Panzer Leader by Otto Henning
Memoirs of an Armoured Car Commander, 1944-1945

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The armored reconnaissance units were the spearheads of the Panzer divisions, moving stealthily ahead of the tanks to locate the enemy. Otto Henning’s armored car unit of the elite Panzer-Lehr-Division fought throughout the campaigns in the West in 1944 and 1945, arriving in Normandy a few weeks before D-Day and finally surrendering in the Ruhr pocket in mid-April 1945.

Henning describes the difficulties reconnaissance forces faced in the close terrain of the Normandy bocage and the threat posed by the Allies’ complete control of the air. He saw the devastation wrought by Michael Wittmann’s lone Tiger tank against the British 7th Armored Division at Villers Bocage, and experienced the chaos and demoralization of the Germans’ retreat across France. After the Battle of the Bulge and the final fighting in western Germany, Henning surrendered and endured terrible conditions in a prisoner-of-war camp until he escaped in 1947.

This is a fascinating and often harrowing account of the final campaigns in Western Europe, and exposes the little-known scandal of the treatment of German prisoners-of-war even after the war had ended.

About Otto Henning

See more books from this Author
Charles Messenger has published over thirty books, including The Second World War in the West. He lives in London.
Published October 1, 2013 by Frontline Books. 224 pages
Genres: History, War.

Unrated Critic Reviews for Panzer Leader

The Army Rumour Service

Whilst it is the only book in English by the author, it is not his first memoir, there is another covering the earlier part of his war, from his volunteering to join at age 17 in 1941, (if you volunteered rather than be conscripted, you avoided a six month period of compulsory state labour and yo...

Mar 02 2014 | Read Full Review of Panzer Leader: Memoirs of an ...