Item description for PANZERSCHLACHT: Armoured Operations on the Hungarian Plains September-November 1944 by Perry Moore...
'Panzerschlacht' covers in detail the unraveling of the southern sector of the Eastern Front during late summer and autumn 1944, which led to some of the largest and most vicious, yet unknown, tank battles of the Second World War. Slammed by continuous Russian attacks that ripped the Romanian Front to pieces and by late August had caused Romania to defect to the Soviets, Germans forces were left threadbare. Only Hungary narrowly failed to defect to the USSR, and was coerced into remaining Germany's ally. Despite a gross imbalance in numbers, the German Army, and more notably, their Panzer divisions (some with only 30 AFVs) delayed, disrupted and destroyed much larger Russian units with successful counter-attacks. As the Russians blitzed through Romania and neared Hungary in late August 1944, it was the Hungarian Army that stymied the Red horde. The Hungarian units pulled themselves together and in September conducted two very important and overlooked counterattacks: Arad and Torda. The Arad counterattack sent the defending Romanians reeling, forcing them to give up the city of Arad and beyond as the Hungarian 1st Armoured Division faced little opposition. At Torda, the Hungarian 2nd Armoured Division also made significant gains towards the mountain passes until the arrival of Russian armor. The book covers these in detail with maps so often missing in other accounts. Both battles temporarily put the 'brake' on the Russian blitzkrieg.From mid-September until November, the focus of the Russians now became the Hungarian Plains - a flat area ideally suited to the massive and chaotic tank battles that occurred throughout October. The Russian operations around Debrecen envisioned the 6th Guards Tank Army and others cutting out the seemingly meager German and Hungarian forces across the line northwards to Debrecen and Nyiraghaza. Their plan, if successful, would encircle the whole German 8th Army still holding on east in the mountains. It was aimed to deal a crippling blow. However, the German commanders saw the writing on the wall and began to withdraw their 8th Army. As the Russians ground northwards, the German 6th and 8th Armies fought tooth and nail during their withdrawal. It was no easy victory for either side. Panzerschlacht covers all of these operations in detail. Using excellent color maps and detailed orders of battles showing unit strengths, the reader can follow this David versus Goliath event as it unfolded. A large number of rare archival photographs, many previously unpublished, complement the text. Full-color artwork provides detailed information about the camouflage and markings carried by the vehicles involved in the fighting, including the rarely-seen Hungarian AFVs. A variety of German, Hungarian, Russian and Romanian sources were used by the author. Overall, this is an excellent account of a hitherto-unknown series of major tank battles fought on the Eastern Front in the autumn of 1944.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 12.13" Width: 8.74" Height: 0.71" Weight: 2.51 lbs.
Publisher Helion and Company
ISBN 1906033161 ISBN13 9781906033163
Availability 0 units.
More About Perry Moore
PERRY MOORE grew up in Virginia. His father, a Vietnam veteran, was the inspiration for the character of Hal Creed. Perry is the executive producer of The Chronicles of Narnia films, and his book about the making of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was a New York Times best seller. With his partner, Hunter Hill, Perry wrote and directed his first feature film, Lake City, starring Sissy Spacek. This is Perry's first novel. He lives in New York City.
Reviews - What do customers think about PANZERSCHLACHT: Armoured Operations on the Hungarian Plains September-November 1944?
Tedious read, lost in detail with little overview. Good photos though! Sep 1, 2008
A book on operations on the Hungarian Plains in September - November 1944 was to me a promising idea. A decent review prompted me on. But reading it was no joy.
First it is not well written at all, the text is laborious and not an easy read. Nor does a listing of what units were where and with what equipment really make any kind of story. Quickly you can see the author is biased in favor of Germans in many little ways and this isn't so great and also means you don't get to see things as well from the Soviet side. Secondly the book lacks overview, both in text and the numerous but bad maps. The main text sometimes includes great details on the German and Hungarian forces that you get lost. Here it also doesn't help that the names of places are rather foreign (Hajdúböszörmény can easily be confused with Hajdúdorog or Hajdúböszörménytol) and there is no good overview map in the entire book. These details aren't consistent either so it is hard to keep up, like on page 20 there is a detailed list of the 4th SS Politzei Panzer Grenadier Division and it only lists StuG assault guns but later it fights with Panzer V's so where did they come from. At the back of the book you also have very good lists of Hungarian forces but little of Russians and Germans while sometimes these are included in the main text itself and not repeated at the back - making the whole a rather hard to use as a source book. Third it is rather obvious that Moore is too dependant on German and Hungarian sources and uses offical German kill statisics for Soviet losses while it is well known that all armies (probably at all times) have exaggerated such numbers and you should check with opposing sources for a clear picture. Lastly after reading the book I don't really have a clear picture of the campaign and probably need to read it again in order to get the big picture and since it was hard and boring to read the first time I am in no hurry to do it again if ever.
