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Paperback Armor Battles of the Waffen-SS: 1943-45 Book

ISBN: 0811729052

ISBN13: 9780811729055

Armor Battles of the Waffen-SS: 1943-45

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

The Waffen SS were considered the elite of the German armed forces in the Second World War and were involved in almost continuous combat. From the sweeping tank battle of Kursk on the Russian front to... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Armor Battles of the Waffen SS

I have purchsed several of this series, and all have been in perfect condition. I have been interested in militaty history since a teenager (1963) and am 60 now. These are informative books.

good insight from the point of view of Waffen-SS tank commanders

I would agree generally with the other reviews, that this is a collection of battle reports, possibly oral histories. I would have liked to see reference and/or foot notes and a bibliography so that other sources could be researched. I doubt this would serve as a primary source for any historical thesis, but I did find it interesting.

Outstanding piece of history!

Bought this book years ago, hardcover. Paid $80 or $120 for it, signed. It was worth every penny. I have a WW2 and military library with over $10,000 worth of books in it, and would not part with this one no matter what. A trove of information, and CORRECT!

An inside look at Panzers on the prowl

Will Fey's `Armor Battles of the Waffen-SS, 1943-1945' is not, as one might suspect from just the title, an analytical military history, nor is it the author's personal memoir: it is instead a varied collection of battle reports or `experiences' written by at least fourteen (including the author) Waffen-SS Panzer commander veterans. The author, who first fought in the ranks of the Wehrmacht, later served with the 102nd (redesignated 502nd) SS Tiger tank battalion as a Panzer and platoon leader. A decade after the end of the war he continued his career in the Bundeswehr. His book was originally published in German as `Panzerkampf'. After a short overview of the Waffen-SS Panzer units the initial part of the book covers the war in Russia 1943-1944, including the battles for Charkov, Kursk and Warsaw, the second part covers the Western front 1944 (Normandy to the Ardennes) and the third part the final battles in the East in 1945. Sadly there are only two maps included (the Mortain counter-attack and Caen to the Falaise pocket 1944) so the reader will want to keep his atlas handy, especially for the Eastern front battles. A general knowledge of the main WWII campaigns comes in handy also, although sometimes a brief introduction or `setting the scene' is given. The final part of the book consists of Appendices, including an eight page summary (apparently by an American author) of the history of the Panzer complement of the 2nd SS Das Reich division. Noteworthy is that no mention is made of the massacre of French civilians by Das Reich in Oradour in June 1944; the killing of American POW's by Kampfgruppe Peiper during the Battle of the Bulge is however given attention, and vehemently refuted. The other appendices give information such as the main types of WWII battle tanks, interesting for the general reader perhaps but not for a specialist. Thirty-seven photographs are included, but no specific unit or campaign orders of battle. The reports themselves, all of them tactical in scope, vary somewhat in length and content. A few give a rather dry synopsis of towns captured or lost, tanks destroyed and overwhelming Russian superiority in numbers. The best or most readable reports read like one was right there with the author in his Panzer, amidst the powder fumes, heat, tension, fear and quite often the elation of `a kill'. Taken as a whole this book provides the reader with an eye-opening collection of the nitty-gritty of tank combat in WWII, from the German perspective: the close-knit Panzer crew working as a team; desperately hand-cranking engines that won't respond to the start button; fixing damaged tracks under fire; sinking armor side-plates into a river to be able to ford; turrets swiveled manually when the engine (and thus the electricity supply) is switched off; Typhoon rocket attacks; the vital importance of the on-board machine guns; the vulnerability of tanks without infantry support; bedding down under the Panzer at night; the list goes

Panzerkommandanten berichten !

Panzer ace Willi Fey survived the war having earned the Deutsche Kreuz in Gold for his actions in Normandy and fought in the final battles for Berlin. This cheap reprint of the Fedorowicz classic is a translation of Fey's original German text Panzerkampf im Bild first published by Munin Verlag. As a fund of personal accounts from Waffen SS tank commanders it provides unrivalled reference material, from the hot spots of the Russian front and the battles for Charkov in early 1943 to an account of Jagdtigers in action in the final days of the war.. Fey had transferred to the Waffen-SS from the Heer and was posted to Schwere SS Panzer Abteilung 102. The Tiger crews enjoyed great success in Normandy & France as a static defensive vehicle, a role it was forced to perform due to Allied air superiority. The static defense also took away mechanical unreliability from the tanks & conserving valuable fuel without taking away the advantage in firepower. The actions for which Fey won his German cross in Gold are recounted in detail here and are typical of the type of material presented by individual SS tank commanders in the book. By the beginning of August 1944 the German lines in Normandy were crumbling. On 8 August as Allied forces crept towards Vire, west of Falaise, Willi Fey as an SS-Unterscharführer from the 1st Company of sSSPzAbt 102, launched an attack, supported by the 1./Pioneer Btn 600 under Oberleutnant GAUL, on a column of 15 Shermans and gun carriers from the 23rd Hussars/11th Armoured Division, sighted approaching down the valley from the direction of the hamlet of Houssemagne. Opening fire at a distance of 600 metres, 4 Shermans are rapidly put out of action. Fey's Tiger «134» is disabled by a number of hits. Kommandeur Pz. Ab 102 Obersturmbannführer Weiß orders Fey to blow up his Tiger. Fey continues firing at the Shermans accounting for 14 off them in a 30 minute action. His Tiger is towed back to German lines later that night. Weiß recommends Fey for the Deutsche Kreuz in Gold following this action and the award is presented by General II Panzerkorps Bittrich on 15 September 1944...It should be stressed that there is little in the way of documentary evidence for the accounts presented here ( certainly British records do not record the loss of 15 Shermans on the day in question ) but the book works fine on a purely descriptive level..herein are the sort of personal accounts that Tim Ripley's works on the Waffen SS Panzer arm so lacked..Despite individual Tiger actions like this, disaster befell the Tigers at Falaise with 102nd SS-SPz Abt " DAS Reich " losing all its Tigers although claiming to have knocked out 227 tanks in 6 weeks. The 101st LSSAH claimed over 200 including Wittmans tally at Villers-Bocage. However not many Tiger I's crossed the Seine after Falaise. Post war, Willi Fey achieved high rank in the Bundeswehr ( Federal German armed forces..)Once again, thanks to Stackpole for this fine re-print..
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