• My Museum Collection of Memorabilia
• Re-Enacting and Events
• Replica Uniforms made for Reenacting or Collecting
• German Heer (Army)
• Eastern Front
• Messerschmitt Bf 109
• Battleship Bismarck
• Battleship Tirpitz
• Kreigsmarine (Navy)
• WW2 U-Boats plus Others
• Paintings & Art
• Luftwaffe Pilots/Airmen
• Kriegsmarine Officers
• Luftwaffe – After WW2
• Fuhrer Adolf Hitler
• Pocket Battleship Admiral Graf Spee
Swansong 1945 chronicles the end of Nazi Germany and World War II in Europe through hundreds of letters, diaries, and autobiographical accounts covering four days that fateful spring: Hitler’s birthday on April 20, American and Soviet troops meeting at the Elbe on April 25, Hitler’s suicide on April 30, and finally the German surrender on May 8. Side by side, we encounter vivid, first-person accounts of civilians fleeing Berlin, ordinary German soldiers determined to fight to the bitter end, American POWs dreaming of home, concentration-camp survivors’ first descriptions of their horrific experiences, as well as the intimate thoughts of figures such as Eisenhower, Churchill, Stalin, Joseph Goebbels, and Hitler himself.
These firsthand accounts, painstakingly collected and organized by renowned German author Walter Kempowski, provide the raw material of history and present a panoramic view of those tumultuous days. The more than 1,000 extracts include a British soldier writing to his parents to tell them there are no baths but plenty of eggs and chocolate, an American soldier describing “the tremendous burst of lilacs” as he approaches the Elbe, Mussolini wishing Hitler a happy birthday, Eva Braun bragging to a girlfriend about what a “crack shot” she’s become, and much more.
An extraordinary account of suffering and survival, Swansong 1945 brings to life the end of Nazi Germany and the war in Europe.
The story of the paratroopers of the 6th Fallschirmjäger, a formidable obstacle in the Allies’ advance into Europe.
by Volker Griesser
Although it is known that Allied airborne forces landed into a German buzzsaw on D-Day, far less is known about the troops they encountered—among them a similarly elite group of paratroopers that, instead of dropping from the skies, fought on the defensive. With The Lions of Carentan, Volker Griesser tells the complete wartime history of one of the largest German paratrooper regiments, the 6th Fallschirmjäger. Drawing on vivid firsthand accounts that reveal previously unknown details about important operations—and complete with over 220 original photographs, maps, a battle calendar, staffing plans and more—The Lions of Carentan offers a rare look at one of the most formidable obstacles to the Allied advance into German-held Europe.
A thrilling portrait of the armored exploits of the most highly decorated German regimental commander of World War II.
by Raymond Bagdonas
Known as the “Panzer Graf” (Armored Count), Hyazinth Graf Strachwitz was the most highly decorated German regimental commander of World War II. In The Devil’s General, Raymond Bagdonas offers a thrilling portrait of this military legend.
Strachwitz’s exploits with the 1st Panzer Division earned him distinction in Poland and France, and serving with the 16th Panzer Division in Operation Barbarossa, he earned the Knight’s Cross and the Oak Leaves for destroying 270 Soviet tanks at Kalach. Though severely wounded, he went on to lead troops at Kharkov, Kursk, and Narva and was finally able to surrender to the Americans in May 1945.
The Devil’s General is an intensely detailed account of command in the cauldron of the Eastern Front.
FROM THE INTRODUCTION Hyazinth Graf Strachwitz Von Gross-Zauche Und Camminetz was the most decorated regimental commander, and one of the most effective panzer leaders, in the German Army.
He was one of only 27 men in the entire Wehrmacht to be awarded the Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. Of these he was the only one to receive grades of the decoration for both bravery and his command abilities, which led to the significant outcomes which merited the award. The other Diamond recipients received awards for either their bravery and combat accomplishments, such as Hans Hube and Walter Model. In the latter cases their men did the actual fighting and the award was as much for the units under their command as for them.
Von Strachwitz’s rapid rise during World War II from a lowly captain to a lieutenant general, equivalent to a major general in the UK and US armies, was nothing short of extraordinary, and this in an army not lavish in granting promotions.
He fought in nearly all of the major campaigns – the invasion of Poland, France, and Yugoslavia, and the important campaigns and battles in the east including Operation Barbarossa, the battles of Kiev, Stalingrad, Kharkov, and Kursk, the Batlic States and finally of Germany and his beloved Silesia – his service being almost a microcosm of World War II in Europe. In the course of these battles, not only did he win renown – becoming a legend among those who fought on the Eastern Front who gave him the title Panzer Graf (Armored Count) – but was also wounded 14 times, probably was unique among the ranks of of Germany’s senior officers and a testament to his leading from the front.
Such an extraordinary record of courage and command would have made him unique in any army of World War II. Yet he is a man of mystery, with very little known about him and nothing of substance yet been written. He is mentioned in countless books, articles, and websites, but at most is only given a brief biographical outline, and even this is often inaccurate in parts. Günter Fraschke wrote a German-language biography in 1962, which, if largely factual, was nevertheless discredited for its inaccuracies and sensationalism and rejected by the Panzer Graf himself.
Unfortunately the Panzer Graf himself wrote no memoirs; left no diary, and any notes and papers were lost along with him home in 1945. His records of service in the 16th Panzer Division were destroyed along with the division in the Battle of Stalingrad in 1943. After a period of distinguished service with the elite Grossdeutschland Division, he served as commander of several ad-hoc units, some bearing his name, in a period when records, if kept at all, were scanty, or lost. It all makes for a rather threadbare paper trail. His comrades-in-arms have now all passed away, so there are no witnesses to his many battles and exploits.
All of this of course makes writing a full-length book about him enormously difficult. It is only possible with reference to the academies that he attended, the units he served in or alongside, the battles in which he fought and the many outstanding men he met or served with, as well as the events that shaped him and his world. The book must then of necessity deal not only with his life, but the broader topic of the times in which he lived.
The amount of research and effort required to tell his story, taking in a great many major and minor little-known events, was quite daunting, as was of course the scarcity of detailed information about him, yet he is indeed a subject worthy of the effort. Of equal importance was to produce a serious, studied and accurate representation of his life without the sensationalism that his exploits could easily lead to. I hope I have succeeded in this and beg forgiveness if I have lapsed occasionally in some descriptions that add color and life to some of his actions. I hope also that this book fills the gap that currently exists, and gives him the proper recognition that he deserves, not only as the superlative warrior, war hero and panzer commander that indeed he was, but also as the decent and honorable man of integrity that he remained throughout his life.
Finally, it must be remembered that all too often good men, through no fault of their own, are forced to serve an evil cause. He served his cause without adding to its criminality, and sought to end it honorably is the opportunity arose.
A comprehensive account of the evolution of armored vehicles from their inception a century ago to the present day.
by Richard Ogorkiewicz
Tank presents a comprehensive account of the world-wide evolution of armoured vehicles from their inception a century ago to the present day, starting with a detailed reappraisal of the development of tanks and how they evolved during World War I. By the end of that conflict tanks had gained considerable importance. However, this was not sustained in its immediate aftermath and a revival only began when the British Army started in to experiment in the 1920s with a more mobile use of tanks. The subsequent rise of the importance of armoured vehicles was accompanied by and was partly due to the advances in their design and performance achieved in Europe and America before World War II. The enhanced capabilities that tanks consequently acquired enabled them to become the core of combined-arms, mechanized formations.Richard Ogorkiewicz has has written a comelling analytical study that deftly charts the history of tank development and armoured warfare.
Largest Collection of Photos and Images of German History in the World with a focus on World War II.