Normandie 1944: 2. Panzer-Division Tome 1 Formation et Combats

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Frédéric Deprun
Other Publication Information
Hardback, 8 ¾ x 12 inches, 350 pages, 100’s of images
Company: Heimdal
Provided by: Casemate UK - Website: Visit Site
Book Cover

C'est une magnifique publication, riche en prose et en photographie. Présentée en français, mon manque de maîtrise du français me fait passer à côté de la qualité de la prose, mais la photographie ne nécessite pas de traduction précise.

In English - This is a magnificent publication, rich in prose and photography. Presented in the French language, my lack of command of French means that I am missing out on the quality of the prose, but the photography and the captions for the images does not require precise translation. While the book is in the French language, some ability to read and understand French would be extremely helpful. My command of French is, at best, that of a six-year old. But even with a remarkably disappointing ability to speak and write in French, I found that the captions of the photographs were not at all difficult to roughly translate and to understand. When all else fails, one can seek an online translation tool.

This publication is the first of two books that focus on the 2nd Panzer (Wiener) Division, this volume, Volume 1, picks up the story of the 2nd Panzer Division in 1935 through the fighting at Rauray and in the Cheux area in June of 1944. From some online sources of information, the author studied the organization, deployment, and combat history of the 2nd Panzer Division for a decade. The result of this intense and indepth research is a detailed and thorough coverage of the Weiner Division. The 2ndvolume in this set is not part of this review, but it can be noted that both publications are about 350 pages in length, with some 800 images included. Some English-language sources stated that the pictures were previously unpublished. During my reading of this first volume I can agree with that statement. I found none of the images familiar. In this first volume of the set, the 2ndPanzer Division begins with the division being located in the Arras area, alerted to the upcoming allied invasion, terminating in June/July 1944.

For those who have a limited French vocabulary, it is possible to follow the text to varying degrees by simply reading the text slowly, and using accompanying images to provide helpful guidance as to the meaning of the text. This being the case for this reviewer, the organization of information was presented mostly in chronological fashion, with support from the images, maps, and documents the author had uncovered during the research phase of his preparation for publication. The book goes into remarkable detail about the personalities of those in command. Also covered in detail are descriptions of the vehicles being used by the 2nd Panzer Division and the positive or negative attributes of these weapons.

For those who model armor and for those who model figures of German soldiers of W.W.II, this book is a gold mine of reference material.

Table of Contents - Sommarie (Summary, aka Table of Contents)

Avant-propos Foreword Page 4
Historique History 1935-1943 Page 7
Reformation – France 1944 Reformation Page 23
Organisation Organization
Panzer-Nachrichten-Abteilung 38 Page 54
Panzer-Aufklarungs-Abteilung 2 Page 64
Panzer-Regiment 3 Page 100
Panther-Abteilung Page 114
Pz.Kpfw.IV- Abteilung Page 136
Panzer-Pionier-Bataillon 38 Page 156
Panzer-Artillerie-Regiment 74 Page 168
Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 2 Page 180
Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 304 Page 196
Panzerjager-Abteilung 38 Page 214
Premiers Combats First Fights
Approche du front Approaching the Front Page 230
La hauteur de Caumont The Height of Caumont Page 244
Installation en Normandie Installation in Normandy Page 270
Cahagnes-Briquessard Cahagnes-Briquessard Page 288
Le front de Saint-Germain-d’Ectot Page 304
La ligne de front devant Caumont The front lat Camont Page 316
L’arrive’e des Panzer IV The arrival of the Panzer IV Page 332
Combats pour Rauray/Cheux Fighting for Rauray/Cheux Page 338

This book is recommended for several reasons. The photographs are stunning. Those who model armor and those who are “figure” fans have a treasure chest of sharply focused, clear, and detailed images available to them. I am of the opinion that it is not necessary to be fluent in French to find this book worthwhile and very enjoyable.

Merci à Casemate et Heimdal d'avoir fourni cette excellente publication à IPMS / USA pour examen.

(Thanks to Casemate and Heimdal for providing this excellent publication to IPMS/USA for review.


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