The image that defines the Nazis’ Blitzkrieg is that of the Panzerwaffe’s massed columns of tanks sweeping through Europe, all resistance smashed in their wake. The Panzers’ achievements in battle were largely responsible for Germany’s early successes in World War II, and once the tide had turned against the Reich, the Panzers became the backbone of its defense. But the dramatic story of Hitler’s tank divisions is more than one of mere mechanical efficiency. It hangs, too, on those who commanded and fought in them, and believed in their near invincibility. These are the men who come to life in this immensely readable narrative. Great generals like Guderian, Rommel, and Manstein, tank masters like Wittmann and Bake, and inspired commanders like Balck and Bayerlein dominate the story of Panzerkreig. Dispensing with jargon, but including explanatory maps, rare illustrations, and fascinating detail on uniforms, crew members, and the mechanical features of the machines, the authors give a comprehensive overview of all aspects of the subject, both human and technical. They have also benefited from new information available since the opening of Cold War archives. Emerging from the narrative is the whole vast canvas of the war, as it follows the titanic struggles that raged between France’s bocage country, North Africa’s desert wastes, and Russia’s limitless steppes. The development of German fighting vehicles and tactics is fully charted, and the many myths and misconceptions of the Panzerwaffe are exploded. Extensive research, maps, illustrations throughout, reference to the leading participants’ memoirs, and original new conclusions all contribute to this finely measured assessment of the evolution, exploits, and eventual destruction of this superlative fighting force.
About Peter McCarthy
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Published July 10, 2002
by Carroll & Graf.
History, Travel, War.