By Michael Sharpe, Brian L. Davis
Spearhead sequence; This sequence seems on the leading edge of warfare, and bargains solely with devices in a position to working independently within the vanguard of conflict. every one quantity within the sequence examines the selected unit's origins and historical past, its business enterprise and order of conflict, its conflict historical past theatre by way of theatre, its insignia and markings. additionally lined are biographies of crucial commanders of every unit. each one identify ends with an evaluation of unit effectiveness - as noticeable via the unit Itself, through its rivals and within the mild of newer historic study. The books additionally comprise a close reference part with a serious biography, an inventory of correct museums and sites, plus information regarding re-enactment teams and memorials. Das Reich; Raised in Holland in 1939, Das Reich turned one of many deadliest of Hitler's tank divisions, scuffling with with contrast in lots of of the war's significant battles. After enjoying the Blitzkrieg within the West, Das Reich moved east and participated in operations within the Balkans and Operation 'Barbarossa', Hitler's invasion of Russia. It stayed at the jap Iront till October 1943, playing the various largest tank battles in historical past, akin to these of Kharkov and Kursk. by the point it used to be despatched to southern France, to refit, the divisional power was once right down to round 2,500. a few 450 miles from the coast of northern France, Das Reich was once anticipated, via either German and British analysts, to take 3 days to arrive any hassle spot. in reality, whilst the invasion got here, the circulate of 15,000 males and 209 tanks to Normandy took for much longer. Hampered through the resistance, together with Maquis, SAS and American Jedburghs, and Allied fighter-bombers, the march will be remembered for the outrageous reprisals at Oradour and Tuile. And while it reached generally, Das Reich's mix of veterans and recruits was once all yet destroyed by the point the Falaise hole used to be closed. it'll spend the final days of the conflict refitting after which struggling with in Hungary and Austria, the place it surrendered to American forces.
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Extra resources for Das Reich: Waffen-SS Armoured Elite
Defence on the Dnieper By the end of September Army Group South was in a tenuous defensive position behind the Dnieper River, the strongest natural defensive line in western European Russia, but over which the Russians already had five bridgeheads. In two and a half months Army Groups Centre and South had been forced back for an average of 240km on a front over 1,000km long and in so doing lost the most valuable territory taken in past advances. The Das Reich Division was fighting in the Dnieper bend to recapture high ground lost to the enemy, so as to reduce his bridgehead.
Their numerical superiority allowed them to rest and refit their units in shifts, and they had accordingly reached the Dnieper with their offensive capability largely intact. On 15 October the full weight of the Second and Third Ukrainian Fronts was thrown against Army Group South, and soon a 320km wide bridgehead was forced between Cherkassy and Zaporozhe, while to the south the Third Ukrainian Front threatened important iron and manganese mining areas near Krivoi Rog and Nikopol. The German front line was pushed progressively westward.
A week after began the first of its major actions on the Eastern Front - a month of heavy fighting at Yelnya on the Desna River. Yelnya would appear to be of no greater significance than any of the other countless small towns in Western Russia, but was accorded great strategic value by the fact that it straddled a crossroads of the Moscow highway. Furthermore, to the east lies high ground which dominates the surrounding steppe and the highway. Hitler thus focused much attention on Yelnya. So, too, did Konev's West Front of the Red Army, which had constructed an elaborate and well-sited trench system in front of the high ground there.
Das Reich: Waffen-SS Armoured Elite by Michael Sharpe, Brian L. Davis