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The Last Panther

Author: Wolfgang Faust
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN: 9781530359707
Size: 16.39 MB
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While the Battle of Berlin in 1945 is widely known, the horrific story of the Halbe Kessel remains largely untold. In April 1945, victorious Soviet forces encircled 80,000 men of the German 9th Army in the Halbe area, South of Berlin, together with many thousands of German women and children. The German troops, desperate to avoid Soviet capture, battled furiously to break out towards the West, where they could surrender to the comparative safety of the Americans. For the German civilians trapped in the Kessel, the quest to escape took on frantic dimensions, as the terror of Red Army brutality spread. The small town of Halbe became the eye of the hurricane for the breakout, as King Tigers of the SS Panzer Corps led the spearhead to the West, supported by Panthers of the battle-hardened 21st Panzer Division. Panzer by panzer, unit by unit, the breakout forces were cut down - until only a handful of Panthers, other armour, battered infantry units and columns of shattered refugees made a final escape through the rings of fire to the American lines. This first-hand account by the commander of one of those Panther tanks relates with devastating clarity the conditions inside the Kessel, the ferocity of the breakout attempt through Halbe, and the subsequent running battles between overwhelming Soviet forces and the exhausted Reich troops, who were using their last reserves of fuel, ammunition, strength and hope. Eloquent German-perspective accounts of World War 2 are surprisingly rare, and the recent reissue of Wolfgang Faust's 1948 memoir 'Tiger Tracks' has fascinated readers around the world with its insight into the Eastern Front. In 'The Last Panther, ' Faust used his unique knowledge of tank warfare to describe the final collapse of the Third Reich and the murderous combat between the German and Russian armies. He gives us a shocking testament to the cataclysmic final hours of the Reich, and the horrors of this last eruption of violence among the idyllic forests and meadows of Germany.

Slaughter At Halbe

Author: Tony Le Tissier
Publisher: The History Press
ISBN: 0752495348
Size: 39.16 MB
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Operation 'Berlin', the Soviet offensive launched on 16 April 1945 by Marshals Zhukov and Koniev, isolated the German 9th Army and tens of thousands of refugees in the Spreewald 'pocket', south-east of Berlin. Stalin ordered its encirclement and destruction and his subordinates, eager to win the race to the Reichstag, pushed General Busse's 9th Army into a tiny area east of the village of Halbe. Meanwhile General Wenck's 12th Army, ordered to disengage with the American forces on the Elbe and come to the relief of Berlin, launched an attack from the southwest in a desperate bid to rescue the 9th. To escape the Spreewald pocket the remnants of 9th Army had to pass through Halbe, where barricades constructed by both sides formed formidable obstacles and the converging Soviet forces subjected the area to heavy artillery fire. By the time the 9th Army eventually escaped the Soviet pincers and linked up with the 12th Army, it had suffered over 40,000 killed and 60,000 taken prisoner.Teenaged refugees recount their experiences alongside Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS veterans attempting to maintain military discipline amid the chaos and carnage of headlong retreat. While army commanders strive to extricate their decimated units, demoralised soldiers change into civilian clothing and take to the woods. Relating the story day by day, Tony Le Tissier shows the impact of total war upon soldier and civilian alike, illuminating the unfolding of great and terrible events with the recollections of participants.

Tigers In The Mud

Author: Otto Carius
Publisher: Stackpole Books
ISBN: 9780811729116
Size: 45.96 MB
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WWII began with a metallic roar as the German Blitzkrieg raced across Europe, spearheaded by the most dreaded weapon of the 20th century: the Panzer. No German tank better represents that thundering power than the infamous Tiger, and Otto Carius was one of the most successful commanders to ever take a Tiger into battle, destroying well over 150 enemy tanks during his incredible career.

The Last Battle

Author: Stephen Harding
Publisher: Da Capo Press
ISBN: 0306822091
Size: 79.97 MB
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May 1945. Hitler is dead, and the Third Reich little more than smoking rubble. No GI wants to be the last man killed in action against the Nazis. But for cigar-chewing, rough-talking, hard-drinking, hard-charging Captain Jack Lee and his men, there is one more mission: rescue fourteen prominent French prisoners held in an SS-guarded castle high in the Austrian Alps. It’s a dangerous mission, but Lee has help from a decorated German Wehrmacht officer and his men, who voluntarily join the fight. Based on personal memoirs, author interviews, and official American, German, and French histories, The Last Battle is the nearly unbelievable story of the most improbable battle of World War II—a tale of unlikely allies, bravery, cowardice, and desperate combat between implacable enemies.

The Fall Of Berlin 1945

Author: Antony Beevor
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101175286
Size: 14.75 MB
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"A tale drenched in drama and blood, heroism and cowardice, loyalty and betrayal."—Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post The Red Army had much to avenge when it finally reached the frontiers of the Third Reich in January 1945. Frenzied by their terrible experiences with Wehrmacht and SS brutality, they wreaked havoc—tanks crushing refugee columns, mass rape, pillage, and unimaginable destruction. Hundreds of thousands of women are children froze to death or were massacred; more than seven million fled westward from the fury of the Red Army. It was the most terrifying example of fire and sword ever known. Antony Beevor, renowned author of D-Day and The Battle of Arnhem, has reconstructed the experiences of those millions caught up in the nightmare of the Third Reich's final collapse. The Fall of Berlin is a terrible story of pride, stupidity, fanaticism, revenge, and savagery, yet it is also one of astonishing endurance, self-sacrifice, and survival against all odds.

