A couple of real heavy hitters today...
Geschichte der 3 Panzer Division Berlin-Brandenburg 1935-1945, Verlag der Buchhandlung Günter Richter, Berlin, 1967
First the bare bones. 500-plus pages of text, 80 or so pages of images and an excellent map section at the back. Expect to pay, if you're lucky, about 80 Euros, but some copies are going for upwards of 200 Euros and beyond.
So what do you get for your money? Well, a very detailed history of the division, normally down to company level, mixed with Tagesbefehl
, orders, personal and unit diary entries (although there are rather fewer than I would have liked, the body text is at least written with a bit of panache
rather than the more typical rather dry unit history narratives).
Anyone researching the drive on Moscow or the Caucasus campaign in particular really couldn't do so with referring to this book.
There's a 'but' coming.
The book is rather imbalanced - I'm guessing because it was written by committee or different authors, and it shows, because the quality of chapters vary. Poland, France, Barbarossa, Caucasus are all very well covered, but then we get to Kharkow 1943 (seven pages), Zitadelle (15 pages; the Caucasus campaign, by comparison, takes up more than 80 pages). In fact, the last two and a half years of war devour little more than 120 pages in toto
; Presumably part of that is down to the lack of records in the later stages of the war. Still, the history ends well with good accounts of the final fighting in Austria and Hungary.
I am, perhaps, being a bit nit-picky, for this is an excellently-researched and very-well-written history and among the best, a very worthy addition to your library if you can stomach the hefty price tag.