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Panzer Operations: The Eastern Front Memoir of General Raus, 1941-1945 Paperback – 12 Jan 2005
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About the Author
Steven H. Newton is Professor of History at Delaware State University. His previous books on World War II include Kursk: The German View and Retreat from Leningrad.
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Raus' memoirs are extremely clinical, seemingly written for a professional audience, and sometimes a little dry as a result. There is little of Raus' own participation in operations, other than from a command perspective, and he does not devote much space to the characters and personalities of the men he fought alongside. In this respect Panzer Operations is not as colourful as Guderian's Panzer Leader for example.
It is apparent from his memoirs that Raus was an unconventional and innovative tactician prepared to experiment with the employment of the forces at his disposal in order to achieve his objectives. His theory of zone defence is interesting, especially as it is one reason some commentators believe Raus does not enjoy the reputation as a panzer commander he deserves. Given the success of zone defence in the face of Soviet offensives and the largely immobile nature of the Germany army in the latter stages of the war, I can't help but think his doctrine may have been correct.
It is unfortunate that the editing of this edition of Panzer Operations leaves a bit to be desired, with a number of distracting errors throughout. Some photographs, particularly of Raus himself, would have been beneficial. All in all though, Raus' Panzer Operations is a remarkable memoir that illustrates panzer warfare at the tactical level in a way I haven't seen before. As such, it deserves to be read by anyone interested in armoured warfare in general and those with an interest in the course of operations on the Eastern Front during World War Two.
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