German divisional histories - quality and availability

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Andreas
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Post by Andreas » 28 Jul 2005 19:20

You can get a few of the divisional histories as cheap reprints from Doerfler now, but most are not very good.

Jan-Hendrik
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Post by Jan-Hendrik » 28 Jul 2005 19:25

From this "new ones" only the text editions like the one about 5th JgDiv. are acceptable , the rest is poor & rubbish !

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Andreas
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Post by Andreas » 28 Jul 2005 19:31

Even the text editions are not that hot. The one on 61.ID is from Hubatsch, so that would normally guarantee quality, but it is abridged. :(

The one by Buxa on 11.ID is not very good, even though it is a text edition.

Neither of them can hold a candle to Allmayer-Beck's one on the 21.ID

Quick lesson in English language peculiarities - in Westminster English (which is the one I prefer) 'not very good' = 'utter rubbish, don't bother'. ;)

All the best and toodlepips

Andreas

Jan-Hendrik
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Post by Jan-Hendrik » 28 Jul 2005 19:38

Well , I only bought the ones concerning 5.JgDiv. and 24.PzDiv ( former 1.ostpreussiche KavDiv. ) , and they were OK for 12 Euronen , but I saw those "Bildände" at my uncle and they were not worth any 5 Euronen !

I know , not every divisional History can be so detailed like good old Stoves 1.Panzerdivision ...

Jan-Hendrik

trollelite
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Post by trollelite » 28 Jul 2005 19:57

Jan-Hendrik wrote:Well , I only bought the ones concerning 5.JgDiv. and 24.PzDiv ( former 1.ostpreussiche KavDiv. ) , and they were OK for 12 Euronen , but I saw those "Bildände" at my uncle and they were not worth any 5 Euronen !

I know , not every divisional History can be so detailed like good old Stoves 1.Panzerdivision ...

Jan-Hendrik


In fact most Textbands are OK, other than the short 11th. For me the 98th is a very good read and perhaps the best written one of them, even it gives you some desolate feeling . I buy most of them because I dont want to pay high price for original Podzun Edition, which is of no difference. I think Podzun's best, besides 1st Panzer, is Hauck's 305th, unfortunately it has not been reprinted. Generally Podzun cannot catch up with the level of standard schild and Biblio works , such as 21st and 76st. If you have time we can open a new thread to discuss the unit histoy. :wink:

The original Podzun ones, especially those not reprinted, can be very expensive. Believe it or not, last month some of them (10 and 29 PzG Div) even soared up to more than 100 Euro on Ebay...

BTW, I agree absolutely all Bildbaende are rubbish, even the 11th Panzer, which is double disappointing.
Last edited by trollelite on 28 Jul 2005 20:19, edited 2 times in total.

trollelite
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Post by trollelite » 28 Jul 2005 22:02

Panzer division books.

1st: podzun edition. very good. not too difficult to get.
2st: podzun edition. In fact just the same book as PzJ Abt 38. Order one and not yet arrived.
3st: selbstverlag. good . somewhat difficult.
4st: selbstverlag. very detailed if somewhat dry. can get it relatively easily if you are ready to pay a high price. Haven't yet read Saucken's book.
5st: some small verlag. very good. hard to get.
6st: Biblio edition. good, but not as good as I expected. availability as 1st.
7th: podzun edition. good. would rather waiting for a reprint.
8th: selbst verlag, 2 Bde. seems very good, jedoch have no money to buy it. I would wait band 2 printed and then buy them together.
9th: ?? no good history. The book "68 Kriegmonate" is said to be a 40 page Heft.
10th: selbstverlag. I try to get it from interlibrary loan, failed.They refused to lend it out. Must be very rare and expensive.
11th:no good history.
12th: selbstverlag. too small, for a panzer division. If you have interest you can get it from ebay even now. There is a guy selling it for 16Euro.
13th: Hoffman's book and Traditionverband's work are both not too good. But you get 2 books, instead one.
14th: podzun edition. good, but not as good as it should be. reprinted
15th: no history known.
16th: podzun edition. fair to good. would rather waiting reprint.
17th: no history
18th: Prussia Militar verlag? good books, but in alt-Deutsch, which is rather annoying. not too hard to get.
19th: Podzun Edition is fair, Hinze's edition forcused on individual experience so the detailed military analyse lacks somewhat.
20th: Hinze's verlag. same problem as 19th
21st: Prussia military verlag. Very good book. Heimdal's edition contains the rebuilt division and tons of super photos, which first book lacks.
22st: never seen the 2 bde from traditionwerk, either on ebay or anywhere else.
23st: selbstverlag. Very good, hard to find.
24st: podzun edition. good, but, to say the truth, the nebel edition's cover is rather ugly.
25st: no own history.
26st: there is a history, haven't time to borrow it, though. I suspect it would be of great quality.
GD: I would want to get original podzun editions. JJF's translation is just so so.

