Schiffer, Atglen, 1st eds., 1996. Vol. I : 287 pp. Vol. II : 300 pp. Both Vols. : numerous photo-ills., ill., + tables. D.j., marbled e.p.’s ; 28 x 22cm. D.j.’s price-clipped o/w Nr.FINE / FINE. Earlier in the Second World War, Germany had achieved victory after victory – against Poland, Denmark, Norway, Holland, Belgium, France, Greece, Yugoslavia, North Africa and Russia - often against numerically superior forces. The reason was summed up in two words – Panzer and Blitzkrieg. When and how had Germany built its Panzer forces and trained them for the Blitzkrieg ? When was each Panzer unit formed ? What was their organization ? Why were Panzer units disbursed among the Panzer-Divisions, Leichte Divisions, and Armee-Korps ? When were the various types of Panzers developed ? What were their armament, armour protection, capability ? How many of each type were produced ? What tactics did they use ? How successful were they in combat ? This is the only book that provides detailed answers to these and other questions related to how German tankers fought in World War II. The author found the answers to these questions solely by digging through original records for twenty-five years - war diaries, reports, and technical and tactical manuals written during the war. The story is told as recorded by those responsible for decisions in developing the Panzertruppen and by those who fought in the Panzers. As work on this book progressed it became apparent that the story of the Panzertruppen was divided into two distinctly separate phases ; offensive and defensive. The first volume presents the offensive phase up to October 1942 and the second volume covers the defensive phase to the end of the war. Having failed to win their strategic objectives, the Heeres (German Army) was overextended deep in enemy territory facing numerically superior forces in autumn 1942. Now it was the Allies turn to launch the offensives that would keep the Heeres off balance. Forced onto the defensive the Panzertruppen modified their tactics becoming expert at counterattacks that spoilt their opponents drives and inflicted heavy casualties. They became so proficient that the Allied armies took years to retake territory that the Heeres had overran in a short time. This second volume presents how the Panzertruppen fought during their defensive struggle with details on the units, organizations, types of Panzers and tactics and it answers questions that many other publications have left out. Generously illustrated, this is an excellent study of Germany’s tank force in World War II ; 2 volumes.