German Robot Wars (known as Robot Wars: The German Struggles in Germany) was the German version of the British television game show Robot Wars. The show ran for just one televised series, which was originally broadcast on Saturday evenings from October 5th to November 2nd 2002 on RTL II. Despite being made for a German audience, recorded in the German language and featuring mainly German competitors, the series was actually filmed in the main Robot Wars TV studio in London, with the battles taking place in the main Robot Wars Arena.
Of the robots available, only nine were actually German. Three international robots, two from the Netherlands and one from Switzerland, were allowed to participate in order to make up the numbers. Despite this, the main championship still only featured 12 robots.
Throughout the German Robot Wars, viewers were able to predict the winners of battles. A piece of text would often appear on-screen, reading Jetzt Tippen & Gewinnen! Videotext seite 292, translating to Now tap & Win! Teletext page 292.
Christian Möllmann, who had previously presented the German-dubbed episodes of UK Robot Wars, was originally slated to host the German version, but just two days before filming, sports presenter Jürgen Törkott was chosen instead. Törkott also fulfilled the role of pit reporter. The commentary was provided by Volker Wolf.
During the Germany v England Special, Craig Charles appeared as an additional presenter after the battles involving the UK robots, and Philippa Forrester's pre-battle interviews with the UK teams were also used, both with translations provided by Volker Wolf.
The format of the German Wars was very different from the British or Dutch versions. It featured only two heats, each with six robots. Out of those heats, the two robots that would usually reach a heat final progressed to the Grand Final. Once in the Grand Final, the four robots paired off with each other, and the two winners would reach the Grand Final. After the Grand Final, there would be a "Losers Melee" between the four heat finalists to decide fifth through eighth place.
In addition, part of The Second World Championship was broadcast in each heat; Heat A featured the German Melee from Extreme Series 1, and Heat B showed the first Heat from The Second World Championship, in which Ansgar fought. Both of these battles were filmed and broadcast in the UK about a year earlier, and featured the original Ansgar, but it was Ansgar's Revenge that took part in the German Championship.
Following the Grand Final two special episodes were shown. The first of these was the UK vs Germany Special, the German version of which being billed Germany vs England, that was also shown at the end of the Sixth Wars in the UK. The second special and last episode of the series was the European Championship that would later be broadcast in the UK at the end of Extreme Series 2. Both these episodes were given a new commentary and all team interviews were either re-filmed in German with Jürgen Törkott or translated into German by Volker Wolf.
Although the televised series of German Robot Wars was filmed in 2002 alongside the second Dutch series and the sixth UK series, this was not RTL's first attempt at running a German series of the show. Originally in 2000, a German Special was announced, but it is unknown what came of it. Applications for a German series of Robot Wars went live in 2001, and four machines applied to enter the series; Ansgar, Flensburger Power, Golem, and Nasty Warrior. Ultimately, this pool of competitors proved too small to run a series with, and this initial series of the show was cancelled, with the four participants instead being invited to enter Robot Wars Extreme: Series 1. The German Melee fought between the four was then aired during the televised German series, one year later.
- "3 months we screwed, toiled and racked to find out that everything should have been in vain. The appointment was postponed - the whole hurry in vain. First there was talk of 3 months, then of half a year, Eventually everything was discarded. The finished robot was disassembled and stored in the attic. But not for a long time! A week after the bitter disappointment came the high luck. We and the other 3 teams from all over Germany were invited to London for the World Cup."
- — Ansgar website on their build process for the cancelled German season (translated from German)
- Main article: German Robot Wars/Heat A
- Son of Armageddon vs Thorgrim vs Tyke: Thorgrim eliminated
- Ansgar's Revenge vs Golem vs Junkyard Queen: Ansgar's Revenge eliminated
- Junkyard Queen vs Son of Armageddon: Son of Armageddon won
- Golem vs Tyke: Tyke won
World Championship Qualifier
- Ansgar vs Flensburger Power vs Golem vs Nasty Warrior: Ansgar won
- Main article: German Robot Wars/Heat B
- Absolut Krankhaft vs Black Hole vs Tsunami: Absolut Krankhaft eliminated
- Dell Dog vs Hydrotec vs Not Perfect: Dell Dog eliminated
- Black Hole vs Hydrotec: Black Hole won
- Not Perfect vs Tsunami: Tsunami won
World Championship Heat
- Ansgar vs Chaos 2 vs Manta vs Mastiff: Manta won
- Main article: German Robot Wars/Grand Final
Losers Melee (Fifth Place)
- Note: Golem and Hydrotec were both unable to participate in the Losers Melee due to damage sustained in previous battles.
Playoff (Third Place)
- Son of Armageddon vs Tyke: Son of Armageddon won
- Black Hole vs Tsunami: Black Hole won
Germany v England
- Main article: UK vs Germany Special
- Germany: Ansgar's Revenge, Das Gepäck, Dell Dog, Dynamite
- UK: 259, Corkscrew, Fluffy, Judge Shred 2½
- Dell Dog (GER) vs Dynamite (GER): Dell Dog won
- 259 (UK) vs Judge Shred 2½ (UK): 259 won
- Ansgar's Revenge (GER) vs Das Gepäck (GER): Das Gepäck won
- Corkscrew (UK) vs Fluffy (UK): Fluffy won
- Das Gepäck (GER) vs Dell Dog (GER): Das Gepäck won
- 259 (UK) vs Fluffy (UK): Fluffy won
- Das Gepäck (GER) vs Fluffy (UK): Draw
- Main article: European Championship
- Black Hole (GER) vs Zeus (ITA): Black Hole won
- Philipper 2 (BEL) vs Rawbot (SWE): Philipper 2 won
- Snake Bite (SUI) vs Tornado (UK): Tornado won
- PulverizeR (NED) vs Razer (UK): Razer won
- Black Hole (GER) vs Philipper 2 (BEL): Philipper 2 won
- Razer (UK) vs Tornado (UK): Razer won
- Note: Team Razer later handed the victory to Tornado as they believed that they had been immobilised (Razer's motors had burnt out very early on in the fight) and did not deserve to continue.
- Philipper 2 (BEL) vs Tornado (UK): Tornado won
- Prior to the filming of the series, Derek Foxwell ran an auditions event referred to 'The Cold Wars', where the German machines would demonstrate their abilities and safety. The Black Hole website names three competitors which attended this event but were not seen within the main series; Pegasus, Bei Tremender (armed with a spinner), and Desaster, a wooden machine.
- Another group robots were slated to compete in the series but withdrew for unknown reasons. These include:
- Phoenix, a new robot from the Flensburger Power team.
- Sniper 1, possibly referring to Sniper from Dutch Series 1.
- Tumble Bot
- VIR, a robot with hydraulic components. VIR is therefore likely to be a wedge-shaped robot with a hydraulic crusher, as a robot matching this description can be seen behind Son of Armageddon in the televised episodes.
- The list did not include Pegasus or Bei Tremender, suggesting they had withdrawn at an earlier stage, or not been selected to compete.
- The list also did not include Desaster, however this was actually a featherweight robot and therefore had no intention of competing on the show.
- Private correspondence between SpaceManiac888and Rene Hennig