Book Review: 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich

In this video we review the new book The 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich .  This book is part of the Casemate Illustrated series and is written by Yves Buffetaut.

Publishers Description:

The 2nd SS Division, “Das Reich,” was a battlefront mainstay for Nazi Germany throughout WWII—from the invasion of Poland in 1939 to the final surrender in May 1945. In between it was switched back-and-forth between east and west depending on the crisis, and it fought in nearly every major campaign, from Barbarossa to Normandy, and from Kharkov to the Ardennes.

Das Reich was the first Waffen SS division created (though the title “1st” was reserved for Hitler’s Leibstandarte). Originally named the Verfügungs Division, its regiments fought through the campaigns in Poland, the Low Countries, and France, earning the respect of Wehrmacht leaders who originally doubted the efficacy of SS units. Renamed “Das Reich” after the French surrender, its elements served as a spearhead in the Balkans campaign, achieving a daring capture of Belgrade.

In Operation Barbarossa, Das Reich fought with Guderian’s Second Panzer Group, first in the drive on Moscow, then toward Kiev, then Moscow again. Pulled out of the line after gigantic casualties, it seized Toulon in France, then was sent back to Russia, as part of the SS Panzer Corps, to retrieve the German debacle after Stalingrad. At the titanic tank-battle of Kursk, Das Reich was at the forefront.

In June 1944, as a full SS-Panzer Division, Das Reich played an infamous role in its approach march to Normandy, as the French Resistance temporarily reached a high tide. On the Allied invasion front, Das Reich not only escaped from the Falaise Pocket but was sent back into it, to retrieve other German units struggling to get out.

Das Reich fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and was then transferred to Hungary, for Hitler’s last counteroffensive of the war. Failing to retake Budapest, elements of the division were able to mount a gallant defense of Prague. When the end came, some formations were forced to surrender to the Russians while others made it to American lines. Its reputation, for better or worse, had already been established.

This lavishly illustrated book by renowned French historian Yves Buffetaut lays out the full history of Das Reich in World War II, with rare photos, informative text, and true insights into a unique combat division in modern warfare.

Book Review: Allied Armor in Normandy

In this video we review the new book Allied Armor in Normandy  This book is part of the Casemate Illustrated series and is written by Yves Buffetaut.

Publisher’s Description:

Tanks were the beasts of the Second World War, machines designed to destroy anything and anyone in their path. Throughout the summer of 1944, the Allied forces readily employed tanks and armored vehicles to gain ground in the bloody campaign of Normandy. Heavily armed, they provided a kind of support which no number of infantrymen could offer, battling their way through enemy lines with their guns blazing. From the US 2nd Armored Division named ‘Hell on Wheels’ to the British ‘Achilles’ tank, the encounters they had in battle were explosive.

This volume of the Casemate Illustrated series explores the Normandy invasion from the perspective of the Allied Armored divisions, looking at how armored vehicles played a central role in the many battles that took place. It includes over 40 profiles of tanks and armored vehicles, from the American Sherman and Stuart tanks to the bulldozers and amphibious vehicles designed for the beach.

With detailed diagrams and many photos illustrating the composition of the Allied armored divisions and tank regiments present at Normandy, this volume explains the crucial part played by tanks in gaining a foothold in Normandy after the D-Day landings, as well as the significance of many other types of armored vehicles.

Book Review: Hungarian Armored Forces of World War II

A video book review of Hungarian Armored Forces in World War II (Photosniper) by Peter Mujzer, published by Kagero as part of their Photosniper series.

Book Review: SD.KFZ.6 Mittlerer Zugkraftswagen 5t

Here is our video book review of Sd.Kfz. 6 Mittlerer Zugkfraftwagen 5t (Camera ON) by Alan Ranger.

 

 

Video Book Review: Tank Wrecks of the Eastern Front 1941-1945

We review the latest in the Images of War series from Pen & Sword Publishing, Tank Wrecks of the Eastern Front 1941–1945: Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives (Images of War) by Anthony Tucker-Jones.

Video Book Review: German Heavy Fighting Vehicles

We review the new book German Heavy Fighting Vehicles of the Second World War: From Tiger to E-100 by Kenneth Estes.

Video Book Review: Tanks of the USSR and International Tank Development

In this video we review two books by Alexander Ludeke, International Tank Development From 1970 (Fact File) and Tanks of the USSR 1917-1945 (Fact File).