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The Last Panther

Author: Wolfgang Faust
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN: 9781530359707
Size: 35.14 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: 35.16 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.

Tiger Tracks The Classic Panzer Memoir

Author: Wolfgang Faust
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN: 9781539588115
Size: 39.53 MB
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Wolfgang Faust was the driver of a Tiger I tank with the Wehrmacht Heavy Panzer Battalions, seeing extensive combat on the Eastern Front in 1943-45. This memoir was his brutal and deeply personal account of the Russian Front's appalling carnage. Depicting a running tank engagement lasting for three days, Faust describes how his Tiger unit fought pitched battles in the snows of western Russia against the full might of the Red Army: the T34s, Stalin tanks, Sturmovik bombers and the feared Katyusha rocket brigades. His astonishing testimony reveals the merciless decisions that panzer crews made in action, the devastating power of their weaponry, and the many ways that men met their deaths in the snow and ice of the Ostfront. First published in the late 1940s as 'Panzerdammerung' ('Panzer Twilight'), this memoir's savage realism shocked the post-war German public. Some readers were outraged at the book's final scenes, while others wrote that, 'Now, at last, I know what our men did in the East.' Today it stands as one of the great semi-autobiographical accounts of warfare in World War 2: a crescendo of horror, grim survival and a fatalistic acceptance of the panzer man's destiny. The only other surviving memoir by this author is 'The Last Panther' - an astonishing account of panzer warfare in the final hours of the Third Reich - also available on Amazon.

Tigers In The Mud

Author: Otto Carius
Publisher: Stackpole Books
ISBN: 9780811729116
Size: 48.60 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: 76.27 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.

Blood Red Snow

Author: Gunter Koschorrek
Publisher: Frontline Books
ISBN: 1848325967
Size: 57.96 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.

Tiger Tanks At War

Author: Michael Green
Publisher: Zenith Press
ISBN: 1610600312
Size: 43.47 MB
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The first prototype for the Tiger tank was set to be ready for Hitlers birthday on April 20, 1942. The Henschel Company, competing with Porsche, produced the superior model, and by August of that year the formidable Tiger--or Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger Ausf. H.--was in full production. This book takes us behind the scenes with the Tiger tank, reviewing the full history, the design and mechanics, and the mixed record of this machine, which was designed to outgun its Russian counterparts. Military writer Michael Green offers a close-up account--accompanied by photographs, diagrams, and maps--of how the Tiger tank operated, how it was armed, and where it succeeded brilliantly, as well as where it failed miserably. His book fills a fascinating niche in the history of military technology, and of the impact of technology on history itself.

Panzer Aces I

Author: Franz Kurowski
Publisher: Stackpole Books
ISBN: 0811748456
Size: 11.29 MB
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Six riveting, gritty accounts of some of the greatest German tank commanders, including Michael Wittmann, Hans Bolter, Hermann Bix, and others. Timelines mark the milestones of each officer's career.

Death Was Our Companion

Author: Tony Le Tissier
Publisher: Haynes Publications
Size: 57.80 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 Storm

Author: Karl Brockmann
Publisher: Pneuma Springs Publishing
ISBN: 1782283447
Size: 49.17 MB
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Recently withdrawn from the horrors of the Russian Front, the 1st SS Panzer Division Liebstandarte Adolf Hitler, are ordered to Belgium for a complete overhaul and refit of its war-torn troops and panzers. Due to growing uncertainty they are redirected on this journey eventually arriving in Innsbruck. With only a few weeks respite, they find themselves stationed in Italy along the Po River Plain to carry out the disarming of several Italian army units, following the capitulation of Italy as allies to the Third Reich. It is not long before they are embroiled in deadly anti-partisan operations during most of their stay in the country, and then they are directed back to face the colossal Red Army tidal wave of men and machines once again along the Eastern Front. Still waiting for their panzers to arrive, the 1st SS are forced into bloody hand to hand trench warfare heavily outnumbered each day. Intelligence reports indicate the Russians are planning a huge attack, which threatens to wipe out the 1st SS and other defending German Divisions, unless they can thwart this advance with a plan of their own, using the limited, heavily outnumbered troops and panzers at their disposal. Book reviews online: PublishedBestsellers website.