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Panzer Ace

The Memoirs of an Iron Cross Panzer Commander from Barbarossa to Normandy
Narrated by: Nigel Patterson
Length: 8 hrs and 35 mins
Categories: History, Military
4 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Richard Freiherr von Rosen was a highly decorated Wehrmacht soldier and outstanding panzer commander. After serving as a gunlayer on a Pz.Mk.III during Barbarossa, he led a company of Tigers at Kursk. Later he led a company of King Tiger panzers at Normandy and in late 1944 commanded a battle group (12 King Tigers and a flak company) against the Russians in Hungary in the rank of junior, later senior lieutenant (from November 1944, his final rank). Only 489 of these King Tiger tanks were ever built. They were the most powerful heavy tanks to see service, and only one kind of shell could penetrate their armor at a reasonable distance. Every effort had to be made to retrieve any of them bogged down or otherwise immobilized, which led to many towing adventures.

The author has a fine memory and eye for detail. His account is easy to listen to and not technical, and adds substantially to the knowledge of how the German Panzer Arm operated in the Second World War.

©2017 Verlagshaus Würzburg GmbH & Co. KG; English language translation copyright 2018 by Greenhill Books; Robert Forczyk foreword copyright 2018 by Greenhill Books (P)2018 Tantor

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-07-24

terrific insight from the German side

I'm not sure why so many people don't want to hear bother sides of this amazing and tragic story. I love to hear the other side story in any conflict as one can not truly understand the conflict unless you hear both sides. The victor always writes the story and everybody buys it. I'm not that guy. It's well written and much respect goes out to the German soldiers, well most of them anyhow.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • D.A. Nygaard
  • 2018-07-23

First Person Warrior Story

As the book summary states, Panzer Ace is the first-person account of a soldier caught up by and thrown into the second world war. The book was composed in 2012, apparently from his personal journals. In Panzer Ace the reader rides along in German tanks invading Russia and fruitlessly trying to hold back the overwhelming material advantage of the Western allies. The story concludes in a Tiger tank fighting Russians in Hungary and then Austria before the wounded soldier's final battle against the bitter French occupation. Here is an account of actual industrial warfare--inhumane and indifferent. Here, too, is the story of the comradeship that perhaps only soldiers can know; because they've seen into the abyss ... and lived ~

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Gabriel
  • 2019-01-04

Not what I expected

You would figure that a tanker who experienced front line tank combat on two fronts would present a memoir that would be full of battlefield specifics, unique battle descriptions, details of tank operations, descriptions of tank particulars, etc. None of that is really in this book. Apart from a detailed recitation of an early Eastern Front close call where his tank was disabled and he had to hide out from Russians for a couple days, this book is written as more of an outline of places visited and battle outcomes. There are absolutely no descriptions of how the tiger tank actually worked, or how the King Tiger crew did what they did. Battles are included as an afterthought. Most of the book involves name dropping of buddies and commanders known to the author and an overview of where his unit fought. The book is written in a very old-fashioned and stilted manner. Russian attack? "Unpleasant." Russian rocket attack? "Very unpleasant." "Elbow almost blown off?" "Very, very unpleasant"

The greatest detail in the book involves the continuous efforts of the Germans to tow swamp stuck tanks or disabled tanks. I think the author is most proud of his accomplishments in towing various expensive tanks out of soft mud or because of damaged engines or tracks. Towards the end of the book, it seems the only thing the Wehrmacht was doing was towing tanks to safety. Seriously, if you have a tank towing fetish, this is the book of your dreams!

To be fair, for hardcore WW2 buffs like me, it's not a horrible book because there are tidbits of info (mostly about towing tanks) I learned about, but if you're looking for the German version of Brad Pitt's "Fury," this isn't it.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-08-21

great read!

loved it! great book for anyone interested in world war 2 from the other sides point of view. very much enjoyed this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • David B. Dickinson
  • 2019-07-19

Simply a great book

The story is fascinating, albeit one has to consider the perspective. The author is clear and the story coherent, unlike so many memoirs. But to my kind what sets this apart is the narrator whose language ability is fantastic and who glibness exactly matched the content of the work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Patrick Hankey
  • 2019-06-16

Great view from the other side

Rarely heard in our country, this story brings to life the war from the side of enemies. An enlightening account of a heartbreaking war also fought by our enemies, people very much like us.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mary A.
  • 2019-04-25

Unique and interesting

This is a well-written and exceptionally well read audiobook.
I came upon it while browsing.
Always interested in first accounts by the enemy of the war from their eyes, this more than filled the bill.
Anyone with an interest in WWII will enjoy this much as I did.
It is very, day by day, you are there, story of a young man who spent WWII in a Tiger tank, fighting Russians.
There little talk of the whys of the war, but a you are there on the many battle fields he was in.
The book gives a riveting account of what carpet bombing really is and what it does. Having read of the trauma so many German soldiers suffered in their wild flight to escape through the Falaise gap, here it is, as graphic as to give one the unvarnished truth of what Hell is like.
The author was 17 when the war started so I probably shouldn’t be as I was irritated at his whining about his treatment after the war. But, the book as a whole is a treasure for anyone who wants to know what fighting a long and terrible war in a fearsome Tiger tank was exactly like.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mike from Houston
  • 2019-09-24

To listen is to immerse yourself into a tank platoon leaders life in combat

As I listened intently my mind wandered back to many days and nights spent in the turret of A-21 TF 1-32 Armor. I often tell stories to friends and they gasp in disbelieve. Only tankmen in combat can know these things and I am grateful his story was told

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  • Alan J. Rastellini
  • 2019-08-19

Great firsthand account

I like firsthand war accounts for their personal perspective. You won’t learn grand strategy or political rationales but you will learn what it was like to be in those shoes. This is one of the best and very well written.

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  • Carlos E. Lovera
  • 2019-08-08

Good, well rounded book

Really good book and quite informative. Not gory. I was surprised at how much idle time there was even at the end of the war. Other books I've read show a more desperate sense of retreat. I really enjoyed the part after the war. Most books end right after capture without much of a story.