This book is based on photographs taken by individual participants in the war, accompanied as required by more or less extensive text. The photos, along with surviving diary entries or letters, are set against the overall framework of events. Supplementary photographic material is used sparingly and only when there are gaps that must be filled to assure overall continuity. Iintended to allow the reader to understand the war from the subjective point of view of the individual soldier. When necessary, letters and diary entries are supplemented by footnotes to explain phraseology or concepts from the period. Volume 1 in the series focuses on Hans Becker. Attached to the headquarters staff of the 8th Panzer Regiment in Africa in 1942-43, he extensively photographed front-line operations there. After he was wounded, he was flown home, and after recovering from his wounds, in autumn 1943 he joined the 508th Heavy Panzer Battalion during its formation. Soon afterwards, the battalion commander tasked him with “recording the battalion’s path photographically, to illustrate the war diary”. Hans Becker therefore also photographed the Tiger unit’s actions in Italy in 1944-45, both in black-and-white and colour. Hans Becker’s photographs are well above average, both in terms of subject selection and quality. Happily his diaries and letters to his wife were also made available to the author.
ALS PANZERMANN IN AFRIKA UND ITALIEN 1942-45 Panzer Regiment 8 und Schwere Panzer -Abt. 508
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An impressive account of operations by two panzer units from the point of view of a member of the headquarters staff, who in part had insight into decisions. Hans Becker not only captured images of tanks, but also other elements of the two units in action and neighbouring units, as well as the theatres of war and life behind the front.
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