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Panzer Aces III: German Tank Commanders in Combat in World War II (Stackpole Military History) (English Edition) Versión Kindle
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This book is not as detailed as Panzer Aces I or II, and is much shorter at 293 pages, but has many photos. Panzer ace Ernst Barkman's story is only 21 pages in length, but can be found in greater detail in his biographical book. Tiger tank ace Otto Carius' chapter is 22 pages in length, a mere fraction of his life story in comparison to his book titled Tigers in the Mud. In comparison, Panzer Aces II has 486 pages describing the entire career and detailed engagements of just six soldiers.
It is good being able to read a summary overview of the careers of these 18 remarkable soldiers, such as Heinz Guderian and Hermann Hoth. Both were heavily involved in the development of the Panzer Corps and both were relieved of command for disobeying H*tler's foolish orders to hold arbitrary ground at all costs. Armchair historians can debate what if more German Generals had the same courage as Guderian, Hoth, and Rommel to disobey similar orders and saved their soldiers from senseless encirclement and destruction.
This book does briefly explain the German perspective on how Panzer forces were developed after World War One and how their tanks were initially inferior to the T-34. Their main tank guns could not penetrate the T-34 of KV-1 at distance. It was only their ability to maneuver and attack en masse to get the disabling hit and follow-on close range shots to kill the better armored and gunned T-34.
Some armchair "historians" will disagree and state that the T-34 was inferior tank, but in 1941, it was superior to any other tank in armor, speed, maneuverability, and gun penetration until 1942. The German Panzer veterans who destroyed dozens of T-34s state this, who are we today to disagree with their accounts?
Good reading for those with an open mind, willing to learn from the German veteran perspective. Panzer Aces I and II provide much more detail on each soldier's career, almost like a biographical book similar to Audie Murphy's to Hell and Back (WW2) or Beyond Nam Dong by Roger Donlon (Vietnam).
The translated book has the strengths and weaknesses of Kurowski's other books. Kurowski clearly has a lot of sources, perhaps including interviews, about the men to draw on, however footnotes are few and far between. One can not trust any of the quoted dialogues in the book, therefore it is more docudrama than history.
From my comparison of the first page of Barkman's chapter with the original German, it is a decent and readable translation.
If you don't have "Panzer vor" and you liked Panzer Aces I & II, you will like this book.
The third release in the Panzer Aces series differs from the previous two as the book focuses more attention on the Commanders of the Panzerwaffe. Names such as Guderian, Hoth, Eberbach, Jahde and Kempf will be very familiar to those with an interest in the Panzerwaffe during World War Two history. The book tells the story of these famous soldiers, the divisions, formations and armies they fought and led. The stories are more about these leaders who shaped history in this era and their experiences during the some of the greatest armoured battles of World War Two.
The famous tank commander Otto Carius also appears in this book and will probably inspire you to purchase his book Tigers in the Mud. Most of the names that appear in the book are intertwined with the successes and failures of the German armoured divisions during the period of 1939 until 1945. The stories are all the more interesting as they are written and told by the perspective of the individual who where taking part in the conflict rather than in a strictly historical timeline perspective. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I have.