But it isn't a total write off. It has great photos, they are large and come from various sources (German, Hungarian, Bulgarian) and there is plenty of them and printed on good paper. Then it is the only book on the battles of the Hungarian Plain. You do get to feel for the Germans who are losing a lost war and are throwing in their very last resources against the Soviet Juggernaught. Occasionally you have actions well listed, although Moore is more adapt at writing who was there rather than making an exciting read. Trying very hard you can also draw a sketch of certain army units like the 4th SS or Feldherrnhalle Panzer Grenadier Division although you will have your work cut out. Being a wargamer myself I thought it promising that Moore designed wargames. Well this isn't a great source book and he hasn't produced any famous games.
So if you are like me, really interested in expanding your knowledge of the Eastern Front, are looking for sources and inspiration for wargaming, or think that plenty of good pictures justifies the price tag - this book might just do it for you. Otherwise avoid.
I'd give the book 1 star if it weren't for two facts, the great pictures and the fact it is the only one of its kind in English.
Good coverage of a neglected subject Jul 13, 2008
The major tank battles on the Hungarian plains fought in late 1944 have been neglected, for some reason, for many years by English-speaking writers. Thankfully, this situation has now been remedied with this excellent book!
The author's text describes in great detail, on a virtually daily basis, the military activities not only of the German and Soviet forces, but also the Hungarian and Romanian troops who were heavily involved in this combat. As such, the even coverage given to formations which are usually overlooked, such as the Hungarian armoured divisions, is welcome.
There are a number of maps on which the actions can be traced, but the best of all must surely be the photographs, of which there are well over 150. Even diehard Eastern Front fans should find many new images within the pages of this book. It is apparent from looking at the photo credits that a number of rarely-used archives contributed images, including locations in Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Germany and Russia. Again, coverage is outstanding, including plenty showing Romanian and Hungarian troops and equipment. There are also eight pages of colour profiles showing camouflaged markings of armoured vehicles involved in these operations.
Overall verdict: yes, the text can be a little dry, but I have to say this book is hugely better than the one-star review which appears here suggests. I would congratulate the author and publisher on taking a risk to produce a book about something different and something new, instead of the endlessly recycled trash we are subjected to on World War II. This is a well-done book, with detailed narrative, maps and an excellent selection of outstanding and fresh images. If you're interested in the Eastern Front, particularly 1944/45, then I believe you will find much of interest in this book.
A Big Disappointment Jul 12, 2008
This book deals with the battles in Eastern Hungary in the Autumn of 1944. The back cover says that the "reader can follow this ...event as it unfolded." I had hoped that would be the case, but I was usually rather lost. The text repeatedly mentions towns or villages not marked on the maps, and it's not certain how to interpret the maps as there is no scale of miles. The prose is a very poor quality; too often we are merely told which unit went where, but the overall picture was absent. There are numerous editorial failures, which mean that the book went to press before it was finished. Just one example from p. 106: "The Russian armour with infantry support moved to within 500 m of the bridge. The four German tanks continued to move ahead despite the enemy fire. They refrained from stopping. Russian tanks on the south shore, instead they aimed and fired at the moving targets." The entire book is written in this style, and the last sentence is copied correctly from the book, which means it's impossible to know what is meant. The one bright spot was the numerous photographs which really are quite remarkable. But again, the hasty production of the book is demonstrated because the same photo appears on p. 79 and again on p. 132. The back of the book contains about 50 pages showing the order of battle of the various combatants, along with casualty figures, which did not contribute anything to an understanding of the battles. Furthermore, there was not one interview with a (still living) participant in the operations; this alone would necessarily mean that the combat is not described in vivid terms. Unfortunately, this book utterly failed to meet my hopes or expectations. I would be ashamed to be associated with this tome, either as the author, editor or publisher.