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Book Review
World War II German Motorized Infantry & Panzergrenadiers
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

World War II German Motorized Infantry & Panzergrenadiers is a new title from Osprey Publishing LTD. It is the 218th title in the series ELITE. The Wehrmacht's Panzergrenadiers continue to fascinate historians and modelers and this book is a concise history of them. Authored by Nigel Thomas, PhD, and illustrated by Johnny Shumate, it is a softcover book with 64 pages of content, including artwork, informational insets and a good selection of photographs. It is also available in PDF and ePUB formats. Osprey's Short code is ELI 218 and the IBSN of the paperback is 9781472819437 .

Osprey tells of this book:
    In World War II Germany's doctrine of mobile warfare dominated the battlefield. By trial and error, the Germans were the first to correctly combine the strength in tanks and in mobile infantry and artillery. This integration of mobile units, equipment and tactics underpinned Germany's successes in the first half of the war. As the war dragged on, the Allies sought to copy German tactics but German armies remained supreme in this type of warfare until their losses had seriously degraded their capabilities.

    This study traces the development of the different types of unit that came together in the Panzergrenadier branch from the inter-war years through World War II. Using colour plates to display the changes in uniform, equipment and insignia in all theatres of operations throughout the conflict, this is a complete account of Hitler's elite armoured infantry.

World War II German Motorized Infantry & Panzergrenadiers is 64 pages long. It consists of five chapters and dozens of subsections:
    Background, and definitions

    Pre-war composition, 1935-39 First Panzer expansion, 1939-40 - second expansion,
    1940-41 - third expansion, 1941-42 Panzergrenadiers, 1942-45 Panzer Divisions,
    1943-44 The Panzer-Division 45 - formations and final deployments

    Field uniforms: National Socialist symbols. Headgear - tunics & legwear - overclothing -
    winter clothing - camouflage clothing - footwear

    Insignia: Ranks & field rank insignia - branch insignia - unit insignia

    Equipment & personal weapons:
    Officers - senior NCOs - junior NCOs and men

    Pre-war composition, 1934-39 At war, 1939 North Africa, 1941-43

    Tropical field uniforms, 1941-43: Headgear - tunics & overclothing-
    legwear & footwear. Tropical field uniforms, 1943-45

    Light Div & tropical insignia: Ranks & field rank insignia - branch insignia - other insignia



    Pre-war composition, 1937-39 Expansion, 1940-41 Eastern Front, 1941-42
    Reorganization, 1943

    Field uniforms & insignia: Ranks - branch & unit insignia

    Reorganization - the Panzergrenadier-Division 43 Retreat, 1944 - the Panzergrenadier-Division 44 1945: the final months

    Field uniforms & insignia: Ranks - branch & unit insignia



Starting the book is a table of 42 abbreviations and acronyms.

The text is easy enough to follow and laid out sensibly. It is concise and makes no effort to recount unit histories day by day or even month by month. What it does is give the reader a good base for understanding the Panzergrenadiers.

Panzergrenadier divisions were almost never fully mechanized and this book does examine that fact. It also presents the intended TOE (Table of Organization and Equipment) for units down to squad level. It also looks at each Panzer Division expansions, and subsequent reorganizations, Panzer-Division 43-45. The text mentions where and when the units fought.

Personal uniforms, equipment and insignia are described in good detail (even button types!) and the author comments upon colors and other detail, i.e., shoulder-strap regimental insignia, and unofficial unit insignia. As such this book is very useful for modelers and artists.

Photographs and Artwork
Many photographs support the text. Only a few pages lack one. Most I haven't seen before. They are mainly of high quality although several look to have been taken from secondary sources.

Several informational tables and triple plates of artwork enhance the book.

Full color artwork

A. Blitzkrieg, 1939-40
    1. Oberfeldwebel, 9th Cavalry Rifle Regt; Bzura, Poland, Sept 1939
    2. Major, 1st Rifle Regt; Cheveuges, France, May 1940
    3. Obergefreiter mit mehr als 6 Dienstjahren, 2nd Rifle Regt; Dunkirk, France, May 1940

B. Balkans & Germany, 1941
    1. Leutnant, 156th Motorized Infantry Regt; Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, April 1941
    2. Stabbchirrmeister (K), 125th Infantry Regt; Fort Rupel, Greece, April 1941
    3. Gefreiter (UA), 120th Motorized Infantry Regt; Greifswald, Germany, June 1941

C. North Africa, 1931-43
    1. Waffenunterfeldwebel, 101st Rifle Regt; Tobruk, June 1942
    2. Oberstleutant, 200th Panzergrenadier Regt; El Alamein, November 1942
    3. Bewahrungsschutze, 962nd Africa Rifle Regt; Tunis, May 1943