Blood Red Snow

Author: Gunter Koschorrek
Publisher: Frontline Books
ISBN: 1848325967
Size: 79.61 MB
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Günter Koschorrek wrote his illicit diary on any scraps of paper he could lay his hands on, storing them with his mother on infrequent trips home on leave. The diary went missing, and it was not until he was reunited with his daughter in America some forty years later that it came to light and became Blood Red Snow. The author’s excitement at the first encounter with the enemy in the Russian Steppe is obvious. Later, the horror and confusion of fighting in the streets of Stalingrad are brought to life by his descriptions of the others in his unit – their differing manners and techniques for dealing with the squalor and death. He is also posted to Romania and Italy, assignments he remembers fondly compared to his time on the Eastern Front. This book stands as a memorial to the huge numbers on both sides who did not survive and is, some six decades later, the fulfilment of a responsibility the author feels to honour the memory of those who perished.

Death Was Our Companion

Author: Tony Le Tissier
Publisher: Haynes Publications
ISBN:
Size: 28.54 MB
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As Hitler's dreams of a Thousand Year Reich crumbled in the face of overwhelming assaults from both East and West in the first months of 1945, the heavily outnumbered German armed forces were still capable of fighting with a tenacity and professionalism at odds with the desperate circumstances. While Hitler fantasized about deploying divisions and armies that had long since ceased to exist, boys of fifteen, officer cadets, sailors and veterans of the Great War joined the survivors of shattered formations on the front line. Leading historian Tony Le Tissier gives a German perspective to the mayhem and bloodshed of the last months of the Second World War in Europe. Teenaged Flak auxiliaries recount their experiences alongside veteran Panzer grenadiers attempting to break out of Soviet encirclement. Struggles between the military, industry and the Nazi Party for influence over the defenders of Berlin contrast with a key participant's account of Goebbel's abortive attempt to conclude a cease-fire with the Soviets. This is fascinating reading for anybody interested in the ordinary soldier's experience of the culminating battles in central Europe in 1945.

Panzer Ace

Author: Richard Freiherr von Rosen
Publisher:
ISBN: 178438268X
Size: 27.12 MB
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Richard Freiherr von Rosen was a highly decorated Wehrmacht soldier and outstanding panzer commander. His memoirs are richly illustrated with contemporary photographs, including key confrontations of World War II. After serving as a gunlayer on a Pz.Mk.III during Barbarossa, he led a Company of Tigers at Kursk. Later he led a company of King Tiger panzers at Normandy and in late 1944 commanded a battle group (12 King Tigers and a flak Company) against the Russians in Hungary in the rank of junior, later senior lieutenant (from November 1944, his final rank.) Only 489 of these King Tiger tanks were ever built. They were the most powerful heavy tanks to see service, and only one kind of shell could penetrate their armor at a reasonable distance. Every effort had to be made to retrieve any of them bogged down or otherwise immobilized, which led to many towing adventures. The author has a fine memory and eye for detail. His account is easy to read and not technical, and adds substantially to the knowledge of how the German Panzer Arm operated in the Second World War.

D Day Through German Eyes The Hidden Story Of June 6th 1944

Author: Holger Eckhertz
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN: 9781539586395
Size: 26.55 MB
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This new paperback edition contains Book One and Book Two of this series, revealing the hidden side of D Day which has fascinated readers around the world. Almost all accounts of D Day are told from the Allied perspective. But what was it like to be a German soldier in the bunkers of the Normandy coast, facing the onslaught of the mightiest invasion in history? What motivated the German defenders, what were their thought processes - and how did they fight from one strong point to another, among the dunes and fields, on that first cataclysmic day? This book sheds fascinating light on these questions, bringing together statements made by German survivors after the war, when time had allowed them to reflect on their state of mind, their actions and their choices of June 6th. We see a perspective of D Day which deserves to be added to the historical record, in which ordinary German troops struggled to make sense of what was facing them, and emerged stunned at the weaponry and sheer determination of the Allied troops. Above all, we now have the unheard human voices of the individual German soldiers - the men who are so often portrayed as a faceless mass.

Panzer Commander

Author: Hans Von Luck
Publisher: Dell
ISBN: 0804151970
Size: 67.44 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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A stunning look at World War II from the other side... From the turret of a German tank, Colonel Hans von Luck commanded Rommel's 7th and then 21st Panzer Division. El Alamein, Kasserine Pass, Poland, Belgium, Normandy on D-Day, the disastrous Russian front--von Luck fought there with some of the best soldiers in the world. German soldiers. Awarded the German Cross in Gold and the Knight's Cross, von Luck writes as an officer and a gentleman. Told with the vivid detail of an impassioned eyewitness, his rare and moving memoir has become a classic in the literature of World War II, a first-person chronicle of the glory--and the inevitable tragedy--of a superb soldier fighting Hitler's war.