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From Normandy to the Ruhr: With the 116th…
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From Normandy to the Ruhr: With the 116th Panzer Division in World War II (1994)

by Heinz Günther Guderian

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Definitive work on the 116th Panzer Division. Must have for historian or collector. ( )
  Taurus454 | Dec 4, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0966638972, Hardcover)

Normandy . . . Arnhem . . . Aachen . . . the Hürtgen Forest . . . the Ardennes Offensive . . . the Reichswald . . . the Ruhr Pocket . . . Only the men of one unit on either side fought in them all--the 116th Panzer Division!

Organized in France in March, 1944 from elements of the 16th Panzer-Grenadier Division and the 179th Reserve Panzer Division, the 116th Panzer Division was one of the relatively rare German armored formations that fought exclusively on the Western Front. As a result, its opponents included some of the most formidable and famous US Army units of World War II, including the 1st, 4th, 28th, 29th, and 30th Infantry Divisions, and the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 8th Armored Divisions, to name only some. The 116th also fought the British and Canadians, bitterly contesting the areas around Arnhem and the Reichswald against outfits like the 2d and 3d Canadian Infantry Divisions, the 43d (Wessex) and the 53d (Welsh) Divisions.

The "Greyhound" Division's history has now been meticulously chronicled in narrative form and lavishly documented by the wartime Division Chief of Staff and Operations Officer, Heinz Günther Guderian. This comprehensive history was first published in the German language in 1994, but is now being made available in the English language exclusively by The Aberjona Press, the company Military Heritage magazine pronounced "Publisher of the Year 2000" in the Small Publisher Category.

Rarely does the student of the Second World War (or any war) have the opportunity to see military operations through the eyes of the men who planned and directed the battles at the tactical level. Thanks to General Guderian's keen recollections and careful research, readers of From Normandy to the Ruhr can do exactly this.

Rarer still is the author who can lucidly and comprehensively analyze and explain the course of those battles. As the Division's First General Staff Officer throughout its training and combat, General Guderian possessed a unique point of view to do just that. Beyond the tactical decisions—and consequences of those decisions in the deadly and unforgiving arena of WWII armored combat—the author also explains the institutional and political influences on his division's leadership. General Guderian sheds stunning new light on the reasons, operational and political, behind the fateful deployment of the elements of the German armored reserve before and during the early days of OVERLORD. He details the intrigue behind his Division Commander's reliefs for cause (twice in two months!) and the impact of the accompanying turbulence on the division in combat. Perhaps most importantly of all, the author provides graphic, specific evidence of the catastrophic consequences of political correctness when it infects the chain of command and results in lost battles and squandered lives. As the son of a famous general officer who had a close but dynamic relationship with Hitler, the author was especially well placed for observing and judging this insidious phenomenon.

Most unusual of all is the combat veteran who can honestly and candidly examine what went right, what went wrong, and why . . . and present his findings for all to see and judge. Fortunately, as a life-long soldier in the Wehrmacht and later, the West German Bundeswehr, Major General Guderian is just such a man.

This hard cover book is has been expertly translated by Ulrich and Esther Abele (Ulrich Abele's previous translation credits include Five Years, Four Fronts: The War Years of Major Georg Grossjohann, proclaimed by Military Heritage magazine as the best non-US military memoir of 2000). At 648 pages, with 26 highly detailed maps and 64 photos of the unit in action and key members of the Division, From Normandy to the Ruhr is not only the definitive history of this important formation, but much more.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:03 -0400)

Normandy... Arnhem... Aachen... the Hurtgen Forest... the Ardennes Offensive... the Reichswald... the Ruhr Pocket... Only the men of one unit on either side fought in them all - the 116th Panzer Division Organized in France in March, 1944 from elements of the 16th Panzer-Grenadier Division and the 179th Reserve Panzer Division, the 116th Panzer Division was one of the relatively rare German armoured formations that fought exclusively on the Western Front. The Greyhound Division's history has now been meticulously chronicled in narrative form and lavishly documented by the wartime Division Chief of Staff and Operations Officer, Heinz Gunther Gunderian. Rarely does the student of the Second World War have the opportunity to see military operations through the eyes of the men who planned and directed the battles at the tactical level. Thanks to General Guderian's keen recollections and careful research, readers of From Normandy to the Ruhr can do exactly this. Rarer still is the author who can lucidly and comprehensively analyse and explain the course of those battles. As the Division's First General Staff Officer throughout its training and combat, General Guderian possessed a uni… (more)

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