The story of the German masters of armored warfare, their machines, and the campaigns they fought during WWII.
Irish journalist McCarthy and County Mayo archaeologist Syron begin their exploration of panzer warfare by tracing the grudging respect German officers developed for Allied tanks during WWI. Innovative officers like Heinz Guderian dedicated their lives to developing and perfecting an aggressive armored doctrine. This innovation, alongside creative, mission-focused training, eventually made German armored forces the masters of the early WWII battlefield. According to the authors, such emphasis allowed Guderian and other German professional soldiers to overcome superior Allied and Russian equipment and numbers with superior tactics and agility. Despite these advantages and for all their professional knowledge, German tankers still had to contend with Hitler’s incessant meddling and increasing paranoia. But although the Führer squandered his armored forces with poor military decisions, McCarthy and Syron argue that the panzer armies still extracted a heavy price from their enemies. Interestingly, they conclude that the tank armies’ true legacy lay in new training methods and revised Cold War doctrines that Hitler’s enemies developed after successfully defeating Nazi Germany.
Will please general history readers and enthusiasts alike. Very few specialized histories capture the story of Germany’s WWII armored forces as richly and concisely as this. (Illustrations and maps throughout)