This rare color photo from World War II shows an elite Heer Gepanzerter Soldat (Armored Soldier) fire team preparing to go into action in Italy. Although well-armed with the reliable MG-42 as well as the new Sturmgewehr 44, and protected by a full suit of impact-resistant armor (containing a simple rebreather system and an early form of low-light vision enhancement), the Gepanzerter Soldat were too few in number to affect the progress of the war. However, wherever they were found, they inspired fear in virtually all the Allied troops they faced, becoming as legendary as the Flak 88 and the Tiger tank.

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