Required reading: WW2 books -1 reply

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|ClanKiller|Rum

...cometh Romanian world power

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9th July 2004

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#11 15 years ago

was looking around on the website i posted before and found this stor, it made me laugh.... after dunkirk the british were obviously short of tanks, and defensive artillery etc so we built many fake guns made out of wood to fool the germans from invading, well a german photo reconaissance plane flies over a defensive coastal gun position in england that was newly built out of wood, photographs it and flies away again....the next day it flies back and attacks the position with wooden bombs lol. supposedly this really appeals to the german sense of humour!




Kakoru

I live on Gaming Forums

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19th February 2004

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#12 15 years ago

lol... Any link??




PanzerArm

S.Pz.Abt 501.

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21st April 2004

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#13 15 years ago

If I were to go and put up all the reference material I have about WWII it would take the rest of my night, so I'll pass on that. And someone mentioned that AxisHistory site, I am a member of that forum, and totally agree, it is an excellent place to discuss the axis of WWII. Another good site is the forum at AchtungPanzer.com. Anyway, since I refuse to type for hours about my books, I'll just name a few that I think are the most mentionable, and most neccessary.

"Panzer Battles" by Maj. Gen. F.W. Von Mellenthin "Panzer Commander" by Hans Von Luck "Tigers in the Mud" by Otto Carius "Armor Battles of the Waffen-SS: 1943-45" by Will Fey "The Panzers and the Battle of Normandy" by Georges Bernage "Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two"* by Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle "Russian Tanks of World War II: Stalin's Armored Might" by Tim Bean and Will Fowler "British and American Tanks of World War Two: The Complete illustrated History of British, American, and COmmonwealth tanks 1939-1945" by Peter Chamberlain and Chris Ellis "Panzer Leader" and "Achtung Panzer" by Heinz Guderian Alright, I'd better leave it at that. Kevin * "The Encyclopedia...." is known to have many errors in it, but is very good for the average joe WWII guy. Only the most avid panzer buffs will even worry about the errors, and if you are one, like me, I'd recommend the "Panzer Tracts" series of publications by the same authors. These were made to correct the mistakes they made in "The Encylopedia..." and are awesome publications. They aren't cheap though...




swatoa

Slightly cooler than a n00b

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23rd June 2004

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#14 15 years ago
PanzerArm * "The Encyclopedia...." is known to have many errors in it, but is very good for the average joe WWII guy. Only the most avid panzer buffs will even worry about the errors, and if you are one, like me, I'd recommend the "Panzer Tracts" series of publications by the same authors. These were made to correct the mistakes they made in "The Encylopedia..." and are awesome publications. They aren't cheap though...

I am very interested in the german "Encyclopedia of..." book by Chamberlain - in fact, I just added it to my amazon wish list and might just buy it! But, per your quote, you mention errors. Are the errors horrendous, or just trivial - i.e. the author misprinted the diameter of one of the drive wheels of a Panther as being .25" larger than it should be? :D - or are they big time errors, like types of powerplants used and their attributes? I just want to look at the pretty pictures and read about their performance is all :)




PanzerArm

S.Pz.Abt 501.

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21st April 2004

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#15 15 years ago

All of them are minor, and the ones that may look big(only a few), are most likely just typos. For example, the production stats for the Ferdidand/ Elefant state 89, when in reality 90 were built, so just a few little errors like that is all you'll find in the 272 pg book. I have the version of this book that is about 3 yrs old, and have since seen two new versions released, so they may have fixed many of the problems I have in mine. I would say you should definitely get it if your interested in this sort of thing. It has just about any German AFV made(If not all, can't think of any off the top of my head that aren't in there). Now the British/American/Commonwealth tank book I haven't found any problems with, but occasionally I find it lacking in the description department(Wanted to find out about the Matilda IV CS, but it only gave a two line description. But then again, it was one vague variant of one tank, and this book is 222 pgs, so I wouldn't let that bear any signifigance on your decision). Also, about 4 months ago I saw "The Encyclopedia of German...." for sale on Amazon for I want ot say something like $15.00, so if you get that price jump all over it. I think I payed $30.00 for mine:( . Hope this helps.

Kevin




PanzerArm

S.Pz.Abt 501.

