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"The Combat History Of The 21st Panzer Division " Topic

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391 hits since 15 Oct 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP15 Oct 2018 4:14 p.m. PST

Review by Chris Buckham

"The invasion of Normandy has been written about and analyzed in a plethora of books and articles and, at first blush, Kortenhaus's book would appear to be another addition to this list; and yet it stands unique for a number of reasons. The 21st Panzer was the only fully operational panzer division to find itself within immediate striking distance of the beaches on the 6 June, 1944. Thus it was the cornerstone of the German response capability during the critical first hours of the Allied landing. This operational history draws its information predominantly from German sources the primary being the battle diaries of the division itself thus it not only provides a German perspective on the battle but also incorporates the broader scope of command and control, operational and tactical training, equipment and environmental issues and concerns.

The first portion of the book focuses upon the larger command and control challenges facing not only the division but the Western theatre; specifically surrounding issues of who and at what level would control the western Panzer divisions. This was central to response and planning; however, significant differing opinions within the German high command as to how best to respond to an invasion further hampered effective response planning. This portion serves as an excellent lesson for senior commanders and is analyzed by Kortenhaus with a critical eye towards the impact of the human factors in operational planning…."
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