a long time, it seems he's gone numb. He can't do anything now. 
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:iconct117:
CT117 Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2016
I sort of get Vietnam feeling with the way the soldier is wielding that MG42.
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:icondaspinelessfish:
DaSpineLessFish Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2016
Must be the thousand yard stare 
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:iconivanrostoff:
IvanRostoff Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2015
My father was 17 when world war 2 ended. This did not stop him from fighting on the Russian front for the last two months of the war. During the 60's he would often wake up in the night still fighting the over war two decades after it ended. He told me how terrible he felt when his friends in the platoon died during the first two weeks. Many of these friends were not just people he had met in training. The Germans had gathered all the boys from his village into one unit. So, often the dead were boys he knew his entire life. After a while he said I felt nothing. To get a few minutes sleep or a crust of bread to eat seemed so much more important than 'some body else' died.
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:iconmxm777:
mxm777 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Feel you my grandfather told me his friend was torn apart by an mg42 in the reichstag on the final push to the roof.
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:icondak-rommel:
DAK-Rommel Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2015
Wow, trully this must be one of the reasons why people say war is hell. 
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:iconwh1945:
WH1945 Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Amazing detail. I could look at his image for hours. Only now did I notice the SdKfz 251 creeping down the hill in the distance. Excellent work man.
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:icontheakker5:
Theakker5 Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much!
Reply
:iconwh1945:
WH1945 Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Your welcome man
Reply
:iconbigodevin28:
BiGoDeViN28 Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2015  Professional General Artist
German soldiers really had tattoos? Seems like something they'd have thought was beneath them. Or out of uniform.
Reply
:icontheakker5:
Theakker5 Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That would be a stereotype.
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:iconnicklausofkrieg:
NicklausofKrieg Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2015
You can almost mistake them for modern day troops from a distance.
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:iconpelicross:
PeliCross Featured By Owner May 20, 2017   Traditional Artist
At first, I thought the Stg 44 was an AK-47 and the man wielding it was a Serb from the 1990s based on his cap.
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:icon88kwk:
88kwk Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2015
awesome picture
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:iconlookoo:
Lookoo Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Interesting style. As for accuracy, two things popped out for me: That eagle tattoo on the back of this one guy is the eagle of the Weimar Republic & the Federal Republic. I would  say "wrong  eagle, Dude". And having some war medal tattooed on your bizeps is probably rather a modern biker gang thing but not period accurate. The rest of the gear looks very accurate!
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:icongriffster26:
Griffster26 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
The eagle could've been an older tattoo from the Weimar period.
Reply
:iconcoreyamurray:
CoreyAMurray Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2014
Why did you block your responses to the comment about the tattoos?
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:icontheakker5:
Theakker5 Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Because it was a long drawn out thing that just took up space.
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:iconcoreyamurray:
CoreyAMurray Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2014
SO what did you two talk about?
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:icontheakker5:
Theakker5 Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
She thought that the tattoos were a bit anachronistic looking so I kept providing pictures from WWII of soldiers from all sides with tattoos.  Really, the tattoos I depicted on these German soldiers are quite tame compared to some of the insane things people had tattooed to themselves even back then.
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:iconcoreyamurray:
CoreyAMurray Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2014
Ah, I see.

Thanks for the reply. :)
Reply
:iconpictishwarlord13:
PictishWarlord13 Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014
His eyes are the same... and yet not as well. Those are the eyes that have witnessed Hell.
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:iconimperialarmytrooper:
imperialarmytrooper Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2014
hitler didnt invade poland all by himself remember
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:icontheheek:
theheek Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
thanks to Hitler not just Germans but millions of Jews were decimated as well wiped off the face of Europe and what for?
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:iconstan94:
STan94 Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Curious, did the guy survive the war? Where can I learn more about this subject?
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:iconlucifergoes666allday:
lucifergoes666allday Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Masterpiece! Really captures the hopelessness in the soldier's eyes.
Reply
:icontedshatner10:
TedShatner10 Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2014
I like how the battlefield Darwinism played out in the background after the first more na´ve, cheerful looking illustration.

The tattoos make them look like biker gang/Neo-Nazi prison thugs.
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:iconsouthernwriter2:
SouthernWriter2 Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Good lord, you gave him a Glasgow smile. Yeah, this is very different from the last one. Very visceral. 
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:iconleave-noone-alive:
Leave-Noone-Alive Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014
Ohhh, that dog :(
Reply
:icontheakker5:
Theakker5 Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah poor dog...Have no concern for all the dead people
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:iconleave-noone-alive:
Leave-Noone-Alive Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014
I didn't mean it like that. The dog staying by who I presume is it's handler, even after his horiffic death. They're loyal until the end
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:iconnyanpuppy:
NyanPuppy Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The poor boy did not know what he got into when the year was '39...

Surprised the dog survived six years of shit.
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:icontheakker5:
Theakker5 Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The owner however, did not survive.
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:iconnyanpuppy:
NyanPuppy Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Saddening...

Is that glass or shrapnel in his face?
Reply
:icontheakker5:
Theakker5 Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It's shrapnel from an artillery shell.
Reply
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Details

Submitted on
March 29, 2014
Image Size
5.4 MB
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5184×3456
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Camera Data

Make
Canon
Model
Canon EOS REBEL T3i
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1/332 second
Aperture
F/2.8
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50 mm
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Date Taken
Mar 29, 2014, 3:23:48 AM
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