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21st April 2004

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#16 15 years ago
MeanMrMustard

Such a mean old man

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15th September 2003

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#17 15 years ago

Have just finished reading The Battle Of Normandy 1944 by Robin Neillands. Now I know there are countless books on this battle, and I've read a good few of them, but this one really offers something different. Instead of sticking to the usual route of this division went here, and fought this division, then took this town etc. etc., it takes regular sidesteps from the action to look at the popular 'myths' surrounding the battle. The most significant of these is the role of the British and Canadian armies. All too often you hear about the Brits and Canadians taking their time and being too timid (and as the author points out, always accused of 'drinking too much tea') getting stuck outside Caen etc., whilst the Americans rushed about doing all the hard work and capturing all the important towns. A point that is less commonly stated is that whilst the Americans were largely facing reserve troops and infantry divisions, the British and Canadians were attacking 6 panzer divisions. What's more this is exactly what Montgomery wanted (who incidentally, was the overall commander of ALL allied armies in Normandy, not just the Brits, as SPR and I'm sure other sources would have you believe). The whole idea for Overlord was for the Brits and Canadians to wear down the German forces and keep the Panzer divisions around Caen, giving the Americans the chance to swing round and break out around St. Lo with minimal resistance. Time and again throughout the campaign the Brits were accused of slowness and unwillingness to fight by the Americans, when often they faced far greater resistance than their Allies. Patton's remark during the closing of the Falaise Pocket, that he should be allowed to move forward and 'push the Brits into the sea for another Dunkirk' is a prime example of this. Whilst his men were driving around largely undefended parts of the country capturing huge swaths of land, the Brits and Canadians were facing the last determined resistance from the Panzer divisions they had been fighting since D-Day, which more than explains the reason for their lack of progress. In fact when Patton did eventually move up to take Argentan and came against some proper resistance, he found that he had just as much difficulty in making progress as his Allies. In general the author spends a lot of time picking apart the accusations, myths and often downright lies that surround the campaign, whilst maintaning a largely unbiased opinion. Quite apart from all that it's an excellent study of the battle itself, and has numerous first person accounts, many lasting a page or more, that really drive home some of the horrors of the fighting. A sound recommendation from myself.

Both Antony Beevor's books, Stalingrad and Berlin, are recommended as well. He has also written a book about the battle for Crete, which I have been on the lookout for, and one about the Spanish Civil War, which I have and am going to start on soon. For something a bit lighter, 'Popski's Private Army' by Vladimir Peniakoff is an excellent read, the autobiographical account of a Belgian-Polish man who is working in Egypt at the start of the war and joins the British army. He sets up a LRDG style reconnaissance group and the book is the story of their exploits in the desert and Eastern Italy. Some fantastic descriptions of the type of 'secret warfare' that went on, and there's some real 'boy's own' moments in it, such as when the author disguises himself as an Italian officer and walks through an occupied town, even stopping to shout at a lower ranking German soldier in made up Italian! Like I say a bit of a change from the slaughter described in Stalingrad etc., but still interesting from a military point of view so quite refreshing.

Harry.




-{75th}-Co|Eaglesman

The Internet ends at GF

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26th May 2004

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#18 15 years ago

Ive read a couple of Stephen Amobrose books, a little bit to dramitized for my taste but still a lot of information.




Ladigue

An island in the Seychelles

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4th February 2004

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#19 15 years ago
'[Eg-D Ohlendorf']I am currently about 3/4 through Guderian's 'Panzer Leader' and have found it quite insightful thus far into the failings of OKH, OKM, and Hitler to maintain a cohesive strategy. Topics discussed include the politics behind the heavy/ultra-heavy tanks and damn near worthless SPGs, the strategic blunders at Dunkirk and in the winter of 41-42 as well as the pre-war foundations and evolution of the armored units. If you want to get a view of the conflict from an honest-to-goodness German warrior without all the demonizing (or romanticizing as you see often now when mutineers are discussed), this may be what you are looking for.

I've also read dozens and dozens of WWII books and the best ones would be: 1. Albert Speer memoirs: THE book to read for WWII buffs wishing to understand 3rd reich. A true page turner with tremendous insight to people like Hitler, Goering, Gobbels, Bormann etc. 2. Panzer Leader by Guderian: THE book about the PanzerWaffe from the guy who built it. 3. Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sajer: totally in its own class as an account by a WW2 rank soldier (served with the notorius Grossdeutschland). Written by an enlisted frenchman. 4. Hans von Luck: Panzer Commander...100 times more exciting than any Clancy book..and true...ends up with interesting depiction of prison camp life in WWII. The guy served with Rommel, was the commander of the only counterattack during the D-Day etc. 5. Erich von Manstein: Lost Victories. Forget Rommel, forget Guderian, this is the combat memoirs from Germany's most brilliant general in WWII. A remarkable book from a remarkable guy. LaDigue (Kustjägare)




Ladigue

An island in the Seychelles

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4th February 2004

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#20 15 years ago
MeanMrMustard Both Antony Beevor's books, Stalingrad and Berlin, are recommended as well. Harry.

I personally find those two particular books shallow and novel-like compared to what's out there. Really over rated, by hey, that's just my honest opinion. If you want to read about the final days of the 3rd reich in Berlin, I would, for example, recommend THE BUNKER by James P. O'Donnell. A remarkable book. As regards Stalingrad, I forgot the name of that one book I have but its vastly better. LaDigue