Panzer Commander Author:Hans von Luck Panzer Commander is the story of a remarkable soldier who was awarded his country's highest military decorations, including the German Cross in gold and the knight's Cross. Commander of Germany's 21st Panzer Division during World War II and a protege of Field Marshal Rommel, Colonel Hans von Luck served in an army that is widely rega... more »rded as one of the most powerful in history.
His memoirs provide a detailed firsthand account of German tactics in combat. He was present at several historical junctures of the war -- the invasion of Poland in 1939, the battle for France with Rommel in 1940, the march on Moscow in 1941, and the fighting at Kasserine Pass in North Africa with Rommel in 1942.
After being wounded in North Africa, von Luck was eventually posted to Paris in 1943 to school junior officers in tactics. Returning to action, he participated in the struggle to repel the invasion of Normandy on D-Day and battled French and American forces in 1944. Finally, he was part of the ill-fated defense of Berlin in 1945.
Von Luck anticipated that the Axis powers were likely to be defeated after the failed invasion of Russia. By recounting his tale of the war with sensitivity and humanity, he gallantly validates the longstanding tradition of an officer and a gentleman.
Very interesting book from a former German combat commander. Relates his experiences in various theaters and his friendships with many of his "enemies," before, during and after the war. Most interesting is his 5-year experience in the Soviet prisoner of war camps after the fall of Berlin.
Yet, while reading this book you are told repeatedly that most German soldiers disliked Hitler and his Nazis, very few Germans knew about the concentration camps and that Communists are very nice people.
Reads like he had a political agenda to me. Especially when you consider that, after his imprisonment, he did quite well serving as a speaker or consultant to many of the armed forces that once opposed the Germans.
There are too many other scholarly works that present a totally different view than von Luck presents in his book.