Pen & Sword Books

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Fallschirm Panzer Division ‘Hermann Goring’

Fallschirm Panzer Division ‘Hermann Goring’ written by Lawrence Paterson published by Greenhill Books - £25.00 - Hardback - Pages 320

In the early years of the Third Reich, Hermann Göring, one of the most notorious leaders

of the Third Reich, worked to establish his own personal army to rival Himmler’s SS and

Reichswehr. The result: a private Prussian police force which grew into one of the most

powerful armoured units in Nazi Germany’s Wehrmacht.

This unit fought throughout the Second World War, meeting Anglo-American forces in vicious battles across the European theatres of Tunisia, Sicily and Italy before finally being defeated by the Red Army on the Eastern Front. The Hermann Göring Panzer Division incorporates technical details of these battles with the turbulent politics and Machiavellian manoeuvring of Hitler’s inner circle, giving military-history enthusiasts fresh insights into the development and role of this unusual division through the war.

Drawing on first-hand accounts and extensive archive material, World War II historian Lawrence Paterson presents a comprehensive and unbiased history of the establishment of the famous 1. Fallschirm-Panzer Division.

When I read the description for this book, I must admit that being called the ‘Hermann Goring’ Division, my first thoughts were that it would not be a great division and it was probably a group of hand picked men and used as a personal bodyguard unit. But no surprise, surprise the ‘Hermann Goring’ Division, it turns out were quite a good and well-trained division with a number of big successes in Italy, Tunisia and Sicily before being forced into the Eastern front in which they didn’t do so well. This was a fascinating read, very well written and the detail is great, the author Paterson has written a really good Division book with a lot of balance and respect. I even enjoyed the notes at the back which also comes with a list of Knights Cross recipients and finally, I really liked the picture on the back of the book.  

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