D. Eastern Front, 1941-43
    1. Leutnant, 76th Motorized Infantry Regt; Moscow, December 1941
    2. Gefreiter, 26th Panzergrenadier Regt; Voronezh, Southern Russia, July 1942
    3. Panzergrenadier, 64th Panzergrenadier Regt; Stalingrad, December 1942

E. Eastern Front, 1943-45
    1. Stabsgefreiter (neuer Art), 156th Motortized Infantry Regt; Mius River, Southern Russia, April 1943
    2. Panzerobergrenadier, Grossdeutschland Panzergrenadier Regt; Kirovhrad, Ukraine, February 1944
    3. Fahnenjunker-Feldwebel, Feldherrnhalle Grenadier Regt; Minsk, Belarus, July 1944

F. Italy, 1944-45
    1. Major, 15th Panzergrenadier Division; Monte Cassino, April 1944
    2. Unteroffizier, 361st Panzergrenadier Regt; Rimini, September 1944
    3. Generalleutnant Fritz Polack, 29th Panzergrenadier Division; Po river valley, April 1945

G. Western Front, 1944
    1. Hauptfeldwebel, 901st Panzer Instruction Regt; Caen, June 1944
    2. Oberfahnrich, 11th Panzergrenadier Regt; Arnhem, Netherlands, October 1944
    3. Gefreiter, 104th Panzergrenadier Regt; Bastogne, Belgium, December 1944

H. Germany, 1945
    1. Panzergrenadier, Fuhrer-Panzergrenadier Regt; Vienna, April 1945
    2. Unteroffizier, 101st Panzergrenadier Regt; Berlin, April 1945
    3. Hauptmann, 25th Panzergrenadier Regt; Liepaja, Latvia, May 1945

Several tables present in chronological the infantry units of Panzer Divisions:
    Table 1: Infantry in Panzer Divisions (I) (in chronological order of formation, 15 Oct 1935-1 Nov 1940): Panzer Divs 1-14, 20, 18, 15-17, 19.

    Table 2: Infantry in Panzer Divisions (II) (in chronological order of formation, 1 Aug 1941-6 Apr 1945): Panzer Divs 21-27, 155; Norwegen; 233 Pz Div; 179 Reserve, 273 Reserve; Panzer Instruction; 116 Pz Div; Tatra; Feldherrnhalle; 232; Holstein, Juterborg, Doberritz / Schlesien; 2 Feldherrnhalle, Muncheberg; Krampnitz Panzer Replacement Unit; Clausewitz.

    Table 3: Infantry in Light Divisions (in chronological order of formation, 1 Apr 1938-26 Feb 1943): 1-5 Light Divs; 90 Light Africa, 164 Light Africa; Africa Div 999.

    Table 4: Infantry in Motorized Infantry Divisions (in chronological order of formation, 12 Oct 1937-25 Nov 1942): 2, 13, 20, 29, 16, 60,14, 3, 18, 36, 10, 25, 179, 155, 345, 386 Mot Inf Divs; Grossdeutschland Mot Inf Div.

    Table 5: Panzergrenadiers in Panzergrenadier Divisions (in chronological order of formation, 23 June 1943-31 Jan 1945): 3, 10, 15, 16, 18, 20, 25, 29, 90 GzGren Divs; Grossdeutschland, Feldherrnhalle, Brandenburg, Fuhrer Escort, Fuhrer, Kurmark.

    Table 6: Rifles & Panzergrenadier branch & unit insignia, 12 Sept 1935-8 May 1945): Units; Unit Designations; In existence; Shoulder straps; Branch-colour.

    Table 7: Motorized Infantry & Panzergrenadier branch & unit insignia, 1937-8 May 1945: Units; Unit Designations; In existence; Shoulder straps; Branch-colour.

Nazi Germany's Panzergrenadiers continue to fascinate modelers and historians. World War II German Motorized Infantry & Panzergrenadiers with its informational text, detailed color artwork and highly detailed tables, should be valuable to anyone interested in the subject.

There are only a couple of what I think are typos but otherwise I have no complaints about this book.

This book is a good primary source of information about the Wehrmacht's attempt to mechanize infantry for their Panzer divisions. It is also a good source for modelers of their equipment, insignia and uniforms. Recommended.
Highs: Informational text, detailed color artwork and highly detailed tables.
Lows: Nothing that I can verify.
Verdict: This book is a good primary source of information about the Wehrmacht's attempt to mechanize infantry for their Panzer divisions. It is also a good source for modelers of their equipment, insignia and uniforms.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: 9781472819437
  PUBLISHED: May 29, 2017

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright 2020 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. All rights reserved.


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