Academic journal article Military Review

PANZERKRIEG: The Rise and Fall of Hitler's Tank Divisions

Academic journal article Military Review

PANZERKRIEG: The Rise and Fall of Hitler's Tank Divisions

Article excerpt

PANZERKRIEG: The Rise and Fall of Hitler's Tank Divisions, Peter McCarthy and Mike Syron, Carroll & Graf Publishers, NY, 2002, 307 pages, $26.00.

The title of this book, Panzerkrieg: The Rise and Fall of Hitler's Tank Divisions, brings to mind an epic study tracing the fortunes of Germany's armored forces during World War II. Unfortunately, the final product falls short of such expectations.

Although authors Peter McCarthy and Mike Syron demonstrate youthful exuberance in this endeavor, their efforts never go beyond surface discussion of any key issues or events; it is a study of German armored forces before and during World War II. McCarthy and Syron lay a solid foundation and devote effort to describing the war's progress, the role of panzertruppen, and parallel technological developments. The book contains appropriate appendixes, which document the evolutionary improvement of tank formations, and excellent photographs, and maps that adequately depict the war.

Panzerkrieg is not a scholarly work, and anyone familiar with World War II and the application of armor will find nothing new here. Too often the authors' narration becomes merely a general history of the war, told at levels above brigade. The authors include a skimpy bibliography, focusing only on the best known of secondary and primary sources, and provide documentation only to direct quotes.

The authors appear biased toward the Wehrmacht and certain leaders within its hierarchy. The reader is constantly reminded of the genius of Hermann Balck, Friedrich Wilhelm von Mellenthin, and Erich von Manstein, while Fedor von Bock, Erich von Kleist, and Adolf Hitler can do little right. …

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