Wehrmachtbericht
(Armed Forces Report)
Books Read (2015)
This page list the books that I have read.  As time permits I will include a short review.  If you are interested in hearing my views on a particular book I have read, and I have not left a review, please email me (brian@wehrmachtbericht.com) and I will give you my views on the book.

 

Collecting the Edged Weapons of the Third Reich: Volume I (Col. Tom Johnson)

******** (8.00 stars out of 10)

Collecting the Edged Weapons of the Third Reich: Volume II (Col. Tom Johnson)

******** (8.00 stars out of 10)

Collecting the Edged Weapons of the Third Reich: Volume III (Col. Tom Johnson)

******** (8.00 stars out of 10)

Collecting the Edged Weapons of the Third Reich: Volume IV (Col. Tom Johnson)

******** (8.00 stars out of 10)

Collecting the Edged Weapons of the Third Reich: Volume V (Col. Tom Johnson)

******** (8.00 stars out of 10)

Collecting the Edged Weapons of the Third Reich: Volume VI (Col. Tom Johnson)

******** (8.00 stars out of 10)

Collecting the Edged Weapons of the Third Reich: Volume VII (Col. Tom Johnson)

******** (8.00 stars out of 10)

Collecting the Edged Weapons of the Third Reich: Volume VIII (Col. Tom Johnson)

******** (8.00 stars out of 10)

The Russo-German War, 1941-1945 (Col. Albert Seaton)

Somewhat "dated" account of the war between the Germans and Russians/Soviets, but still a very solid account.  The author relied on a fair amount of primary material in writing the book. It was interesting to read that Col. Seaten noted the existance of 23 1st Wave German divisions in the West that were not used until things started collapsing in December 41/January 42.  He only mentioned it once, but never inquired why Hitler choose to leave these divisions in the west while the Eastern Front was in dire need of more divisions in the summer/fall of 1941.  Recommended.

******** (8.25 stars out of 10)

Ostkrieg: Hitlers War of Extermination in the East (Stephen G. Fritz)

This is a very decent new examination of the Germans war in the East.  Looks at the war, and the occupation policies (although the author limits, or neglects the occupation policies for the most part in the 2nd half of the book).  The author also does not use many primary source material (he lets the reader know this right in the beginning of the book, but he makes fantastic use of the available published sources.  The two points of contention that I had with the author is his insistance that turning the 2nd Panzer Army south in late August or early September was the correct strategy.  I stand apposed to this line of thinking.  I believe that resuming the advance on Moscow in mid August would have been the much wiser approach.  I also disagree with the authors (and Hitler's) strategy of going after "economic" targets instead of destroying the enemies armies.  This is an idiotic strategy.  Overall, I would recommend the book.

******** (8.33 stars out of 10)

Sacrifice on the Steppe: The Italian Alpine Corps in the Stalingrad Campaign, 1942-1943 (Hope Hamilton)

Wow, this is a fantastic book.  Lots and lots of first person accounts from Italian soldiers who fought in the 8th Italian Army on the Don Front.  This is a VERY little discussed part of the collapse of the Eastern Front in late 1942/early 1943, and this book does a fantastic job of telling the story of the collapse of the 8th Italian Army.  Highly recommended!

********* (8.90 stars out of 10)

Gorings Grenadiers: The Luftwaffe Field Divisions (Anthony Munoz)

A decent book on a very little discussed subject.  Tony again touches on a subject that has been little written about, and that alone makes this book worth purchasing, although the price is steep, and the book is chalk full of spelling errors and many other editorial issues.  Never the less, I would still recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of these less than battle worthy formations.

****** (6.25 stars out of 10)

The Hitler Options: Alternate Decisions of World War II

One of the "alternate histories" books on WWII.  The book goes through 10 alternate scenarios for WWII.  I won't comment on each and every one, but I will comment on one of them.  Operation Sea Lion is the first alternate history in the book, and is also the one alternate history that could truly have changed the outcome of WWII.  In this alternate history, historian Kenneth Machsey lays out clearly what could have happened had the Germans been emboldened to try to laucnh Sea Lion in the middle of the summer in 1940.  The key aspect of this alternate history is the affect of the Luftwaffe on the Royal Navy in the channel.  If the Luftwaffe had gained control over the skies of the Channel, there is little that the Royal Navy could have done to protect England from a German landing on the southern shores of England.  The book overall is pretty good, and comes up with some rather fascinating alternatives, many of which were truly open to Hitler and the Allies.

******* (7.00 stars out of 10) 

Hitler's Great Panzer Heist: Germany's Foreign Armor in Action, 1939-1945

This is a decent book, although there is really nothing "new" in the book.  The author uses all secondary sources.  The author's assertion that only 300 captured Russian tanks were used by the Germans is clearly too small a number.  Research into the primary archives would set this straight.  In our research on the Wolchow Kessel, we have come across instances in the reports that state the Germans in this area were using captured Russian tanks.  Much more research needs to be done on this subject.  

