SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

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guder
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SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by guder » 13 Nov 2020 15:13

SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy Campaign 1944 is now available from JJ Fedorowicz publishing.

In 448 pages, extensively researched official Abteilung diaries and moving personal accounts, and hundreds of photographs, Stephan Cazenave tells the story of the boys and men of SS-Panzer-Regiment 12.

The steel gauntlet of the 12.SS-Panzer-Division Hitlerjugend, SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 was officially established on 1 June 1944. Veterans transferred from the 1.SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Division LAH before and after Operation Zitadelle trained and led the 17 and 18 year old volunteers and draftees. Due to their age, the youths were trained differently than the average soldiers. The training was hard, but focused on practical war craft rather than parade ground drill.

The Panzer-Regiment trained at Mailly-le-Camp in France and then at Beverloo in Belgium until April 1944. In early April it moved to the Evrecy area in France. It trained there until 6 June, when the Normandy Campaign began with the Allied landings. Although its training had not been completed and some units of the Division were still on exercises, upon being alerted to the landings the Hitlerjugend Division and its Panzer-Regiment were among the first German armoured units to be thrown into battle.

At Authie, Buron and Rots, it quickly came up against Canadian units pushing inland. The brutal fighting resulted in high numbers of casualties for both sides. Fighting in the Caen area, the Regiment contributed greatly in preventing the Canadian and British units from quickly taking Caen and reaching the Odon River. After vicious fighting at Carpiquet Airfield and Hill 112, the Regiment crossed the Odon and fought east of Caen. It aquitted itself very well in defensive battles against the British and Canadians during Monty’s operations GOODWOOD in July, and TOTALIZE and TRACTABLE in August.

However, faced by the Allies’ air power, limitless artillery, and masses of armour, the Germans were steadily pushed back. Eventually, exhausted and decimated, SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 fell back from the Falaise pocket and retreated toward the Seine with its few remaining panzers. It crossed the river at the end of August, bringing to an end its first military campaign. Its soldiers, the very young and the veterans, fought hard and sacrificed their bodies and lives.

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Mori
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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Mori » 13 Nov 2020 16:09

guder wrote:
13 Nov 2020 15:13
Its soldiers, the very young and the veterans, fought hard and sacrificed their bodies and lives....
... to help a regime last longer and commit more crimes.

=> Looks like something was missing in your description.

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krichter33
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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by krichter33 » 13 Nov 2020 17:53

I ordered mine from RZM, along with the GvB Volume 3 book.

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 13 Nov 2020 21:26

guder wrote:
13 Nov 2020 15:13
At Authie, Buron and Rots, it quickly came up against Canadian units pushing inland. The brutal fighting resulted in high numbers of casualties for both sides. Fighting in the Caen area, the Regiment contributed greatly in preventing the Canadian and British units from quickly taking Caen and reaching the Odon River.
Didn't the 12th SS Panzer Division basically fail in its most important test - throwing the Allies back into the sea...

Good to see the author corrected the ridiculous statement about there being 500 tanks involved on 7 June 1944 - although I think even his "100" is an exaggeration!

Regards

Tom

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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by stolypin » 14 Nov 2020 18:40

Mori wrote:
13 Nov 2020 16:09
guder wrote:
13 Nov 2020 15:13
Its soldiers, the very young and the veterans, fought hard and sacrificed their bodies and lives....
... to help a regime last longer and commit more crimes.

=> Looks like something was missing in your description.
Should something similar be included when describing David Glantz's books on the Red Army, i.e. reminding the reader that the Red Army was fighting to "help a regime last longer and commit more crimes" (e.g. the Doctor's Plot of 1951, the 1949 "wave" of political arrests described by Solzhenitsyn in the "Gulag Archipelago")?

Mori
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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Mori » 14 Nov 2020 20:25

stolypin wrote:
14 Nov 2020 18:40
.
Should something similar be included when describing David Glantz's books on the Red Army, i.e. reminding the reader that the Red Army was fighting to "help a regime last longer and commit more crimes" (e.g. the Doctor's Plot of 1951, the 1949 "wave" of political arrests described by Solzhenitsyn in the "Gulag Archipelago")?
It's no excuse to avoid the topic altogether and indulge in hero-workship of SS units, something you don't seem annoyed with.

