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Book Author(s)
Massimiliano Afiero. Translated by Raphael Riccio
Other Publication Information
Softbound, 8' X 10" , 128 pages. 134 photos provided by US National Archives and Records Adm., Library of Congress, Bundesarchiv, US Military Institute. 3 color maps and 2 profiles.
Company: Casemate Publishers - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Casemate Publishers - Website: Visit Site
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The book is part of the Casemate Illustrated series. This is the second and final book dealing with this unit of the German Army during WWII. The scope of the book extends from Operation Goodwood to April 1945. The book is divided into 9 sections along with an Epilogue, Bibliography, and Index. At the beginning of the book, you will find a section called "The Timeline of Events." This section recaps some of the actions in Vol.#1 and then talks about the contents of this volume. This is a very concise, yet informative section.

The narrative starts with Operation Goodwood, how the battle started, and explains what then developed and what units attacked the 12th SS Panzer Div. The story of this battle is followed by that of the Allied attack under the name of Operation Totalize. This operation was designed to encircle the German forces still fighting in Normandy. The Allied offensive is described in detail, along with information on the German defensive success. This section also introduces us to several German individuals who were recognized with the Iron Cross award for their combat actions.

The next section is dedicated to the Falaise Pocket engagement, which started with Operation Tractable. The German defense of the Falaise Pocket is described, as well as the German breakout from the pocket. The following section is about the Seine defensive front and how this turned into another retreat for the 12th SS Panzer Div. Clashes at the Mass and subsequent retreat are described. The 12th. is then sent to Germany for refitting and reorganization. The next engagement of this unit is during the Ardennes operation. The section gives us an idea of the German plan, the opening salvo, their attack in Butgenbach and their actions during the battle for Bastogne. The unit was then put on reserve and transferred to Cologne for refit, in preparation to send them to the Eastern Front.

The unit next finds itself in Hungary, fighting the Russians in Operation Sudwind. This engagement was followed by Operation Spring Awakening, which continued until the Russians counterattacked on March 16th. The result of this counterattack was another retreat by the German forces overall and specifically the 12th SS Panzer Div. Their next action was in Austria. By this time the 12th had been reduced to a simple Kampfgruppe. The unit continued fighting the Russians in Austria, followed by their surrender to the American forces on 8/05/1945.

The book includes three profiles of senior officers. i did find what appears to be a typo regarding the last officer profiled, Hugo Krass- this section states that "he assumed command of the Hitlerjugend on 13/11/1990". This small mistake, although surprising, does not detract from the book's overall story.

I would like to thank Casemate Publishers for the opportunity to review the book.


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