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Jochen Peiper: Commander Panzer Regiment Leibstandarte (German) Hardcover – Dec 1999

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 670 pages
  • Publisher: Fedorowicz (J.J.),Canada (Dec. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0921991460
  • ISBN-13: 978-0921991465
  • Product Dimensions: 30.7 x 23.1 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 174,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. Henry on 18 May 2006
This book is worth the money if you want to read the life story of Jochen Peiper. The book is very informative and interesting. It seems to have been thoroughly researched and lays out the facts. It deals with both Peipers military career and his personal life. It may portray Peiper in a heroic light but I believe it still gives the reader the chance to make up their own mind about Peiper.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 30 reviews
72 of 80 people found the following review helpful
Superb Biography of Peiper 12 May 2004
By Joseph Burgard - Published on
I was lucky enough to pick up this book for $65, however it is worth the full price. It is in the large size format and is 670 pages, a rather huge book. Also 850 excellent photos of Jochen Peiper, the men of Leibstandarte, and the equipment they used all interspersed between the chapters. This book delivers on many aspects, much more than just the career of Jochen Peiper.
The style in which this biography is written is my personal favorite, letting his comtemporaries describe him. The author constantly uses Peiper's subordinates descriptions of his combat leadership / actions or the man himself. I like this style because it allows the reader to see how those closest to Jochen Pieper viewed him from different angles. It also allows you to kind of get to know the man, apart from the constant slander printed about him over atrocities.
Patrick Agte also does an excellent job describing for the reader the tactics used by Peiper. This book no doubt helped my understanding of how the SPW, the German halftrack or IFV, was used on the battle field. Speed was of the essence, and they often drove the SPW's as fast as the could into enemy positions with all weapons firing. This served to overwhelm the enemy. Peiper's battalion was nicknamed the 'blowtorch' battalion because when firing all the weapons the Russian houses often caught fire.
Peiper was an excellent officer who was highly respected for his talents. He no doubt served his country to the utmost of his abilities. The book also conveys the fatalism that began to take over many of the German soldiers as the war grinded on. One could only imagine losing close comrades that you have fought with for years with the war only weeks away from ending. It is surprising how many of the Waffen-SS officers survived all the battles, and this no doubt increased the fighting effectiveness of the units they commanded.
The last parts of the book deal with the sham the Dachau trials were and his mistreatment as a prisoner. Also dealt with is his time after release from prison when Jochen Peiper and his wife moved to Traves, France to find peace and quiet he was unable to find in Germany. His murder at the hands of French communists end the story of his life.
Lastly I want to address some issues about the book. First and namely, is the book biased? I would say yes, it is written from the German perspective and the author admires Peiper. However, the style is more non-apologetic. Any book about WWII Germany that does not constantly bring up the German atrocities with the intent of placing every German in a negative light seems to be biased to many of us. Agte expresses his anger, and I agree, over the constant slander of German veterans and how Germany does nothing to honor the sacrifices of its soldiers. Second, Peiper's time while serving as Himmler's adjutant seems to leave out a few things. Most importantly what did Peiper know about the concentration camps or other atrocities is not touched upon. I would like to know how Peiper reacted to that information. Lastly, the author's description of the "Malmedy Massacre" is one sided. Regardless, it is valuable because it gives us information not found elsewhere and it is an account from the German side that is almost never told. Read Mr. Agte's description of the event along with Michael Reynold's description in "The Devil's Adjutant" to get a full picture. I found Reynold's book to be one of the best about the Malmedy Massacre.
Overall I highly recommend this book.
65 of 74 people found the following review helpful
A Must For Military Historians and Military Professionals 25 Feb. 2002
By Leif A. Torkelsen - Published on
Few men personified the many contradictions of the Waffen-SS like Jochen Peiper. On one hand, he is a brilliant and inspiring battlefield commander. On the other, he served as adjutant to the evil Himmler, and bears the dark stain of the Malmedy massacre. This excellent biography delves deeply into both aspects. Although sympathetic to Peiper, the author nonetheless lays out enough evidence for readers to draw their own conclusions.
The battlefield achievements of Peiper make it very clear that, but for the darker aspects of his career, he would today be a subject of study for every professional soldier. His handling of mechanized units is simply breathtaking, and the book provides considerable detail on Peiper's numerous combats. This was an officer who understood the true role of mechanized units in combat, and his lessons are of great value to military leaders.