And yes, why not include a similar statement in the many many books solely dedicated to hero-worship of Red Army divisions. You know, that full shelf of yours with the countless volumes about Russian units that you bought and collected over the last decades.

stolypin
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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by stolypin » 14 Nov 2020 21:27

Mori wrote:
14 Nov 2020 20:25
stolypin wrote:
14 Nov 2020 18:40
.
Should something similar be included when describing David Glantz's books on the Red Army, i.e. reminding the reader that the Red Army was fighting to "help a regime last longer and commit more crimes" (e.g. the Doctor's Plot of 1951, the 1949 "wave" of political arrests described by Solzhenitsyn in the "Gulag Archipelago")?
It's no excuse to avoid the topic altogether and indulge in hero-workship of SS units, something you don't seem annoyed with.

And yes, why not include a similar statement in the many many books solely dedicated to hero-worship of Red Army divisions. You know, that full shelf of yours with the countless volumes about Russian units that you bought and collected over the last decades.
So you already have the book, read it, and determined it indulges in hero-worship?

I ask because I understand the book only became available this week. I have not even ordered it yet, much less read or analyzed it.

Mori
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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Mori » 14 Nov 2020 21:57

stolypin wrote:
14 Nov 2020 21:27
So you already have the book, read it, and determined it indulges in hero-worship?

I ask because I understand the book only became available this week. I have not even ordered it yet, much less read or analyzed it.
Seriously? You really need to open and read this to tell it's mostly about glorifying an SS unit, to realize it doesn't add any significant research (give or take a couple of testimonies), and that it heavily relies on photographs - of which just a few will be new to you?

Can't you derive this from the introduction quoted above, the excerpts, and the other books commited by Mr.Cazenave?

(I hadn't checked until writing this, but I did have one his previous volumes in hands some time ago, when libraries were opened. He first published in my native langage, at a publisher specializing in hero-workship of German, and especially SS, units)

stolypin
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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by stolypin » 14 Nov 2020 22:57

Mori wrote:
14 Nov 2020 21:57
stolypin wrote:
14 Nov 2020 21:27
So you already have the book, read it, and determined it indulges in hero-worship?

I ask because I understand the book only became available this week. I have not even ordered it yet, much less read or analyzed it.
Seriously? You really need to open and read this to tell it's mostly about glorifying an SS unit, to realize it doesn't add any significant research (give or take a couple of testimonies), and that it heavily relies on photographs - of which just a few will be new to you?

Can't you derive this from the introduction quoted above, the excerpts, and the other books commited by Mr.Cazenave?

(I hadn't checked until writing this, but I did have one his previous volumes in hands some time ago, when libraries were opened. He first published in my native langage, at a publisher specializing in hero-workship of German, and especially SS, units)
Yes, I usually need to open and read a book before determining that it is merely "glorifying" something and "doesn't add any significant research."

Mori
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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Mori » 15 Nov 2020 00:15

stolypin wrote:
14 Nov 2020 22:57
Yes, I usually need to open and read a book before determining that it is merely "glorifying" something and "doesn't add any significant research."
I don't need to watch a superhero movie to realize it's not a auteur cinema.

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krichter33
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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by krichter33 » 15 Nov 2020 00:23

Yes,,,,enough of this nonsense....The Nazis were the worst, the Soviets were bad too, the Roman empire was "bad' the colonialists were "bad" (Though as a historical and moral relativist, I don't believe the Romans or the colonialists were ""bad"") I read and enjoy books by Glantz, who is a Sovietophile, and books by Germanophiles as well. I have enough critical thinking skills to know that all history is written with certain biases, no matter how professional they seem. I think mostly everyone on this board knows about the crimes these units committed. I guess to be fair, in EVERY book about the Germans AND the Soviets, they should have a "War Crimes" disclaimer introduction, right? If I buy a book about a certain German division or unit for information on their combat history, if they don't include something about their warcrimes, I don't throw a fit, because I already know about that history. Yet, I'm glad for these combat histories from writers, whether Germancentric or Sovietcentric, like Glantz, who concentrate on COMBAT. There are plenty of "new" histories by the academic establishment that deal 90% of the time with crimes. So, there is more than enough balance.

