The name Erhard Raus will not register to many students of WWII, but the general saw as much action on the Eastern Front as any officer I know of.
Raus entered Operation Barbarossa in command of a brigade in the 6th Panzer Division, and ended the war as the head of an Army Group. He learned the art of tank tactics under fire. After he was captured he penned an extensive memoir (while the war was still fresh in his mind). Although pieces were used by American intelligence, they were often heavily edited and incomplete. Here, for the first time in print, is Raus's complete memoir. In a word, it is extraordinary.
The memoir was located, pieced together, and translated and edited from the original German by Steven Newton (Professor of History, Delaware State University). Raus was as good a writer as he was a tank commander. Simply put, this is extraordinarily well written, although it assumes at least a working knowledge of the war in the East and the structure of the German military.
Raus discusses the offensive battle in Army Group North during the drive for Leningrad, the offensive against Moscow, his role in Manstein's abortive effort to relieve Stalingrad (oddly, Manstein is not found in the index though is mentioned often), and the final defensive battles back into Germany, where Raus was relieved of command by Hitler in March 1945. Hasso von Manteuffel (who also is absent from the index) assumed his command, ending Raus's 40 years of military service. Raus's writing is often personal, always perceptive, and offers a hands-on knowledge that was obviously fresh in his mind when he wrote.
Newton provides an enlightening Introduction to this memoir and a date-oriented resume of Raus's career, which appears as an appendix. Thirteen maps are included (they are good but not great).
Panzer Operations should be read and owned by every WWII tank and East Front student everywhere. Run, don't walk, to your local book store (or order on line) and pick up a copy. With his work getting this manuscript into book form, Dr. Newton has proven once again why he is widely considered one America's foremost military historians.