Divisional history of 20th ID in English completed

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Roger
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Divisional history of 20th ID in English completed

Post by Roger » 25 Jun 2019 12:58

Hi everybody

After a 10-year struggle I finally managed to complete the final part of the divisional history in English of 20th infantry division

Part 3 covers the years 1943-1945

The entire history in 3 books has over 900 pages DIN A4 with more than 1200 photos, maps, and award documents and covers the period 1935-1945

you are welcome to visit my website on 20th ID at: www.20pzgrendiv.eu

All the best from Holland
Roger
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Sid Guttridge
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Re: Divisional history of 20th ID in English completed

Post by Sid Guttridge » 27 Jun 2019 14:12

It might be of interest to know why you chose this formation?

What distinguished it that it merited being one of the few German Army divisional histories in English?

More such German Army divisional histories are needed to counter-ballance the surfeit of W-SS divisional histories in English which, however accurate, have the effect of exaggerating that institution's military importance to Anglo-Saxon readers.

Thanks,

Sid.

stolypin
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Re: Divisional history of 20th ID in English completed

Post by stolypin » 28 Jun 2019 12:50

I definitely consider these some of the finest books of my collection. Outstanding work.

Ken S.
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Re: Divisional history of 20th ID in English completed

Post by Ken S. » 30 Jun 2019 22:11

In the end, though, would this counter-ballance the surfeit of your expostulating about anything that presents the German military in balanced, objective, and detailed manner?
Sid Guttridge wrote:
27 Jun 2019 14:12
More such German Army divisional histories are needed to counter-ballance the surfeit of W-SS divisional histories in English which, however accurate, have the effect of exaggerating that institution's military importance to Anglo-Saxon readers.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Divisional history of 20th ID in English completed

Post by Sid Guttridge » 01 Jul 2019 10:08

Hi Ken S.,

You posted, "In the end, though, would this counter-ballance the surfeit of your expostulating about anything that presents the German military in balanced, objective, and detailed manner?"

This sentence is a little too convoluted and vague for me to be sure what you mean.

Please clarify.

In case you are in any doubt, I am entirely in favour of "anything that presents the German military in balanced, objective, and detailed manner" and so am in favour of this particular book in principle, because it has the potential to tick all these three boxes in a way that, say, a fifth English-language publication on a 39th Baron von Munchausen W-SS Freiwillige Division might not. It appears to be advancing the historical record in a direction it could usefully go.

I was merely wondering "What distinguished (20th Infantry Division) that it merited being one of the few German Army divisional histories in English?" in order to give the author a bit of encouragement to expound further on his book.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Jeff Leach
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Re: Divisional history of 20th ID in English completed

Post by Jeff Leach » 01 Jul 2019 11:08

Sid Guttridge wrote:
27 Jun 2019 14:12
It might be of interest to know why you chose this formation?

What distinguished it that it merited being one of the few German Army divisional histories in English?

More such German Army divisional histories are needed to counter-balance the surfeit of W-SS divisional histories in English which, however accurate, have the effect of exaggerating that institution's military importance to Anglo-Saxon readers.

Thanks,

Sid.
I wouldn't be surprised if the answer to the first question was so simple as the availability of material.

I think the English reading public would be better served if the 20. I.D. (mot) was more of a 'typical' German motorized division. Though this begs the question: what was the 'typical' experience of a German division on the Eastern Front?

I really wish I could afford these volumes. Unfortunately, the amount of material being published on the Eastern Front far exceeds my ability to purchase it all.

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Cult Icon
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Re: Divisional history of 20th ID in English completed

Post by Cult Icon » 01 Jul 2019 13:29

The Iron fist series (Stober) can be considered a history of the average PzG division on the Western Front (44/45) despite it being SS.

Ken S.
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Re: Divisional history of 20th ID in English completed

Post by Ken S. » 01 Jul 2019 17:05

Then why even bother including the paragraph about the "W-SS"?
Sid Guttridge wrote:
01 Jul 2019 10:08
I was merely wondering "What distinguished (20th Infantry Division) that it merited being one of the few German Army divisional histories in English?" in order to give the author a bit of encouragement to expound further on his book.

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Cult Icon
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Re: Divisional history of 20th ID in English completed

Post by Cult Icon » 01 Jul 2019 20:28

There are actually a lot of German army panzer division and armored unit histories in english, the above claim is fictional... However, there are few (if any?) histories of German army infantry divisions in english.

Roger
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Re: Divisional history of 20th ID in English completed

Post by Roger » 02 Jul 2019 10:10

20th infantry division was formed in 1935 and belonged to the first wave of divisions that were motorised. It participated in the occupation of Sudetenland in 1938. Then the Poland campaign where it fought in the northern sector between Germany and East Prussia, then via East Prussia towards Brest Litovsk. During the French campaign the division advanced towards Dunkirk, and then was set in motion to the Champagne area where it fought with group Guderian.

