Panzer Divisions 1944-45 , Pier Paolo Battistelli

Panzer Divisions 1944-45, Pier Paolo Battistelli

Battle Orders

By 1944 the once feared German panzer divisions that had done so much to lead the Germans to victory at the early stages of the war were on the back foot.  Allied air superiority in the West and new Russian tanks in the East meant that the days of the panzer dominating the battlefield were over. Despite all these factors the panzers were still a force to be reckoned with and had a few surprises for the Allies in this twilight period.  The new Panther tank was one of the best tanks of the war and was now becoming the main German battle tank (in theory at least). A match for nearly any Allied tank the Panther was planned to become the backbone of the Panzer Divisions but the bombed out German industry were unable to supply it in sufficient numbers. The panzer crews were a mix of hardened veterans and raw recruits and could still display tactical brilliance but lacked the numbers to translate this on a strategic scale.

This lavishly illustrated Osprey covers this fascinating period with clear silhouette based organisation charts to explain late war restructures, photographs and colour maps of operations. This is not a light read and is heavily detailed and requires some background knowledge by the reader. That said it is one of the best Ospreys and a fantastic resource for war gamers (for Flames of War players this is a must) and for those interested in this period of tank warfare. It covers the main panzer units and includes info on Jagdpanzer units, and self propelled artillery but does not cover the heavy panzers (king tigers)

Chapters
Introduction
Combat Mission
Doctrine and training
Unit organisation (this takes up nearly half the book)
Tactics (late 1943 till January 1945)
Weapons and Equipment
Command Control. Communications and intelligence
Unit status
Lessons learned (sadly a very brief chapter)
Glossary
Bibliography
Guide to vehicle Silhouette identification

Author: Pier Paolo Battistelli
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 96
Publisher: Osprey
Year: 2009


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