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Biography

The Panzerlied is one of the best known Wehrmacht songs. It was composed in June 1933 by Oberleutnant Kurt Wiehle while on his way to Königsbrück. Wiehle adapted a German sailor's song, writing lyrics more appropriate to the Panzerwaffe. At the time, Germany was clandestinely developing an armored force in defiance of the Treaty of Versailles. The song could be considered as a reflection of the German re-armament, launched in the same time frame as the song was written.

It has gained fame in the English-speaking world due to its usage in the 1965 film Battle of the Bulge. While throughout that film German characters speak English, the song is sung in the original German.

The song is also sung by the Chilean Military and, unofficially, by some motorized and parachute units of the Italian army. In France, the wording was adapted slightly to become the Marche des Chars sung at the 501e régiment de chars de combat, and the tune is used for the French Foreign Legion song Képi Blanc.

The song is also used by the South Korean Army sung in Korean as a Marching Song for its Tank and other Motorized units.

The tune of the Panzerlied is used as the unofficial anthem for the German community of Namibia, and the unofficial anthem of the then South African-ruled South-West Africa (present day Namibia). This song is known as "Das Südwesterlied" or "Hart wie Kameldornholz".

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