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From Normandy to the Ruhr: With the 116th Panzer Division in World War II

Guderian, Heinz Gunther

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ISBN 10: 0966638972 / ISBN 13: 9780966638974
Published by Bedford, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.: Aberjona Pr, 2001
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: From Normandy to the Ruhr: With the 116th ...

Publisher: Bedford, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.: Aberjona Pr

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Near Fine

About this title

Synopsis:

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.

From the Publisher:

Not only does From Normandy to the Ruhr include detailed information about the most famous battles on the Western Front in WWII, but it also contains important information about the operations of the following units in those battles.

Allied Divisions (All are US Army divisions unless otherwise indicated)

1st Infantry 2d Canadian Infantry 3rd Canadian Infantry 4th Infantry 9th Infantry 28th Infantry 29th Infantry 30th Infantry 43rd (Wessex) 53rd (Welsh) 79th Infantry 83rd Infantry 84th Infantry 90th Infantry 95th Infantry 2d Armored French 2d Armored 3rd Armored 4th Canadian Armoured 5th Armored 7th Armored 8th Armored 9th Armored British 79th Armoured

Anglo-Canadian Brigades

2d Canadian Armoured 6th Guards Armoured 8th Armoured 34th Armoured

German Divisions

2d Panzer 2d SS-Panzer 9th Panzer 9th SS-Panzer 10th SS-Panzer 12th SS-Panzer 21st Panzer Panzer Lehr

3rd Panzer-Grenadier 15th Panzer-Grenadier

6th Parachute

12th Infantry (later Volks-Grenadier) 47th Volks-Grenadier 49th Infantry 84th Infantry 89th Infantry 180th Infantry 246th Volks-Grenadier 272d Volks-Grenadier 275th Infantry 353rd Infantry 344th Infantry 346th Infantry 347th Infantry 353rd Infantry 363rd Infantry 560th Volks-Grenadier 17th Luftwaffe Field Div

German Brigades

Panzer Brigade 105 Panzer Brigade 108 Assault Gun Brigade 394

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