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on 31 March 1998
Panzer Battles is a must have for those interested in the fighting in North Africa and the Eastern Front. Major General von Mellenthin provides an extremely knowledgeable account of the divisional level fighting before El Alamein and during and after Stalingrad. Of particular interest are his accounts of the 4th Panzer Army's attempt to rescue the 6th Army at Stalingrad and the 4th's actions near Belgorod during operation Citadelle. The only flaws this book has are von Mellenthin's tendency to blame Hitler for any setbacks and his comments on his Russian opponents which lead one to beleive that von Mellenthin had little problem with Hitler's "lebensraum" policies. These minor details notwithstanding, this is a very good book well worth a read.
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on 29 October 2007
Mellenthin states at the outset his aim to give an unbiased overview of WW2 tank tactics and developments... what he produces is a rather unbalanced overview of three theatres of war.
The tanks and hardware are explored in little detail at certain points (purely to set the scene in some cases). This is unfortunate as some of the advancements, certainly in allied arms did heavily tip the balance by allowing them to meet the Germans on even terms.
Actions are handled in broad strokes (don't expect any gritty detail in this book) and on occasions down to the fine detail of numbers captured and tanks destroyed - german losses are mere footnotes and the successful tactics of the allies are rarely explored. Arras gets a few lines. El Alamein isn't even featured, although to his credit the author was shipped home sick towards the end of the north african campaign.
That being said, he was absent for many of the other battles he explores on the basis of others' experiences - so absenteeism is no excuse.

For all its shortcomings, this book is still effective as a memoir of a staff officer with first hand experience commanding on all three of the major fronts during the war in Europe. Well worth reading - but perhaps should be followed by the work of others for the sake of a more balanced (or in depth) view.

Although there are some useful insights and anecdotes,
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on 20 May 2002
The new hardback edition is most welcome and is far better illustrated compared to the paperback version, however there is one major problem, for some reason the publishers left out all the maps! This omission means that you really need to have a copy of the paperback as well. Still an excellent resource for military historians, get both the hardback and the paperback or look for the original hardback edition second hand.
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on 3 September 2013
along with gudarians panzer leader, the most informative book iv read on ww2. von mellenthin was a truly outstanding staff officer
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on 7 March 1998
He wrote a good story but he bragged and wished Germany won though. It was still a good book.
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on 23 November 2007
One of the best books on the subject written by one of the acting spectators. Action from the outset of the war, till the end, flying past various theatres of war. Excellent book for anyone enthusiast on this particular six years of history. Not to be missed.
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on 26 January 2001
I have read numerous WW2 books and this book definately ranks near the top. Von Mellinthin relates the battles in Africa and then his experiences in Russia. A good read accompanied with many maps.
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on 28 February 1999
I read this book aprox 15 years ago but I still think its a very interesting book. Its written with a low voice, and he is not exusing himself for being a German soldier. I just have to recommend it to people who are interested in WW2 and the soldiers role in general
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on 23 April 2001
Exellent description, a defiate read, he describes in great detail the battles in Russia, the Balkans, Poland, France, Africa, how he spoke with many of the generals.
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