In particular, Peiper's tactics shed considerable light on the subsequent evolution of the modern Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), such as the M-2/M-3 Bradley or Russian BMP. Faced with an extraordinarily lethal battlefield, Peiper's grenadiers repeatedly drove their half-tracks (SPW) right into enemy positions, firing automatic weapons furiosly. Speed in crossing the killing zone became the key to the SPW's survival. Shock, surprise and a tremendous volume of fire became the means by which enemy positions were stormed time and again. Efforts to improve the weapons and armor on the SPWs lead seamlessly to the evolution of the modern IFV. Accordingly, Peiper presents modern commanders with novel thoughts on the proper use of these weapon systems. In addition, Peiper's combined use use of tanks and artillery in hard-hitting, mechanized kampfgruppen are also worthy of note.
Peiper was more than just a talented tactician. He was also an inspiring leader of men. As such, any leader can learn a lot from him. He was no Patton, but a quiet and thoughtful officer, possessed of great sang-froid in the heat of battle. His ability to repeatedly accomplish the impossible made his very presence on the battlefield a tonic to the rank and file.
In the end, Peiper still presents the same enigma as that of Germany as a whole. How did such a talented and respectable soldier end up following such an evil regime to moral degradation and ultimate destruction? The lessons should not be lost.
38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Worth Every Penny! 27 Aug. 2000
By A Customer - Published on
This book is worth every penny of the [price] you will pay forit! Whether you are interested in Jochen Peiper's full career, a history of the 1st SS Panzer Regiment or you want to read some of the best descriptions of combat in World War 2, this book is for you. It is illustrated with over 800 pictures of Peiper, the men he served with and the equipment they used.
The book is a full and detailed biography of the life and career of this controversial German soldier. The descriptions of his personality and combat skills are provided by people who knew him, rather than the conjecture seen in other books.
This book is as much a history of the units Peiper commanded, as a biography. Peiper served throughout World War II in what became the 1st SS Panzer Division. He led an infantry company, a panzergrenadier battalion and the division's panzer regiment in some of the most famous battles of World War II, including Kharkov, Kursk, Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge.
The most interesting section of this book for me was not Peiper's time leading the 1st SS Panzer Regiment, but his earlier command of the 3rd Battalion, 2nd SS Panzergrenadier Regiment. This was the 1st SS Panzer Division's only armored infantry unit. The tactical employment of true Panzergrenadier in armored halftracks (Sdkfz 251 - SPW) has never (to my knowledge) been described in such detail before.
The only caution is that the book was written from the German perspective and is just as biased as the British and American accounts of the same events. The truth lies somewhere in between for those with a sufficiently open mind to find it.
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Best Peiper book yet 23 Feb. 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Undoubtedly, this is the best book yet on Jochen Peiper. The text tells the entire story of Peiper, from his childhood, through his war years, to his trial and imprisonment, and finally to his murder. And the photo coverage is absolutely superb. As usual, the publisher Fedorowicz has hit another home run.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
A SUPERB BOOK! 28 April 2002
By Tony Scanlan - Published on
In spite of the criticisms below, this is a superb effort by Patrick Agte....I bought this book not really knowing what to expect ...
This is what you get:
1. The book is a large "coffee table" size book.
2. It is expensive but you DO get what you pay for.
3. As far as I can see, very little information is lifted from other authors - the research is a superb effort taken from original documents, interviews with the men who were there etc.
4. It reads like a good war story.
5.The translation from German is excellent.
6. Is it biased? Well it is written from the German point of view.
Agte does make a good case for his conclusion on the "Malmedy Massacre". However, I think each person should read it and draw his own conclusions - I think everyone is intelligent enough to do that .
I do have two criticisms:
There are no maps - come on Mr. Agte, a few maps in a book this size would not have added much extra effort.
There is no index - in this age of computers that should be easy to add too.
If you are not familiar with books published by JJ Fedorowicz, once they go out of print they tend to command a premium on the second-hand market - if you can find one!
(buyers must hang on to these books like priceless gems or something)
However, in spite of my own two criticisms, this book is easily worth 5 stars.
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