******* (6.80 stars out of 10) 

Pannwitz Cossacks 1942-1945 

This is the large format Heimdal book on the Cossacks.  The book is full of excellent pictures.  The text is fairly sparse, and the english translations leave alot to be desired.  Overall it as an ok book.

******* (6.30 stars out of 10) 

Stalingrad; The Defeat of the German 6th Army (Paul Carell)

Paul Carells last book as a book about the battle of Stalingrad.  As with all of Paul Carells books, you either love him or hate him.  I tend to lean towards the "loving" side.  I thoroughly enjoy his writing style.  He writes his books almost as if it is a novel.  He digs up information that few other authors seem to find, and that makes his books fascinating, but it also lends to his books being "suspect" by some.  It does not help that he does not footnote anything, so you are left wondering where he does manage to find some of his information.  The author does a superb job of covering all of Operation Blue, and not to mention the battles in the Crimea that preceeded Blue.  

I give the Mr. Carell a lot of credit, as he states on page 143 "There were divisions enough in France, Belgium and Holland, but they sat idle.  Here Hitler, who underestimated the Russians, made the mistake of overestimating the western allies.  He already feared an allied invasion in autumn 1942. The secret services of the Americans, British and Soviets promoted this fear by leaking spurious reports of a second front. The specter of invasion, which didn't become a reality until twenty months later, tied down twenty-nine divisions, for example the well equipped Leibstandarte and the 6th and 7th Panzer Divisions.  A quarter of these would have been enough to turn the tide on the Stalingrad-Caucusus front."  His thesis is very accurate, in my opinion.  I believe when he says there were 29 divisions in the West, he means 29 first rate divisions, as there were probably closer to 70 divisions in the "West" at the time of Stalingrad.  Mr. Carrel also does not even mention that the 2. SS and 3. SS Panzer Divisions were also in France at this time, and the 10. Panzer Division was also there.  The 10. Panzer was eventually sent to Africa in a hopeless effert to stem the tide there.  It is fairly obvious that had Hitler been reassured that the allies were not going to land in France in 1942, that these Panzer Divisions could have been sent to the southern eastern front and could then have been in position to block the Soviet counter offensive at Stalingrad.  I give Mr. Carrel alot of credit in bringing this up, as most (if not all) other authers simply never bring the German "Strategic Reserve" into any eastern front discussion.

Overall this is not a bad book.   The author makes the reader almost feel like he was in the middle of the conferences between the German Generals.  Few other authors can make their books come alive like Mr. Carell can.  I would highly recommend this book.

********* (9.00 stars out of 10) 

Erich von Manstein; Hitler's Master Strategist (Benoit Lemay)

A biography of Field Marshall von Manstein.  I will not go into detail, but this book has some good points (i.e. the discussion of Von Manstein's battles), but a good portion of the book deals with von Mansteins supposed knowledge of war crimes committed in his sector of responsability.  It goes without saying, this book does not paint von Manstein in a good light.  I would have to say that the author is a borderline "Germanophobe".  The author backs up most of his contentions with decent evidence, but he focusus way too much on the supposed culpability of von Manstein, and the German Army in war crimes on the Eastern front.  The author clearly believes that von Manstein, nor anyone else, could have saved Germany from defeat (even though von Manstein contends otherwise).  This book really has an anti-German slant.  An "ok" book on Manstein.  

******* (6.50 stars out of 10) 


Battleground Prussia (Prit Buttar)

Overall, not a bad book. Uses little to no primary material (with the exception of memiors), but covers the previously published material accurately.  

******* (7.25 stars out of 10) 

Warriors and Wizards: The Development and Defeat of Radio Controlled Glide Bombs of the Third Reich

This is a fascinating book on the German Radio Controlled "Glide" Bombs.  The author goes in to good operational detail of the Luftwaffe units who used the Radio Controlled bombs, and also the reaction of the Allies to these bombs.  Overall, this is an excellent book, but the books analysis of the effectiveness of the glide bombs at the end of the book may be somewhat flawed.  I beleive the the book uses as a base number the total number of sorties from the Glide Bomb Luftwaffe units, and not whether or not any of these units actually made it to the battle area and launched bombs.  If the author merely uses the base number of Luftwaffe units that took off on each mission, then the data is going to be flawed, since many of these Luftwaffe units never even came close to the battle area (see for instance the low hit rate of the Luftwaffe units attacking the ships off of Normandy.  Clearly, many of the Luftwaffe units never even came any where near the ships off shore because of the fighter umbrella that the Allies had).  The author also reveales a couple of advancements that the Germans had made with thier Glide bombs that I had never even heard of, but I won't divulge that info, so that the info remains a surprise to those who have never read this book.  I would highly recommend this book for anyone interested in the Luftwaffe's glide bombs.

******** (8.00 stars out of 10)