The 3rd SS Panzer Regiment
...Another in the Casemate Illustrated series
Title: The 3rd SS Panzer Regiment
Author: Pierre Tiquet
A part of 3rd SS Panzer Division, Totenkopf, this new book is another in the Casemate Illustrated series. Once again it is done in collaboration with French publisher Heimdal, and from a book they first published in French back in 2017.
The book begins with some background, as that while the original SS Division Totenkopf was in service from the start of WW2, it only became a Panzer Division in 1942, when it reformed after having been largely destroyed in the Demyansk Pocket and finally broke out in April 1942. It was reinforced with the 3rd Panzer Regiment and became a Panzer Division from that point forward. The book then takes on the story of the Regiment, following the timeline, from there to the end of the war. While it does follow the chronological sequence, the story is told by a series of veterans' personal accounts of their experiences in action. Throughout the book it is text accompanied by archive photos along with details of the individual veterans who feature with their accounts. They spent most of the war in Eastern Europe and coped with changing weather conditions, good and bad, and there were moment of success and others of defeat and also death. A useful reminder that whichever side you are on, war is a scary experience to live through.
I don't know about you, but I always question myself when reading accounts about the SS in WW2. In this case it concentrates on the experience of combat, not the horrors some of their units committed. I always remember my father's comments, that he just considered the SS as 'tough opponents'. He faced them in Italy and NW Europe during the war and that was his view, rather than thinking of them just for the atrocities that some did. As a collection of personal accounts it makes for quite a different way of telling the story rather than simply a historical record of events. Plenty of references in the photos which I am sure modellers will find useful, and the text has some valuable memories recorded for us to share.
Thanks to Casemate for our review copy.