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Tigers in the Mud: The Combat Career of German Panzer Commander Otto Carius (Stackpole Military History Series) Paperback – August 1, 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 182 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Otto Carius won the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves for his bravery during WWII.
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Product Details

  • Series: Stackpole Military History Series
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Stackpole Books; 1 edition (August 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811729117
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811729116
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By N. Page on September 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
Otto Carius was one of the most successful Panzerkommandanten ever to take a Tiger tank into battle, destroying some 150 tanks and being decorated with the Oakleaves to the Knights Cross. Stackpole are to be heartily congratulated for this cheap paperback edition of a long-out-print Fedorowicz classic, a classic of Eastern Front literature and a marvellous account of Panzer warfare. When World War II broke out Carius had volunteered for 104th Infantry Placement Battalion in May of 1940. Following training, he was assigned to the 21st Panzer Regiment and experienced his first battle as a loader on a Panzer 38(t) during the "Barbarossa" operation in June of 1941. After about a year of war experience on the Eastern Front, Carius was accepted in an Officer Candidate Course and following its completion, was assigned to the 502nd Heavy Tank Battalion in April of 1943. Equipped with the new Tiger tanks, he was assigned as a tank commander to the 2nd Company of 502nd Tank Battalion. That summer, the 2nd Company was deployed to the Russian Leningrad Front and took part in several operations in that area. During that time, 502nd Tank Battalion was ordered to reinforce the front along with 11th SS Freiwillige Panzergrenadier Division "Nordland" at Narva Bridgehead. During one of his engagements, Carius destroyed four Soviet SU-85s and successfully withdrew without losses. In June of 1944, the company was transferred to Dunaburg (Daugavpils in Latvia) to defend the city from a concentrated Russian offensive. In the July of 1944, Russians outflanked the German defensive lines via the motorways west of Minsk and Borissov to Witebsk (same route was used by Germans in 1941).Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
The famous Tiger Ace, Otto Carius, has provided a valuable memoir of his experiences in WWII. This book is an asset whether you are a professional soldier, WWII historian, or Tiger tank afficinado.
Valuable lessons are gained by learning the problems associated with fielding new technology in the time of war. While the Tiger tank proved to be an awesome weapon while operational; its' Achilles heel was the tremendous amount of logistic and maintenance support required to keep it running.
I was reminded of Stephen Crane's "The Red Badge of Courage" when reading about Carius' first engagement as an officer, but by the end of the book one thing that is not in dispute is the personal courage of Carius and many of the tankers he led, especially Albert Kerscher. They would slug out the battle from extreme close ranges often so close that traversing the main gun was not possible!
The drama of tank warfare on the Eastern Front is simply told in this book and valuable lessons can be learned by those in the profession of arms. Much like Patton, Carius relays his frustration that the German and Anglo-American forces did not join together and turn on the forces of the Soviet Union. The desperation of German forces to retard the advance of the Red Army allowed many Germans to escape and avoid Communist 0ppression is noteworthy.
Yet these brave German soldiers were an embarrassment to the Post-War Germany and unlike the US where our veterans are dubbed the "greatest generation," German veterans are shunned and instead monuments go up to the draft dodgers and deserters.
In light of the recent prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib prison, his comments concerning the treatment of Prisoners of War by the Americans are interesting.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Author Otto Carius is the kind of soldier whose wartime service in the Wehrmacht reflects credit upon every combat soldier of the German army. It is a pleasure to read such a straight-forward, honest personal narrative such as this that confines itself exclusively to the author's own frontline experiences. I agree with Carius that it is a disgrace the heroism and sacrifices of men like him have not, until only recently, received the recognition they deserve. Those of us who were in Vietnam know what it's like to be reviled by our own countrymen. Robert Edwards' English-language translation deserves special credit. The appendices in this book will be of special interest to the military historian and the facsimile reproductions of Carius's awards and citations, expertly translated, will be of particular interest to the militara collector. But I have given this book only 4 stars because it slows down considerably about halfway through. How many assaults and attacks can you absorb without becoming bored and bogged down in details? These combat accounts eventually become only a little more interesting than the official after action reports themselves, which Carius had when he wrote this book, and some of which are in the appendices. But overall this book is the story of a brave and honorable soldier, of value to anyone interested in armored warfare, but more importantly, a succesful attempt to balance the horror stories about the inhumane conduct of the German army in Russia during WWII.
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Format: Paperback
Excellent book on how Tigers were effectively deployed into combat on the Russian front by the German tank commanders. This book, like many others, show how much independence low ranking German officers had in the field. In preperation for combat and during combat Carius took initiative that clearly shows a German officer did not have to wait for approval from a higher ranking officer. As a contrast look at the US military actions as seen in the book 'Black Hawk Down' - in the middle of combat a driver of a Hummer could not turn left or right as directed by the observation helicopter above, until they got approval from HQ back at base. While reading this book pay attention how much independence Carius had as a tank commander - by late 1944 he was just a First lietenant. Consider how even the lowest ranking German officers could make unilateral decisions, and you will understand why the German army remained effective despite being vastly ournumbered in airplanes, tanks, soldiers, and supplies.

Very interesting accounts on the mechanical problems of the Tiger - if they drove 50km with 6 tigers only 3 make it. At the end of the book there is an extensive field report reprinted detailing very specifically items on the Tiger that need to be redesigned.
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