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Aragorn2002

Book recommendation: Panzerkrieg volume 1 by Jason D. Mark

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At the moment I'm reading Panzerkrieg volume 1 German Armoured Operations at Stalingrad by Jason D. Mark, published by Leaping Horseman Books. As all books by this publisher it is very, very good. This volume concentrates on the Panzerabteilungen 103, 129 and 160 during the 1942 summer campaign and the following struggle for Stalingrad. Lots of excellent new pictures and lots of thorough, well researched info. Highly recommended. Volume 2 is in the works and will concentrate on the 16. PzD.

I really hope we will get a Stalingrad module for CM one day. It is such a fascinating period of the war.

Edited by Aragorn2002

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I am guilty of sitting on my copy of the book and waiting for a rainy day.  His work is always very detailed and a joy to read.

Yes a Stalingrad module release would make my decade.

Oh look - it's raining.

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Thanks for the recommendation. Seems a little hard to find though. It's not available on Amazon at the moment.

If Battlefront makes another East Front game I wish they would skip 1943 and go straight for '42 instead, when the panzers were still grey and you had the most critical battles of the war, like Stalingrad and the battles leading up to it like Kharkov.

I was playing Kharkov: Disaster on the Donets earlier and it made me want a CM game for that. :D

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56 minutes ago, Bozowans said:

Thanks for the recommendation. Seems a little hard to find though. It's not available on Amazon at the moment.

If Battlefront makes another East Front game I wish they would skip 1943 and go straight for '42 instead, when the panzers were still grey and you had the most critical battles of the war, like Stalingrad and the battles leading up to it like Kharkov.

I was playing Kharkov: Disaster on the Donets earlier and it made me want a CM game for that. :D

You're welcome. I would recommend ordering it directly at https://www.leapinghorseman.com/

It ain't cheap, but it is worth every penny and by ordering it directly we can support the author as much as possible. His books on Stalingrad are second to none and his research is unmatched.

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Yeah that's pricey but I'm very tempted to bite the bullet and get it. Has anyone here read any of the other books on there? That book "Turning Point" looking at Stalingrad from the Russian perspective looks interesting.

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36 minutes ago, Bozowans said:

Yeah that's pricey but I'm very tempted to bite the bullet and get it. Has anyone here read any of the other books on there? That book "Turning Point" looking at Stalingrad from the Russian perspective looks interesting.

I have Into Oblivion. Haven’t gotten very far through it, but a good read nevertheless.  

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1 hour ago, Bozowans said:

Yeah that's pricey but I'm very tempted to bite the bullet and get it. Has anyone here read any of the other books on there? That book "Turning Point" looking at Stalingrad from the Russian perspective looks interesting.

Besieged is a good book, quite gripping.

I am about halfway through Death of the Leaping Horsemen which is also good and half way through Iron Cross Brigade (was a little bit slow to start but now also good). My only feedback of these books is that they do not feature an overview map to trace the units movement across Eastern Europe (whereas Panzerkreig and Into Oblivion do). Do not get me wrong, there are plenty of maps in these two books.

I also have Panzerkreig, Into Oblivion and Objective Ponryi but haven't read any of them yet.

All are hardbound (DotLH has a dust cover) and I haven't seen any deterioration in the spine yet.

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Jasons books are second to none. I just got my copy of the reprinted and highly sought after Island of Fire. Stackpole books are reprinting and for 49.95 US, its a steal. Dont miss this opertunity to get your hands on it. 

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In my post above, I am mistaken, the Iron Cross Brigade book does have an overview map inside the front cover. Its just a little bit difficult to read.

In the Appendices to this book are the diary entries of Gerhard Henrich, 9 June 1941 to a garbled ending around October 1941. It features details of the rail/road journey and descriptions of battles at the southwestern end of the Kiev Fortified Region supporting the 44th Infantry Division. I created a map of this diary in Google. Here is a link if anyone is interested: Map

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20 hours ago, Fizou said:

Jasons books are second to none. I just got my copy of the reprinted and highly sought after Island of Fire. Stackpole books are reprinting and for 49.95 US, its a steal. Dont miss this opertunity to get your hands on it. 

I only see pre-orders is this available now?

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2 hours ago, Hardradi said:

I only see pre-orders is this available now?

Thanks for the link! 

I got my copy a couple days ago, from Swedish book retailer Bokus for 40 US. But indeed, most retailers stil only list it as preorder. 

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On ‎4‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 4:53 PM, Bozowans said:

Yeah that's pricey but I'm very tempted to bite the bullet and get it. Has anyone here read any of the other books on there? That book "Turning Point" looking at Stalingrad from the Russian perspective looks interesting.

I've ordered (direct from LeapingHorseman.com ) all of Jason Marks books; a total of 10-12. I cannot recommend them highly enough.

If you have any interest in this subject matter (and why else would you be here?), you'll enjoy the Leaping Horseman products.

They are well worth the price.

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If you're interested in the eastern front, I can recommend "The Forgotten Soldier" (originally in French: Le soldat oublié) by Guy Sajer. I've read the german translation and for me this is one of the most impressive eye-witness-accounts of WWII (at least of those I've read so far). As for all accounts of personal war experiences, don't expect a proper account of the campaign and its chronology. But I was impressed by his description of how surreal and weird his battle experiences felt and more generally of the horrors and chaos of war.

Sajer on wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Sajer

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On 4/12/2018 at 8:07 AM, Aragorn2002 said:

At the moment I'm reading Panzerkrieg volume 1 German Armoured Operations at Stalingrad by Jason D. Mark, published by Leaping Horseman Books. As all books by this publisher it is very, very good. This volume concentrates on the Panzerabteilungen 103, 129 and 160 during the 1942 summer campaign and the following struggle for Stalingrad. Lots of excellent new pictures and lots of thorough, well researched info. Highly recommended. Volume 2 is in the works and will concentrate on the 16. PzD.

