How did you start this compendium of armoured pixels?
I was bored, which is one of the universal motivators of humankind.
This website is about history, about war and about people. And it’s definitely about tanks. I like tanks. I wouldn’t want to fight in one – or at all. I’m a friendly person. But tanks are massive, impressive lumps of technology, a bit like steam trains. And the soldiers in my stories are, well, just people. I don't dig cancel culture; I believe we should remember the bad times, as well as the good. Like my granddad, who was a smuggler for the Dutch resistance. His buddy was a former Waffen-SS officer and if they can be friends, who am I to judge? Only if we fully accept all our human facets, both positive and negative, we can become better than we are. Allright then, the war. Yes, the Nazis were a bunch of genocidal maniacs. We all know that. It’s been written about quite a lot. However, a lot of Germans at the time were just going along with the flow. As always, there were nuances. There were ‘good’ Germans. There were ‘bad’ Germans. There were uninterested, weird, homesick, brilliant and/or stupid Germans. What I’m after is the stories about normal people, like you or me. Only, they were fighting for their country, which had -in all fairness- been rather mistreated post-WW1. I want to know about the ones that were scared to death, hiding in a ditch. The ones that took the initiative and won the day. The on that knew they were capable soldiers fighting for a terrible cause, but had no other options. And I might well completely ignore Michael Wittmann's hour of fame. He’s had enough attention already.
Do you love Germans?
I like Germany as a country - I used to live there for a while. Solid holidays, interesting parties, good food and friendly people, generally. But then, I could say the exact same thing of the UK.