Simon Trew 1
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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Simon Trew 1 » 17 Nov 2020 13:10

Hi,

It might be added that Stephane Cazenave's book described above is a translation of one in what will eventually be a four-book series (I think) about 12th SS Pz Div in Normandy. Although it is volume 2 in the series, it actually appeared in its original French-language edition (Maranes Editions, Bayeux, 2014) before volumes 1.1. and 1.2. I have no idea about whether JJF intend to translate the other volumes, but as far as I can tell, the JJF version and the Maranes Editions version of Vol. 2 are pretty much identical, bar some issues to do with page layout and relative sizes of photos. In short, if you have the Maranes version already and your French is good, then you really have no need of the translation. In my own case, because my French is mediocre at best, I bought both.

Not that it will probably persuade anybody, but for what it's worth I think that an essential book to read alongside any other work on 12th SS Pz Div in Normandy is Howard Margolian's 'Conduct Unbecoming: The Story of the Murder of Canadian Prisoners of War in Normandy' (University of Toronto Press, Toronto 1998; xiv + 279pp., maps, illustrations). The book provides a meticulously researched account of a series of incidents that took place from 7-17 June 1944, during which members of 12th SS Panzer Division murdered more than 150 Canadian prisoners of war. The author pays close attention to the wartime and post-war legal process associated with attempts to bring the perpetrators of the crimes to justice. There is a comprehensive bibliography and list of primary sources at the end of the book. Among many other works on the same subject - although tricky to find these days - is Lackenbauer, P. Whitney and Madsen, Chris: 'Kurt Meyer on Trial – A Documentary Record '(Canadian Defence Academy Press, Kingston 2007; xi + 697pp., maps, illustrations). Most of this book is taken up with the stenographic record of (and documents relating to) Kurt Meyer’s court-martial in December 1945. The book contains extensive testimony by those who were involved in the events for which Meyer stood trial, as well as information about the subsequent legal process and the aftermath of the court-martial.

There are plenty of other things well worth looking at, of course (especially Marc Milner's articles & book about the early Canadian clashes with 12th SS), but I'll stop here otherwise this will become exhausting to read long before it's exhaustive.

Simon

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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Cult Icon » 17 Nov 2020 13:31

krichter33 wrote:
13 Nov 2020 17:53
I ordered mine from RZM, along with the GvB Volume 3 book.
So did I- along with Eyes of the Division- will get it in a few days. The new schiffer book "Waffen SS Tank Crews at Kursk" is surly going to make some people very mad :lol:

Simon Trew: Agreed on the "Conduct Unbecoming" book (most detailed and scholarly book on the war crimes out there?) and the Marc Milner's Stopping the Panzers:The Unknown story of D-day being essential reads.

Charles Steiner
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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Charles Steiner » 17 Nov 2020 20:38

Just for the record, I have this book as the two others on this division. I can add that a fourth book about this division is planned which will deal with the war crimes. I have been in contact with the author and for what I can judge he is not the gloryfying type. What he shows through the testimonies of the veterans is that these soldiers were also humans with their merrits and... their short comings... they give military history a more personal dimension. I have a lot of respect for his work and his contributions to military history. My advice: wait for the last book in this series before you judge...

I can second Simon Trew’s review that it’s a good companion to Margolian’s work who deals on an objectiv level the war crimes of the HJ.

Just my two cents.

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 in the Normandy

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 17 Nov 2020 20:53

Charles Steiner wrote:
17 Nov 2020 20:38
I have been in contact with the author and for what I can judge he is not the gloryfying type.
Does he discuss the order described in the letter included on page 306 provided as an example up thread? The one that reveals the regiment was ordered not to take any prisoners:
12 SS War Crime Order.JPG
Clearly authors write books such as these because there is a market for it, after all they do need to eat! :lol:

But whether they all contribute much to the historical record when judged in their totality I'll leave others to judge.

There was only one Canadian armoured regiment at Authie on 7 June 1944 though wasn't there? Not 500, or even 100 tanks then. :roll:

I'm not sure that all the naval artillery was 38 cm either. :idea:

Added to add: It's so unfair!!! :roll: :roll:

Regards

Tom
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