Panzer Regiment No 1 1935-45

Panzer Regiment No 1 1935-45

Wolfgang Schneider
ARRSE Rating
5 Mushroom Heads
This is a large ‘picture book’ size 250 x 300mm but only about 15mm thick, it has some very interesting never before seen photographs. Each photograph has a full lengthy description in German and then another caption below in English; there are well over a hundred and fifty good images.

The book starts with the formation of the No1 Panzer Regiment in 1935 at Erfurt , with some really good images of the recruits going through their basic training; and then on to their armoured training. When the unit got to a good standard of training the best men were often creamed off to be posted to form a nucleus of new Panzer Regiments. This must have been depressing; it happened several times to Panzer Regiment No1.

The Regiment went firstly to Poland 1939, then to the attack in West in May 1940 as part of Guderian’s Panzer Divisions and then off to Russia for Barbarossa; then as part of the occupation force in France, after France to Greece to disarm the Italians who had conveniently changed sides; finally back to Russia as part of the Famous 16th Panzer Grenadier Division, just as things started to go wrong for the Wehrmacht. Tank parts and eventually Tanks became scarce items, there was a lot of ‘making one good tank out of two.’ Russian T34s were sometimes ambushed and taken into use for the Wehrmacht.

It is an easy book to read, the images keep one interested, but it is difficult not to become ‘involved’ when you see photographs of the young German soldiers out on the town, and in their various stages of training and eventually at war; finally to see the unit in its death throes before being encircled. After the break-out they moved to Berlin and were issued with new Panzer IVs for its final defence. On the fall of Berlin they moved to Oberbayern until going into captivity with the Americans in May 1945.

The author Wolfgang Schneider was a more recent regular German soldier. He goes to pains to describe various Panzers and to describe in detail about tactics, equipment scales, weapons and other various war materials and its usage.

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An interesting and informative book. I award it five stars, but feel it would be even more interesting to an Armoured corps soldier rather than I, a mere infantryman.

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