In the east 20th Id first belonged to Heeresgruppe Mitte and pushed via Vilnious towards Witebsk and Smolensk, relacation to Nord for the encirclement of Leningrad, taatck across the Volchov towards Tichvin.
1942 was battle for the Volchov pocket and later on near Welikije Luki
1943 battles for retreat near Newel/Nowo-Ssokolniki/Orel/Kiev
1944 Hube pocket retreat to the Oder
1945 Battle at Seelow Heights and around Berlin

Hope this gave you a bit more info on the Division

All the best from Holland
Roger
www.20pzgrendiv.eu

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Divisional history of 20th ID in English completed

Post by Sid Guttridge » 03 Jul 2019 10:38

Hi Cult Icon,

I am not sure as to what "claim" you are referring in writing, "There are actually a lot of German army panzer division and armored unit histories in english, the above claim is fictional... However, there are few (if any?) histories of German army infantry divisions in english."

On the assumption that your post was directed at me, I should point out that I actually wrote of ".....the few German Army divisional histories in English". For two decades I have advocated more German Army divisional histories such as 20th Infantry Division (mot). - Chronicle and History, and so welcome it. I have drawn attention to some previous such publications here on AHF, (i.e, the following on Division 157: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=140465&p=2067990&h ... e#p2067990).

There are, indeed, a number of divisional histories of "....German army panzer division and armored unit histories in English", but they are disappointingly few compared with the multiple volumes on even obscure, short-lived and militarily ineffective W-SS divisions, (i.e. viewtopic.php?f=19&t=140292&p=1220561&h ... s#p1220561)

Cheers,

Sid.
Last edited by Sid Guttridge on 03 Jul 2019 11:07, edited 1 time in total.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Divisional history of 20th ID in English completed

Post by Sid Guttridge » 03 Jul 2019 10:59

Hi Ken S.,

You ask, "Then why even bother including the paragraph about the "W-SS"? "

Simple. One of the merits of books such as 20th Infantry Division (mot). - Chronicle and History is that they help redress the massive imbalance between the limited proportion of Army divisions with histories in English compared with the high proportion of W-SS divisions.

This book helps to restore balance to the historical record. When Feldgrau.com has accumulated 2,187 thread topics on its W-SS section but only 427 on its Army section in 20 years, there is clearly a problem with historical perceptions, which I attribute largely to unbalanced media (including book) interest. 20th Infantry Division (mot). - Chronicle and History helps redress this, so I welcome it.

Cheers,

Sid.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Divisional history of 20th ID in English completed

Post by Sid Guttridge » 03 Jul 2019 11:05

Hi Roger,

Thanks very much for your following synopsis of 20th Division's history:

20th infantry division was formed in 1935 and belonged to the first wave of divisions that were motorised. It participated in the occupation of Sudetenland in 1938. Then the Poland campaign where it fought in the northern sector between Germany and East Prussia, then via East Prussia towards Brest Litovsk. During the French campaign the division advanced towards Dunkirk, and then was set in motion to the Champagne area where it fought with group Guderian.

In the east 20th Id first belonged to Heeresgruppe Mitte and pushed via Vilnious towards Witebsk and Smolensk, relacation to Nord for the encirclement of Leningrad, taatck across the Volchov towards Tichvin.
1942 was battle for the Volchov pocket and later on near Welikije Luki
1943 battles for retreat near Newel/Nowo-Ssokolniki/Orel/Kiev
1944 Hube pocket retreat to the Oder
1945 Battle at Seelow Heights and around Berlin


The division appears to have been continuously in the thick of operations from the start to the end of the war, and certainly merits the attention you have given it.

I wish you the best of luck with 20th Infantry Division (mot). - Chronicle and History.

Cheers,

Sid.

Roger
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Re: Divisional history of 20th ID in English completed

Post by Roger » 03 Jul 2019 16:42

Well thanks everyone for your friendly words regarding this publication
I was unaware that there is little been published on "normal" divisions, and I am pleased that you welcome it.

Books are available in the USA via Aberdeen Bookstore (as of today 3rd July 2019)

About 20 years ago I started my focus on this division and apart from this divisional history I have also published a War diary from the divisional doctor of this division (being a medical officer in WW2, the war diary of Dr. Wilhelm Mauss) and I am working on the english translation of three other diaries which I published in German already.

There is also a series in progress of the same history of the 20th infantry division documented in photos (with German and English subtitles)

Have fun reading, and I always appreciate your comments/remarks
so feel free to contact me or visit my website on the division

Roger
www.20pzgrendiv.eu
20.pzgrendiv@planet.nl

Alanmccoubrey
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Re: Divisional history of 20th ID in English completed

Post by Alanmccoubrey » 04 Jul 2019 09:26

Sid, what is the point of bringing up Feldgrau.com when we member can't even get on to it these days ?
Alan

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