I really hope we will get a Stalingrad module for CM one day. It is such a fascinating period of the war.

Hey, did you ever play this?

It uses the excellent Stalingrad Mod pack for CMRT and is a marvelous campaign...maybe not a full module, but pretty darn good.

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8 hours ago, Kaunitz said:

If you're interested in the eastern front, I can recommend "The Forgotten Soldier" (originally in French: Le soldat oublié) by Guy Sajer. I've read the german translation and for me this is one of the most impressive eye-witness-accounts of WWII (at least of those I've read so far). As for all accounts of personal war experiences, don't expect a proper account of the campaign and its chronology. But I was impressed by his description of how surreal and weird his battle experiences felt and more generally of the horrors and chaos of war.

Sajer on wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Sajer

I remember reading this as a teenager and being impressed.  Thought it would make a great movie (maybe TV series). But, it's quite dark and amoral.  IIRC doesn't it get into SS fighting as mercs in Vietnam... (hope am not getting confused with other similar themed books by Leo Kessler).

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33 minutes ago, Erwin said:

I remember reading this as a teenager and being impressed.  Thought it would make a great movie (maybe TV series). But, it's quite dark and amoral.  IIRC doesn't it get into SS fighting as mercs in Vietnam... (hope am not getting confused with other similar themed books by Leo Kessler).

I'm afraid you are. 🙂

Edited by Aragorn2002

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11 hours ago, Erwin said:

Found this tho'.  Cautionary discussion re whether Guy's story is real:    http://moebius.freehostia.com/sajer.htm

Interesting. Look time ago since I've read it, but it made quite an impression on me. It was the first first-account book from the German side for me. Since then I've read them all.

But memories are vague, aren't they? Personally I forgot so many details, sometimes whole episodes of my own life. So forgetting on which side you did wear your GD arm cuff is quite understandable, I think. Especially in such chaotic times you can't store away all details in your head.  

 

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I'm not delving too much into this, but reading Sajer's memoir, I never had any doubts that it is based on real experiences. Whether he gets his unit right I don't really care. But there are just many very small details and observations that must have been really hard if you had invented all of them (especially in such a density!). Also let's not forget that he was perhaps 18 or 19 years of age and that the memoir was first published 1967 - 20 years after the actual events! 

If you want to see how a fake memoir looks, take a look at "The Last Panther" or "Tiger Tracks" by a certain Wolfgang Faust. Anyone with some sensibility will figure out that it's phantasy. It reads like a script for a Hollywood movie.

1 hour ago, Aragorn2002 said:

Interesting. Look time ago since I've read it, but it made quite an impression on me. It was the first first-account book from the German side for me. Since then I've read them all.

May I ask you what other memoirs (especially for the Axis or Soviet side) are interesting reads if you can find the time for it? To my surprise, there doesn't seem to be a thread dedicated to reading tips on the forum yet? 

Here is a list of memoirs I have come across so far (European theatre):

  • George Wilson: If You Survive.
  • Peter White: With the Jocks. A Soldier's Struggle for Europe 1944-45.
  • Martin Lindsay: So Few Got Through. With the Gordon Highlanders from Normandy to the Baltic.
  • Stuart Hills: By Tank into Normandy. 
  • Vasiliy Bryukhov: Red Army Tank Commander. At War in a T-34 on the Eastern Front.
  • Ken Tout: By Tank. D to VE Days.
  • Guy Sajer [Mouminoux]: The Forgotten Soldier.

Apart from memoirs, I found this book highly interesting. The best book on WWII tactics/operations I could find so far (not that I've found a lot, to be honest, apart from the notorious Osprey booklets that is):

  • Michael D. Doubler, Closing with the Enemy. How GIs Fought the War in Europe, 1944-1945.

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1 hour ago, Kaunitz said:

May I ask you what other memoirs (especially for the Axis or Soviet side) are interesting reads if you can find the time for it? To my surprise, there doesn't seem to be a thread dedicated to reading tips on the forum yet? 

 

I will see what I can do. One question though. Do you read German, or just English?

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2 hours ago, Aragorn2002 said:

I will see what I can do. One question though. Do you read German, or just English?

Thanks! :) No hurry! German is my native language.

Edited by Kaunitz

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On 6/20/2018 at 2:09 PM, Kaunitz said:

Thanks! :) No hurry! German is my native language.

Ah yes, Kaunitz. Austria. Should have known. 🙂

Some first tips of the iceberg:

SS-Panzergrenadier by Hans Schmidt

Ohne Siege und Hurra by Georg Jestadt

Vergiss die Zeit der Dornen nicht by Günther Koschorrek

Pioniere nach Vorn! Günther Wannhöfer

There's plenty more, also check the Zweiter Weltkrieg Erlebnisberichte on Amazon. No heroism or glory there, just suffering and hardship. There's very little 'glory' to find in the best war accounts. 

Edited by Aragorn2002

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Thanks! I guess the titles scared me off until now, but I will definitively take a look! :)

What I found most interesting in the accounts I've read so far is how slow and steady WWII still was. For some reason, I expected more manoevre, when in reality, the front moved only so much (until a general retreat, in which case total chaos broke loose). Every day, officers did their recon in the morning, throughout the day battalion areas were shelled (positions are judged based on the average number of shells they receive per day), patrols were sent out into no-man's land, the enemy was constantly observing your trenches and you were observing his. If you made good some ground because of the enemy's retreat or because of your own (rare) attack, you dug in instantly in order to secure your gains. I just find it interesting that from my impression of the WWII accounts, it was still so much dominated by trenches + artillery. 

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