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Post by Jan-Hendrik » 28 Jul 2005 22:17

Well , you have to add that the GOOD one about 1.PzDiv. by Stoves is "Chronik einer der drei Stammdivisionen der deutschen Panzerwaffe" , excellent , but now nealy unaffordable ( I have it 8) ) , and that there is a fine book by Stoves called "Die 22. Panzer-Division, 25. Panzer-Division, 27. Panzer-Division und die 233. Reserve-Panzer-Division : Aufstellung, Gliederung, Einsatz." . Maybe not the completest one but OK . I thought about buying the reprint of 44.InfDiv.. Is it worth its money ?

Jan-Hendrik

trollelite
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Post by trollelite » 28 Jul 2005 22:25

In fact all from my list means "Textband", I don't list Bildband. 1st Panzer is not too difficult to find, compared with others. The price is allerdings never lower than 55......
You are sure you want to get 44th? Nebel edtion is bildband of low quality. I have seen it. Its quality is even lower than other nebel bildbands. The 2 bde history about stalingrad and cassino seem very good, but the price are not so good. It is rumored there existed another Textband printed in Austria, but I never saw it.

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Post by Jan-Hendrik » 28 Jul 2005 22:30

Thanks ! Because I hoped it would not be a "Bildband" :x . Well , have to try my luck getting the "old" one ...

Maybe they will reprint Band II of Husemanns "Die guten Glaubens waren" once !

The austrian book about 44th ID is called :

Die 44. Infanterie-Division. Tagebuch der Hoch- und Deutschmeister by Schimak/Lamprecht/Dettmer, Austria Press, 1969, 384 Seiten

Jan-Hendrik

Mark V.
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Post by Mark V. » 29 Jul 2005 18:29

Nice to see fellow Ebayers on the forum :) !

Great list, trollelite, thanks for sharing it. Here's three additions:

7.Pz.: a new "booklet" published by the veteran association, very good, has quite a lot of new information in comparison with Scheibert (die Gespensterdivsion) and v.Manteuffel, relatively easy to get.
8.Pz.: Werner Haupt: good to average., difficult to get.
116.Pz.Div.: Guderian, very good, very easy to get.

IMHO the most important feature of a unit history are its maps. No matter how good and detailed the book is, sooner or later you'll get lost, if it doesn't have (good) maps.

Having read most of them I'd rate 1., 23. and perhaps also 3. Panzer Division's history the highest. All very readable, very detailed and have lots of maps (with the exception of 3.Pz.Div.) to help you follow unit's action. Also very good are 16.Pz.Gren./116.Pz.Div, 4.Pz.Div. and 22.,25.,27.Pz.Div. book mentioned by Jan. The latter goes especially with 22. and 27. extremely in detail (unfortunately it's basically mapless :( ).

And then there're W-SS histories and IMHO the best divisional history - Vopersal's Soldaten, Kämpfer, Kameraden also Lehmann/Tiemann's Leibstandarte and Husemann's Polizei Division series are as good as 1. and 23.Pz.Div.

P.S.
Any opinions on Panzer Lehr by Kurowski and Ritgen?

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Post by Jan-Hendrik » 29 Jul 2005 18:36

The "real" history of the PanzerLehr by Ritgen is quite expensive but very good . In comparison to this one Kurowskis is a btter "Landsergroßband" :P

Well , I really love the original "1.Panzerdivision" by Stoves from 1962 , I read it three times . At Waffen-SS I am no expert , they are still to expensive for my budget .

Scheiberts 7thPanzer i did not like very much , some good details , but bad structured . Han-Jürgen Pantenius "Letzte Schlacht an der Ostfront" , history of 337.VGD is great according to the mass of infos & maps !


Jan-Hendrik

Marc Rikmenspoel
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Post by Marc Rikmenspoel » 30 Jul 2005 05:57

Two books not listed here that I recommend are H.G. Guderian's 116. PD textband (available in a quality English translation as From Normandy to the Ruhr, I have both and find them essentially the same), and Richard Kinder's 8. PD bildband. The latter isn't really a conventional photo book, it is full of wartime documents, diary notes, and postwar photos of awards and decorations.

