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4.7 out of 5 stars21
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 11 August 2015
One for the military historian

Few military men have the skill to produce engrossing and engaging memoirs (Julius Caesar being a rare exception) their work is often reduced to dry anecdotes, or bogged down in technical detail which is of little interest to the general reader.

Panzer commander does little to change this viewpoint. Charting the military career of Hans Von Luck, it is part travelogue, part cultural history, and part military history. At times, Luck writes lucidly, describing the various engagements he fought in. At other times, it becomes stuck in a rut, offering no insights about a particular situation.

Compared to other soldiers that served the Third Reich, Luck is refreshingly honest about the regime he served. Whether this was his viewpoint at the time, or one he gained years after war, it is hard to tell.

Luck was undoubtedly a skilled soldier and tactician, and a brave man, despite the rotten regime he fought for. However, parts of this book come across as friendly jaunts across Europe, Luck oblivious to the death and destruction reigning around him as his Panzer division blasts its way across Europe!

Luck seems to be one of the very few people who seemed to have enjoyed World War Two!

Be that as it way, it is an essential book for any military historian, but for a general reader, it can be found wanting at times.
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on 18 August 2014
Hans von Luck keeps popping up in books written by Stephen Ambrose, so when I realised that his memoirs was published, I didn't hesitate to buy it. I'm glad I did, because he tells so many stories that I have never come across before, especially about Rommel, that that alone is worth the read. But it's also his stories about less known officers and soldiers that are treasures. And that played a role in the reconciliation between ex German and Allied soldiers was new to me. I can wholeheartedly recommend this book!
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on 29 May 2014
A good read from a soldiers soldier and a glimpse into the factual side of armoured warfare at first hand on the German side.
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on 7 December 2014
Clear and with great humility he recounts 14 month defensive war fought by the Germans from 1941 to 1945 - 1941 that's wrong you say but yes from the invasion of Russia the defeat of Germany was on the table
The author a front line soldier shows few signs of anger or criticism at the decisions made by his military superiors by rank or his political masters he just carried out his orders effectively with great humanity for all military or civilian where conditions allowed
Fascinating, soldier's life
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on 25 March 2015
A fascinating insight into the German soldier's view of the war. Especially as it comes from a member of the officer class.
Luck appears to have been a man of integrity, if everything he says is true about the general ignorance of the Holocaust. This aside, it is a wonderful book to read. I especially enjoyed the section which covers his time in North Africa when his unit had an "understanding" with its British counterparts. A very interesting read.
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on 2 July 2014
An absorbing story. I have always been interested in military history and found this book hard to put down. An extraordinary account by an extraordinary man.
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on 16 November 2014
This is a really good book seeing the war from the German side. There is comradeship and tragedy in this book and it provides a real insight into the workings of a senior officer in Hitler's Wermacht. Although it may be unpleasant it is interesting to note how he sees SS units and how he reacts when asked to give information about who he knew to be in that organisation. I do in the book very informative.
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on 29 April 2015
Another engrossing read from the other side of the battlefield, a very personal journey with Hans Von Luck and just reading his remarkable story I can understand why many people who met him in various chapters of his life warmed to a man of decency and integrity .
A five star life story for me .
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on 1 April 2016
Excellent book, well-written and highly detailed. Especially fascinating was the section concerning the author's time as a Soviet POW and the frustration felt by him at the mishandling of the German response to the D Day invasion.
The book dovetails nicely with other books concerning the period in question.
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on 5 April 2015
From the first pages this book proves a compelling read. Luck is famous for D day but he fought at the vanguard of the Moscow drive and the battle of Berlin. His book is a revelation.
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