Waffen-SS Armour in Normandy presents the combat history of SS-Panzer Regiment 12 and SS-Panzerjager Abteilung 12 in the Battle for France from June to the end of August 1944 based on transcriptions of their original unit war diaries from the Military History Archives in Prague.
Both armoured units belonged to the 12.SS-Panzer Division Hitlerjugend. SS-Panzer Regiment 12 was fully-equipped with Panzer IV and Panther tanks. The main AFV of SS-Panzerjager Abteilung 12 was the Jagdpanzer IV L/48 tank destroyer.
The structure of the volume is partly source publication (documents of SS-Panzer Regiment 12) and partly study (the deployment of SS-Panzerjager Abteilung 12). The text was written and footnoted by the author based upon original wartime files in Prague that have remained almost unknown.
The book starts with the story of the units' establishment and training in 1943/1944, including, for example, the shipments of equipment, orders of battle and tactical numbers of the tanks. After this introduction, a highly detailed daily chronology of the combat actions is provided, from 12.SS-Panzer Division travelling to the Caen sector to Operation Totalize and the withdrawal to the Seine River.
Documents from SS-Panzer Regiment 12 presented in the book include the following: combat reports, list of knocked-out enemy tanks, German personnel and tank losses, combat orders, summary of acquired combat experiences and others.
This is an impressive look at tactical-level events and command decisions, highlighting the armoured combat tactics that were able to stop Montgomery's Army Group from breaking through the German lines near Caen for two months. The study includes a number of detailed maps and excellent photos. In addition, the book has benefited from the contribution of rare information, photographs and documents from the archive of noted Waffen-SS historian Mark C. Yerger.
Dr. Norbert Szamveber is a Hungarian archivist and military historian. He was born in 1975 in Budapest. He finished studies in 1999 in Eoetvoes Lorand University, Faculty of Arts, History. Since 1997 he has worked in the Hungarian Ministry of Defense Institute of Military History and Museum in Budapest, and since 2005 has been the Chief of Hungarian Military Archives. His research skills are in the field of armoured warfare during World War II and the military history of the Waffen-SS, especially from 1944 to 1945 in Hungary. In 2003, he successfully defended his doctoral thesis on the subject "Konrad 3 - A Tank Battle for Budapest in 1945" at the University of National Defence "Zrinyi Miklos" in Budapest. He is author and co-author of 15 books and many articles. He is married and lives in Budapest.