History of the real 116th Panzer DivisionEdit
The 116th Panzer Division was formed in March of 1944 to defend the Western Front. Although, formed late in the war The 116th distinguished themselves for fighting in every major battle on the Western front after the invasion of Normandy. The 116th was composed of several older military units that had seen action on the eastern front and their experience was demonstrated by their combat record despite the challenges faced by the Germans in the later war years. A key characteristic of the 116th was Knight's Crosses were often awarded to enlisted personnel not only officers providing some insight to the egalitarian leadership style of its commanders. Unlike many SS units, and even fellow Wehrmacht Heer units, the 116th had very little to do with war crimes or hardline Nazi ideology. Rather it seems the 116th leaders were fulfilling their duty as army officers trying to command and look after the troops to the best of their ability with the hope of returning as many soldiers home by the inevitable war's end.
The 116th and its predecessor units are steeped in rich history. However, much of that history remains a mystery. There are two key resources on the internet for those interested in finding out more about the 116th Panzer Division Windhund.
Feldgrau.com is one, if not the preeminent, source for research on the German Military from 1918 to 1945.
Windhund.org.uk is a re-enactment group portraying The 116th. Where Feldgrau is based on documentary research Windhund pedagogical interest is modeling historical-anthropological aspects of The 116th.
Why do you play the bad guys?Edit
After years of playing "the good guys" we needed a change of pace. We specifically chose the 116th Panzer Division due to they were a army and military focused unit that did not have strong Nazi sympathies, relatively speaking. The German military of the day developed a new kind of war, the Blitzkrieg, that was a combination of the advanced technology, tactics, and strategy of the day. Its interesting for members to take a step back in history and walk in someone else's shoes even if we don't agree with their philosophy.
Neither this page or anyone involved in its creation, or members of the 116th Panzer Division, are in anyway affiliated with real, radical political organizations (i.e., KKK, Aryan Nation, American Nazi Party, etc.) and do not embrace the philosophies and actions of the original NSDAP (Nazi party), and wholeheartedly condemn the atrocities which made them infamous. May the victims of this unspeakable horror rest in peace.
As we portray the German WWII military theme, we are only interested in our understanding of the training, equipment, tactics and at the same time having fun reliving history. We honor the men (and women) who really experienced the war, and we salute their courage and loyalty to put their lives on the line in defense of their native soil, no matter what nationality or government.