Military history

Panzer Warfare on the Eastern Front

Panzer Warfare on the Eastern Front

From Barbarossa to Stalingrad, from Kursk to Kurland, panzers formed the backbone of the German forces that attempted to defeat the Soviet Union between June 1941 and May 1945. Written by tank veterans who survived the Eastern Front, Panzer Warfare on the Eastern Front provides a firsthand look at armoured combat in that epic theater of World War II.All the major panzer operations and campaigns are covered in the words of men from the 4th, 9th, 11th, 16th, and 18th Panzer Divisions: Operation Barbarossa, the opening invasion of the Soviet Union; the second offensive of 1942, culminating in Stalingrad; the massive armour battle at Kursk in the summer of 1943; the disastrous disintegration of the front in 1944, when entire units were decimated by tides of Soviet tanks; and the bitter, chaotic fighting as the war ended in 1945.With from-the-turret immediacy, the accounts compiled here capture what it was like to fight in a panzer on the Eastern Front, where whole crews could be wiped out by a single enemy shell, where enemy tanks could lurk just beyond the tree line, where muzzles could flash and thunder in the calmest nights.One veteran remembers his commander's final words before launching a desperate attack: "Write your wills, comrades! " Another describes how an officer played an organ in a bombed-out church--a jarring but peaceful moment amidst the carnage of war. Others recount acts of compassion and humanity, such as food provided by Russian peasants and a Soviet soldier who refused to fire. All of them convey the heady joy of victory and the fear and anguish of stalemate and then defeat.These are war stories with a powerful punch.

Chapter 1

Thoughts of a General at the Beginning of the War with Russia

The First Step on a Long Journey

The Leap across the Bug

The Tank Engagement at Raziechow

Chapter 2

The Assault of the 4 Panzer-Division from Gluchow to Orel

The Duel along the Krassnaja Metscha

Every Man for Himself

Knocked Out at Fifty Below

Chapter 3

When Ivan Came Out of the Cold

The Wolves Are Coming: A Portrait of Russia in Winter

The Major Setback: Advance to Sixty Kilometers South of Moscow

Attacking Chatkowo in Ice and Snow

Chapter 4

Tracks in the Snow: A Story of an Unforgettable Encounter

With the 9 Panzer-Division on the Central Front

Chapter 5

A Glance Back in Poetry

The Final Fighting of the 16 Panzer-Division in the Stalingrad Pocket

Chapter 6

Hannes, a Driver

Partisans: A Story of Coexistence

The Unlucky Ones: An Inglorious Tank Story

Operation Citadel as Experienced from Hill 2381

Chapter 7

Encircled

With the 4 Panzer-Division from the Oka to the Beresina

Chapter 8

Egg Diving at Slonim

A Short Love Story

Wounded in Kurland

Dangerous "Sleepwalking" in Kurland

Chapter 9

Tank Attack on Blondmin

A Lot of Luck and a Jagdpanther

Chapter 10. Alpine Rose, Over!

Chapter 11

Write Your Wills, Comrades!

The Boulder

Chapter 12. Danzig

Chapter 13

The General

The Withdrawal from Danzig

Babylon in the Vistula Lowlands

Chapter 14

Race to the Water

When All Hope Died

A Trip into the Past

Appendix A: Rank Table

Appendix B: 4 Panzer-Division Order of Battle

Appendix C: 9 Panzer-Division Order of Battle

Appendix D: 11 Panzer-Division Order of Battle

Appendix E: 16 Panzer-Division Order of Battle

Appendix F: 18 Panzer-Division Order of Battle