Commander of Tank Operations
During World War I, Josef rose through the ranks of the junior officers and gained combat experience in his infantry divisions. After the war, he remained in the Reichswehr military service and became involved with battle vehicles. Indeed, he would command tanks for the rest of his military career.
In April 1931, he became a major in a secret German/Russian tank school in the USSR. Germany’s interest in this school later waned, so Harpe returned to his homeland, where he served at the Panzer Troops School Wünsdorf, later becoming the school’s Commandant.
As the commander of a tank regiment, he participated in the occupations of the Sudetenland and Bohemia and Moravia.
His participation in World War II began with the Invasion of Poland. During Operation Barbarossa, the 12th Panzer Division under Josef Harpe’s command took part in the offensive against Minsk and Smolensk as part of Army Group Centre; from September 1941 on, it participated in the offensive against Leningrad as part of Army Group North. In January 1942, Harpe was made Lieutenant General commanding the XXXXI Panzer Corps. In May 1944, he was promoted to Colonel General and appointed Commander of the 4th Panzer Army. In September 1944, he took charge of Army Group North Ukraine. When the war ended, he was on the Western Front commanding the 5th Panzer Army.
EFFECTIVENESS ON THE BATTLEFIELD
He prefers aggressive battle tactics, hitting the enemy hard with armoured vehicles. When defending, he relies on machine gun pillboxes, AT rifles, and AP mines.
Large Smoke ScreenPrevents attacks within a certain range.Large Smoke Screen: Supply Points required: less by 1
Reconnaissance AircraftRequest a reconnaissance plane, which can locate enemy forces on the map.Reconnaissance Aircraft: Supply Points required: less by 2
Skilled TankerAll tanks and tank destroyers now use advanced composite armour.Medium Tank, Heavy Tank, Light Tank, Tank Destroyer: +30% Construction Quality (Vehicles) / Endurance (Infantry)
Personal Tank DoctrineExtensive knowledge of military logistics allows this General to significantly increase the movement speed of his heavy tanks. Well-trained tank destroyer loaders bring down a hail of shells on enemy tankers.Heavy Tank: +30% Movement speedTank Destroyer: -40% Reload time
Responsible SupplierHigh-explosive shells ordered by the commander allow light and medium tanks to be highly effective at hitting group targets and at disabling the track assemblies of enemy armoured vehicles.Medium Tank, Light Tank: +4 Fragmentation radius (AP); +4 Fragmentation radius (AT); +20% Chance to damage tracks
Eagle EyeThe commander gives the orders to provide the gunners of AT rifle crews and bunkers with new optics that allow them to open fire on the enemy's coordinates in advance.MG Nest: +8 Shot rangeAnti-Tank Rifle: +8 Shot range
Briefing SpecialistThe commander personally instructs anti-tank rifle crews, pointing out the weak points of enemy vehicles. They can deal more damage and, if they are lucky, even immobilize them.Anti-Tank Rifle: +25% Damage to vehicles; +20% Chance to damage tracks
Sapper TacticianAn innovative approach to mine planting allows this commander to significantly increase the blast radius of anti-personnel mines.Anti-Personnel Mines: +5 Fragmentation radius (AT)