As to some of the volumes discussed above, I have to agree with the positive assessment of von Allmeyer-Beck's 21. ID book. I'm fortunate to own that, but never acquired the somewhat similar book mentioned about the 76. ID (I had a look at it once, and always wanted it). I have both of Joachim Neumann's volumes on the 4.PD, and can agree that they are very dry, while being full of detail. Anyone who has those and wants some photos to better get a feel for the places mentioned should check out the 5 small photo booklets on the 4. PD issued by Polish Militaria (the division finished the war in the Gdansk area, and its photo archive ended up in Polish custody).

One of the most impressive divisional histories, and one of the last assembled by veterans themselves, is Im Gleichen Schritt und Tritt, about the 16. SS-PGD RFSS. It is full of maps, photos, accounts, and wartime documentation from opposing American forces. It is really only the first two thirds of the divisional history, the earlier volume vom Plattensee bis zur Mur covers the division in Hungary from February 1945 to the end of the war. It is also an impressive volume, but not as nice in content or production. Vom Plattensee was assembled by Joseph Paul Puntigam, the nephew of divisional veterans, but his premature death meant that Ekkehard Albert and some comrades had to produce the Im Gleichen book, and they had it printed in 1998 by Schild Verlag, the same folks who released von Allmeyer-Beck's 21. ID volume.

One book I do not particularly recommend is Horst Scheibert's Die Gespenster-Division, a short study of the 7. PD published in paperback by Podzun-Pallas. The division is worthy of the greater detail found in other books. In a similar manner, while I don't own 68. Kriegmonate, I can confirm that it is only a short booklet, and not a detailed text history.

New comments came in while I was first writing this, and I can see that someone else shared my view of Scheibert's 7. PD book (his 6. PD bildband isn't very good either FWIW). And I agree with Mark that Vopersal's Soldaten Kämpfer Kameraden is a wonderful set, if rather crudely laid out. But Vopersal manages to combine minute detail on the Totenkopf Division via accounts and such with an overall history of the particular campaigns in which the unit was a part (especially for Warsaw and Hungary, his books are really a history of the IV. SS-Panzerkorps more than simply of Totenkpopf).

Another book that came to mind that is again a good product from Schild Verlag is Witte & Offermann's Die Boeselagerschen Reiter. While not precisely an armored division, the 3. Kavallerie Brigade/Division was a fascinating unit, and this looks like a very good study of it (I haven't really more than glanced at the book yet).

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Post by Marc Rikmenspoel » 30 Jul 2005 06:37

A further note, people may wonder about Fedorowicz's translations. I have some background info there, I can report that any book by JJF or Schiffer that was translated by Joseph Welch was never intended for professional publication. The late Adrian Bowden was a wealthy British lawyer who couldn't read German, but could afford to pay someone (usually Welch) to do quick translations of books. These let Bowden get the gist of the material, and Bowden kindly shared the material with publishers so that others could also enjoy the books in English, but JJF gradually realized that the translations were not especially well done (no offense to Welch, he's a nice guy who freely admits he wasn't trying to prepare the translations for professional publication). So JJF stopped using the Welch translations, and had the two volumes of Husemann's Polizei Division history retranslated (which is why that project has been delayed, and still isn't complete). I suspect that the books done by Welch are the main ones with which readers have complaints in comparison with the German version, please correct me if I'm wrong (someone mentioned Spaeter's GD series, which was translated by David Johnson, but i feel he does a good job).

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Post by Jan-Hendrik » 30 Jul 2005 07:08

Thanks for your input , Mark .

The book about 3rd KavBrg. seems to be very interesting , I will try to get . It is hard enough to get something about such units anyway .

Jan-Hendrik

trollelite
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Post by trollelite » 30 Jul 2005 10:25

The 7 PD book by v.Manteuffel(Textband) is an interesting book, I once read some chapters in library,because they dont allow one to borrow it to home, I would like to buy a copy for myself, unfortunately its price was never low on ebay. There is another book about PzR 25 in the last year, which can be found on ebay, too, and this one's price is not so hot, thank the god. There is still another (2-vol) books about Panzergrenadierregiment 7, which I once saw on ebay. These books have 900 pages all together, but the price, alas, is some 250 Euro, which I cannot afford. :oops:

76ID is not a real rarity on ebay, I want to get it below 30 Euro, which is rather possible. Even local library allow you to get it to home, I think this book deserves a buy, not only a scan. Die Boeselagerschen Reiter is a very detailed and interesting book, the library of Univerisity Munich owns such a copy, this one, along with their " Geschichte der 5. Panzerdivision", are with me for more than several months, since german students seem to have little interest on such titels.

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