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Hitler's Panzers: The Lightning Attacks that Revolutionized Warfare Hardcover – December 1, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
Guderian may have been the most vocal proponent of the panzer but there were others, like Volckheim, Rabenau and Fritsch, that promoted panzers and mobile warfare. With each new panzer model, Volckheim would critcize the gun barrel for being too small and puny. The large barrel panzer that had power and distance would win the war. He would be proven right. By 1939, Germany had an arsenal of Mk IIIs and some Mk IVs to deploy and a blitzkrieg doctrine that would conquer much of Europe and intimidate most of the world. (I've wondered what would have happened, if it would have made a big enough difference if Guderian had Panthers instead of Mk IIIs driving toward Moscow in late 1941 or Hoth driving north toward Stalingrad in 1942.)
The author doesn't present a daily chronology of battle events but does provide an interesting overview of how tanks or tank commanders influenced key battles of the war. Some of the key battles include Kiev, Moscow, Tunisia, Voronezh, Stalingrad, Rostov, Kursk, Korsun, Vitebsk, Brody and the Ardennes Offensive. Some of the key commanders discussed are Guderian, Hoth, Hoepner, Kleist, Kluge, Model, Manstein, Rommel and Rundstedt.Read more ›
This author addresses them directly. It was great fun to read his assessments on the particular German historical circumstances and national character that generated the views and solutions that manifested as the tactics we saw in WW II. He writes in a manner that is easy to read and flows well, unlike some authors whose styles are either too technical (like reading a technical white paper), too touchie-feelie, or simply too fanatical (I don't care if the fanaticism is pro or nay, it makes for tiring reading). I would recommend this book to any one who has read other material on the armament and tactics of WWII, and wants to follow that reading with an informative book on a broader aspect of the tactics used in WWII (but still focused on the particulars of the German experience and the German character).
I don't think this book makes a good "stand-alone" book on the subject; too much background knowledge is assumed. However, for folks who have read other histories, especially folks like me that have read books that focus on specific campaigns, battles, or technical aspects of the armor used in WWII, or perhaps more general books on the rise and fall of the Third Reich, I think this book is a very worthwhile adder.
I have read a host of books about the Panzerwaffe and this is one of the best. This one is a real keeper.
Most of the book, however, is a narrative of Panzer actions across WWII. Showalter covers all the major theatres in which the Germans were involved. The invasion of France, the Soviet Union, the grinding combats of the Eastern Front, and the Western Allies invasion of Europe are all covered. In addition to overviews of the actions, Showalter discusses the evolution of equipment and tactical changes across the war. This is generally done very well and demonstrates Showalter's impressive knowledge of WWII. Showalter is a good, though sometimes hyperbolic, writer.
Almost none of this narrative, however, is novel. The general themes are very well known.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Eminently readable this book synthesizes much information into an easily digestible read that is not dry or academic. Would recommend.Published 13 months ago by Daten Schwanz
this is a must-have for Dennis Showalter fans. His style of writing is easy to read and keeps me going for hours at a time.Published on November 24, 2013 by Gary Stone
In the Introduction to this book, the author claims that he is putting together three narratives regarding the panzers: "the development of mechanized war and armored technology;... Read morePublished on January 13, 2013 by N. Wallach
Mr. Showalter's valentine to the Panzer Blitzers is well readable, and enjoyable to someone who passed his youth reading von Mellenthing, Guderian and Robert Crisp. Read morePublished on September 2, 2012 by Kindle Customer
While this book does present a reasonably good overview of the history and use of Wehrmacht armour, Showalter's writing style overshadows and dominates. Read morePublished on January 5, 2012 by WernerMark
Panzers: Bulwark of the Wehrmacht.
Dennis Showalter's Hitler's Panzers is an excellent primer on the history of panzers in the Wehrmacht before and during WW2. Read more