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The Devil's General: The Life of Hyazinth Strachwitz, "The Panzer Graf" Hardcover – January 19, 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Casemate Publications; First Edition edition (January 19, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612002226
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612002224
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #435,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 64 people found the following review helpful By History Reader on February 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I waited for this book to be published, and when it arrived, I was disappointed with the end result. I did not find the finished book to be complete.

The story of Graf Strachwitz seems to be a challenge to research, as there is a lack of original material, but that does not justify the following issues with this book:

1. Assorted unsupported assertions by the author. For example, the author writes repeatedly that Admiral Canaris was treasonous. I don't care to argue that point, but what does that have to do with the Graf Strachwitz biography? There was no interaction between the two men. This and other examples are evidence to me of the insufficient amount of editing of this book.

2. There are assorted appendices to this book of limited value - information that could easily be sourced on the Internet, or of marginal value to the Graf Stachwitz biography. For example, There a long section on the history of the iron cross, and a long list of honorable German officers. Not sure what value these appendices add to the Graf Strachwitz biography.

3. There are long general passages on the battles of the eastern front that don't seem to have anything to do with Graf Strachwitz.

4. Some of the appendices have spacing issues indicative of insufficient proofreading.

All in all, I am interested in the subject matter, but feel this effort could have benefitted from more research, access to more first-hand materials, better editing to focus the material on the central subject, and more proofreading.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Ron Titus on February 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover
If you go looking online, you can find tidbits of Hyazinth von Strachwitz's life and career, but not much, so the military history readers will find The Devil's General a treat. Raymond Bagdonas provides a life story, not just a World War II tale. He brings out what details he can uncover of Graf von Strachwitz background and education, early military career, First World War experiences, and the interwar years before concentrating on his Second World War service and finishing with his life after the war.

Raymond Bagdonas does a credible job of documenting sources when he finds them available. But as he admits in the introduction, some things are unknowable since Graf von Strachwitz did not keep a diary that survived, write a memoir or give many interviews after . This lack of evidence leads to Bagdonas speculating without confirming evidence on why von Strachwitz joined the Nazi Party in the 1932. He can only argue on what he thinks is the likeliest explanation. He runs into the same problem in regard to von Strachwitz's joining the plot to overthrow Hitler, lack of documentation.

Overall, the reader of military history, especially those interested in the Eastern Front in the Second World War will appreciate The Devil's General.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By LTCommander83 on February 8, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I agree with the other reviewers. It's like getting a new cell phone loaded with bloatware. Once I read through a few chapters, I got confused about who this book was about. A good portion of every chapter has nothing to do with the Graff.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By FlagstaffGuy on January 29, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The focus of this story was obviously a great soldier and a great leader of men. However, after the war he did not write up his story and his official story is not well documented. Therefore, the author of this book has to build a life from the overall war reports and other sources; this leads to a lot of pages about the general action on the eastern front and guess work on where and when
Strachwitz was and what he was doing. I did not find that satisfactory.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Der Mensch on April 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let me say I disagree with the negative reviews of this book. I found it to be very well 'put-together' and considering the difficulties associated with research material, it is very insightful. Maybe if the book was written 30 years ago there would be more first-hand and details accounts of the Panzer Graf's exploits. Especially the huge number of tanks he and his crew destroyed.

To me, books about German soldier fighting on the Eastern Front during WW2 build on each other, each kind of filling-in holes of other books. In this sense this book is very valuable because it brings perspective and experiences not available in other books. Like Strachwitz's rapid advance to the Volga and his continuous exploits behind enemy lines.

A point about the author style I appreciate is his corrections of Russian lies and propaganda such as the falsity that Red Army won the Battle of Prokhorovka. All-in-all, the author's treatment of German and Soviet events is pretty balanced.

If you like reading about the battles on the Eastern Front during WW2, this is an essential book for you.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jochen Müller, Oerlingen, Switzerland on March 18, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It is a very good book and a well researched document, good to read too. Apart from the usual numerous mistakes Anglo-Saxon authors commit when they try to use terms in languages other than English I can only add the criticism that not only parts of the Catholic Church opposed Hitler as indicated by the author but also parts of the Protestant Church probably to a greater extent. Everything else seems to me to be authentic.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By nanette jakobson on March 4, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
really a comprehensive and historical book that was very well written. very interesting book about a general that not many people know about but was one his men served with gallantly/
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