Customer Review

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, but pricey, May 4, 2009
This review is from: To the Caucasus and the Austrian Alps: The History of the 23rd Panzer Division in WW2
If you want to understand how the German Army lost the war on the Eastern Front, read this book. Most books focus on how the Waffen SS and Gross Deutschland Division consistantly won and yet the Germans somehow lost the war. The 23rd Panzer Division was formed in France using initially captured equipment. The division deployed to Russia in the Spring of 1942 and remained on the southern sector of the Eastern Front until they surrendered in May 1945. While divisional elements were sent back to Germany for reconstitution and new equipment training, the division as a whole was consistantly employed with only a few, short periods of battlefield reconstitution. And yet, they remained intact and effective no matter the situation. Significant considering the actions they were involved in. And yet it is clear that the struggle to maintain combat power in action was constant. German tank readiness rates were awful compared to the allies. It becomes readily apparent the decisive role the werkstatt companies played in combat efficiency; the loss of tanks either stuck or awaiting maintenance and unable to be evacuated was more significant than tanks lost in combat to enemy action. On the other hand, they also effectively used captured tanks and assault guns to shore up available combat power. The author served as an operations officer, battalion, and acting regimental commander in the division; he later served in the Bundeswehr retiring as a major general. This book has some great, new pictures aside from the usual retreads. Like many books of this genre, the author does not provide a balanced perspective, he did not research or present the Russian point of view and therfore you cannot accept the tally sheet as definitve. Overall, great book and highly recommended; but shop around, with some effort you can beat the list price at either JJF or Helion. (I picked it up for $89.00)
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Location: Northern Va

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