Franz Kurowski presents short biographical summaries of 18 German soldiers who earned the Knight's Cross in World War Two. Each chapter is 12 to 26 pages long and starts with an action scene describing one of the key battles they fought in. The chapter then describes the soldier's life background, how they entered military service and then what key leadership positions and battles they participated in. It is very interesting to read that many of the awardees served in the same unit or were led by a common commander, such as Erwin Rommel with the 7th Panzer Division in France 1940. Many of the accounts correspond to other chapters as the soldiers had served together at critical battles.
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).