German divisional histories - quality and availability

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Jan-Hendrik
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Post by Jan-Hendrik » 13 Feb 2008 11:26

Who is looking for a good history of the Kavallerie units of the Waffen-SS should look out for Hanns Bayer's Kavallerie der Waffen-SS! With over 400 pages of pure info (apart from some maps no pictures included!) he offers a good insight...it is classes better than this pitty small volume by Rolf Michaelis :D

Thanks to our dear RolandP for borrowing this rare Volume to me :wink:

Jan-Hendrik

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Richard Hargreaves
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Re: German divisional histories - quality and availability

Post by Richard Hargreaves » 09 Mar 2008 22:12

29 Mot I.D history (not the Bildband) by Lemelsen has just arrived. Jan-Hendrik kindly gave me some excerpts a couple of years ago. The complete book, however, is outstanding. Many, many first-hand accounts, letters and the like which gives the men in the division a voice. Definitely one of the better histories.

Currently waiting for Ernst Ott's history of 97 Jäger to turn up...

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David C. Clarke
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Re: German divisional histories - quality and availability

Post by David C. Clarke » 13 Mar 2008 04:42

What are the best books about the late-war divisions "Muncheberg" and "Kurmark"??

Bestens,
David

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Richard Hargreaves
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Re: German divisional histories - quality and availability

Post by Richard Hargreaves » 14 Mar 2008 14:32

Not sure if there are any - the divisions at the war's end are barely worthy of the name division, although their battles are certainly "interesting".

There is Letzte Divisionen which came out a couple of years ago, but that covers the Panzer Division Clausewitz and Infanterie Division Schill.

From memory, the Muncheberg feature quite heavily in Tieke's book on the last battles. Jan-Hendrik will probably know more as our resident divisional history guru. :)

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Re: German divisional histories - quality and availability

Post by Jan-Hendrik » 14 Mar 2008 16:17

At the momemt for Kurmark still the best one his Spaeters Volume 3 of his epical GD-History :wink:

For Müncheberg it still lacks on this topic...

Jan-Hendrik

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David C. Clarke
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Re: German divisional histories - quality and availability

Post by David C. Clarke » 15 Mar 2008 01:41

the divisions at the war's end are barely worthy of the name division.
Not certain exactly what to make of this statement Richard. Not certain at all. If you'd care to clarify it?

Cheers,
~D

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Richard Hargreaves
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Re: German divisional histories - quality and availability

Post by Richard Hargreaves » 15 Mar 2008 09:30

Invariably they're divisions in name but not in nominal strength.

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David C. Clarke
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Re: German divisional histories - quality and availability

Post by David C. Clarke » 15 Mar 2008 10:34

Richard, dear friend, I understand you now, but I am forced to make the following observations--not against your reasoning--but against your point.

Muncheberg and Kurmark held enormous responsibility on the Seelowe heights. True, that does not deny your objections, but even if they were at full-strength, I don't see the Berlin campaign ending in any other way than it did, due to the huge masses of Soviet forces arrayed against them and the Soviet strategic necessity to take Berlin.

Moreover, unlike some relatively full-strength divisions that succumbed in the earlier Vistula to Oder Soviet offensive, these divisions didn't run or desert their posts despite the obviously overwhelming Soviet strength in tanks and men --ultimately they were simply pulverized in place by superior Russian resources in tanks, artillery, airplanes and men. Even then, Muncheberg itself made a stubborn stand in Berlin despite crippling losses.

Both divisions fought--and especially Muncheberg, to the very end of their resources in manpower and equipment. So to say that they didn't deserve the status of "Divisions" is most offensive to me and defames their historical record. Manpower and equipment, IMHO, didn't define a fighting division, particularly in 1945--it was their hardness, their devotion to their duty and their willingness to sacrifice themselves to an ultimately hopeless defense that will forever define them as "elite" German Divisions in my heart.

I dare say that the 300 Spartans would be equally dishonored were you to apply the same standards you've hung about the necks of Muncheberg and Kurmark--look at their equal lack of reinforcements and their thin, doomed lines in the face of a massively over-powering foe! A similar judgment of yours would simply unjustly diminish the Spartan's sacrifice and their heroism, in just the same manner as your statement that Muncheberg and Kurmark don't deserve "Divisional status" for exactly the same failings as the Spartans of being neglected and under-appreciated by their country.

None of this is intended as a criticism against you. It is only important to me that folks, unaware of the Seelowe Heights battles, understand exactly why two scratch divisions truly deserve praise despite their inability to match normal Panzer Divisions (raised in better, victorious times) in manpower and organization . In terms of both the resources they were able to draw upon and their eventual and quite predictable destruction by vastly superior Russian forces, Muncheberg's and Kurmark's eventual obliteration was, IMHO, a result of quite as noble and hopeless a fight as the Alamo or Thermopylae.

Therefore, these two Divisions should never be demeaned by spurious comments about their inability to field either a force or an organization comparable to divisions raised and equipped in the glory days of the Third Reich's triumphs.

Bestens,
David

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Andy H
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Re: German divisional histories - quality and availability

Post by Andy H » 15 Mar 2008 11:36

Hi David

If memory serves, did you not have a large thread somewhere, either on here or at Feldgrau about Munchenberg? which I think at the time was one of the best single sources anywhere in English!

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Andy H

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Richard Hargreaves
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Re: German divisional histories - quality and availability

Post by Richard Hargreaves » 15 Mar 2008 12:16

There's a huuuuuge thread on the Seelow/Berlin/Oder fighting at Panzer Archiv

http://forum.panzer-archiv.de/viewtopic.php?t=2794

and

http://forum.panzer-archiv.de/viewtopic ... muncheberg

There are bits and bats on the Kurmark in Lakowski's Seelow 1945 and quite a lot on Muncheberg in Tieke's Das Ende Zwischen Oder und Elbe.

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David C. Clarke
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Re: German divisional histories - quality and availability

Post by David C. Clarke » 16 Mar 2008 03:40

Thank you Richard for the two threads.

Just for the record, AHF didn't do badly on the subject of Muncheberg either:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... Muncheberg

Bestens,
David

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Richard Hargreaves
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Re: German divisional histories - quality and availability

Post by Richard Hargreaves » 24 Mar 2008 19:04

I stumbled across a memoir of a soldier in the Muncheberg while surfing ebay for material on Heinrici:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/FRUHJAHR-1945-END ... dZViewItem

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David C. Clarke
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Re: German divisional histories - quality and availability

Post by David C. Clarke » 24 Mar 2008 22:36

Thanks Richard, I saw this book advertised on Amazon.de, but I'm not able to get it translated. :cry: :cry: :cry:

Very Best,
David

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Richard Hargreaves
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Re: German divisional histories - quality and availability

Post by Richard Hargreaves » 25 Mar 2008 08:49

Ooops. Sorry, I thought you read German, David. Besides, translating obscure German phrases and idioms is fun. :D

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David C. Clarke
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Re: German divisional histories - quality and availability

Post by David C. Clarke » 26 Mar 2008 02:39

Richard, my Dear Friend, if I read German, a good dozen divisional history books would now be in English instead of sitting on my shelves.... :lol:

But I have had plenty of accomplices to unravel the mystery of translations over the past years--All Hail Friendship!!!!!

It used to be my policy to buy the books and wait on the translations. I'm afraid I can't afford that now, but the books are still there!


Bestens,
David

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