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Das Reich: The March of the 2nd Panzer…

Das Reich: The March of the 2nd Panzer Division Through France, 1944

by Max Hastings

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In my humble opinion this is not the best of Hastings books. Can't put a finger on anything particularly, it may be the subject, I don't know. Actually I was a bit disappointed. A 'first' with Hastings though ( )
  JesperCFS2 | Mar 13, 2017 |
This non-fiction account follows the elite Waffen-SS division 'Das Reich' (2nd SS Panzer Division) and their notorious 1944 journey from the southern French town of Montauban to the Normandy front.

Das Reich had the ability to change the course of the war and prevent the Allies from establishing a beach head, however a combination of mismanagement, incompetence and Allied subterfuge led to Das Reich being held back in Montauban some 400 miles away.

Once orders were finally passed down to move Das Reich to Normandy to confront the Allied landings the division was in such disarray they could not immediately move out, this was to be a precursor of the weeks to follow.

The Allies through OSS, SOE & support of the Resistance led a sabotage & delay campaign which tied up Das Reich for over two weeks on a journey which should have taken less than 3 days. This action also led to the massacres of Tulle and Oradour-sur-Glane as Das Reich was diverted to suppress the uprisings supported by the Resistance. Both of these atrocities are covered fairly in the book. ( )
  HenriMoreaux | Mar 30, 2013 |
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Veterans of the bloodiest fighting of the Russian Front, 15,000 men with tanks and artillery, they were hounded for every mile of their march by saboteurs of the Resistance and agents of the Allied Special Forces. Along their route they took reprisals so savage they will live forever in the chronicles of the most appalling atrocities of war. "My literary VC goes without doubt to Max Hastings for his Das Reich...the story of a march that left behind a trail of blood and death, torture and heroism...the slaughter and burning to death of 642 men, women and children of Oradour-sur-Glane...the hanging of 99 civilians from the lamp-posts of Tulle as a reprisal for Maquis action." - "Sunday Telegraph".

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