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The Devil's General: The Life of Hyazinth Strachwitz, "The Panzer Graf" Hardcover – February 2, 2014
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"... full of interesting aspects of WWII armored combat, and a look into an extraordinary panzer commander's career....a nice cross section of photos of various notables who crossed paths or fought alongside the Graf...I enjoyed this book quite a bit." (AMPS)
Despite his fanciful first name, this Silesian nobleman’s little-known career is a suggestive one-man slice of World War II, the Freikorps, and the Eastern Front, where the Soviets learned to fear his tank commands (World War II Magazine)
takes the reader from Hyazinth Strachwitz’s early family history, education World War I, the interwar years to the invasion of Poland, to France and then Romania and Yugoslavia are just prelude to World War II on the Eastern Front....an important work that documents his actions and gives great insights into the use of the panzers on the eastern fr (Kepler's Military History)
Bagdonas’ writing and flow are very good and the reader is easily engaged with his informative style. Additionally, he provides numerous anecdotal information that add depth to the commentary. ... his use of appendices added greatly to the provision of information surrounding von Strachwitz’s accomplishments. The bibliography that he provides is very useful in identifying additional sources to the reader on the various engagements in which the Panzer Graf was engaged.Bagdonas notes that von Strachwitz left no memoirs or notes; so gathering and drafting a comprehensive biography was extremely difficult...he has done a commendable job and that the book may serve future generations as an example of an individual who responded to the call of his nation twice and served in an honorable and selfless way throughout. As a leader, commander and officer, von Strachwitz was an individual to emulate.... recommend this book for its publication quality, its photo/map inserts and the information that the author provides about this noteworthy historical figure (The Military History Reviewer)
During both world wars, Germany set a very high standard for tactical leadership. This was especially true in the Soviet-German conflict, where German commanders used maneuver and coordination skills to defeat more numerous opponents. Most accounts of such victories focus on the achievements of senior leaders such as Heinz Guderian or Erich von Manstein. Except for a number of divisional histories, however, this literature is short on details about how Germans operated at tactical levels from company through regiment. Raymond Bagdonas, a self-taught Australian historian, helps fill this gap with a biography of Lt. Gen. Hyazinth, Graf von Strachwitz, the subject of at least two previous studies in German...The Devil's General provides a well written, interesting account of German tank combat against the Soviets (Michigan War Studies)
About the Author
Australian author/researcher Raymond Bagdonas, though impaired by the disappearance of 16th Panzer Division’s official records at Stalingrad, and the fact that many of the Panzer Graf’s later battlegroups never kept them, has nevertheless written an intensely detailed account of this combat leader’s life, as well as ferocious armored warfare in World War II.
Top customer reviews
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.
While I understand the value of describing the battles and generals and other leaders who directed them, it seems to expand the scope of the book to the point where there isn’t enough space to describe the personal details, especially of von Strachwitz.
Von Strachwitz was evidently a very private person and there was little written about him prior to this book. Obviously many or most of the people who knew him died in the war or have since passed on and so the author has to base his descriptions of him as a person primarily on the basis of his actions and the culture in which he was raised.
I think a historical novel would have been a better approach to examining his life. Yes, some assumptions would have to be made, but we’d get a better sense of his integrity, commitment, conflicts and fears. It certainly would have made this a more enjoyable way to learn about Von Strachwitz.
Most recent customer reviews
Has a regrettable tendancey to white wash guys like Eicke.