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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, 20th Century
4.5 out of 5 stars (65 ratings)

Non-member price: $34.76

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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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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Interesting historical account

Autobiographical account of a tank ace from WW2. Author was obviously a staunch nazi and has glossed over this to record his memoirs. A lot of "not down to me or anything I did" prevails throughout the account. Its worth a read to help understand the view the Nazis had about the justification of their actions. An alarming fact is that this guy became a post WW2 officer of senior rank in the German Army. It is not representative of the behaviour of the German Army in WW2.

1 person found this helpful

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Fabulous story!

This was a great story and the narrator rant did it justice. I thoroughly loved listening and found myself wanting to listen to it all the time

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent first hand account

This book is well written and performed. An exciting and personal account of his experiences. It's great to hear how some of the best Panzers (tanks) in the world performed in battle in good days and in bad, when the German front collapsed in 1944-45.
My only criticism is not from the author but from the forward, the forward gives way to many spoilers I would recommend to skip the first forward, the second forward from the author is no problem.

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would read again

the book kept me entertained thoroughly. I learnt much about the eastern front more in this book than any history channel could ever hope

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A Cracking Read!

What a cracking book! All the adventure, military action and derring do of an action novel but it's all true.
As a wargamer I gained many ideas for games.

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A compelling insight and a unique piece of history

Some other reviewers complain about the lack of description of combat, but that feels like demanding someones personal history be turned into a video game for entertainment purposes.

Like many other German histories, theirs a strong claim to innocence in relation to National Socialism. I'm starting to wonder if there were any Nazi's in WW2. But that aside, his recounting of the training and daily routine of a Panzer unit is compelling.

If you are a military history buff looking for something quite different to the ordinary, you need to read this one.

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Outstanding Account of the Panzer War.

Great book that offered some interesting insights. It had a little more detail than many accounts which are just too big picture, though perhaps still not quite enough. Pretty well balanced though.

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  • 匿名
  • 24-07-2018

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.

10 people found this helpful

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  • D.A. Nygaard
  • 23-07-2018

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 ~

8 people found this helpful

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  • Gabriel
  • 04-01-2019

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.

19 people found this helpful

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  • David B. Dickinson
  • 19-07-2019

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mary A.
  • 25-04-2019

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.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 21-08-2018

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 people found this helpful

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  • Patrick Hankey
  • 16-06-2019

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 person found this helpful

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  • Rodman
  • 18-03-2019

no action<br />

could not finish this book, very slow and with really no theme. I finally gave up and returned it about half way through it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • WELSBERN
  • 14-02-2020

Great Tank History Book

Great WWII Tanker book. This book describes the Tiger tank career of a man who commanded them. It is a great portrayal of the German experience.

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  • Common Sense
  • 08-12-2019

Day to Day In A German Armored Division

Overall, I was pleased with the book. I found the continued use of German phrases, ranks, and units to be somewhat confusing, but after all, it was a book written by a a former German soldier about his time in the German army.
I would recomend this book to anyone interested in tanks, the German army , and the fighting in Europe and the Eastern Front during WW2.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 18-09-2019

Gripping

Gripping account of a panzer soldier who worked his way up the ranks serving in Russia and Normandy and an account after the war great listen a must for ww2 fan !

2 people found this helpful

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  • Tom
  • 28-08-2019

Superb

So rare that the narration adds to the content but this is a marvellous account of a very brave and good man.

2 people found this helpful

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  • slick0074
  • 03-08-2018

Amazing!

I really enjoyed this one, good story and interesting facts.
Liked hearing from a German perspective.

4 people found this helpful

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  • jules
  • 16-02-2020

Must Read

Loved this book. An honest and enthralling account of one man's war in the armoured Divisions of the German army. simply superb.

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  • nicola wallace
  • 10-01-2020

Fantastic book

Great book detailing the often unheard side of a terrible war. I would recommend to anyone with an interest in tanks or the 2nd world war.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 31-12-2019

Panzer Ace

A great account of life as a Tank Commander. a must read for tank enthusiasts.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Benjamin
  • 21-11-2019

Amazing

Amazing book and incredibly interesting, nice to see the view of the war from a German soldiers perspective, Slow start during his training years but after that brilliant

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • petar gemovic
  • 18-11-2019

Absolutely worth your time

If you enjoy first hand accounts of WW2 from a german perspective, this is superb. You will enjoy every minute.

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  • Bertie
  • 11-11-2019

Astonishing account of a German Tiger Tank Commander

Written retrospectively, he clearly he took a lot of notes at the time, because he recalls his experiences in detail, without boasting but with a dignity associated with his class. It is a insight into the honour of a Prussian Tank Commander. One cannot be sure of his support of the governing Nazi party, he refers occasionally to them in a negative way. He was probably swept away at a very young age by the excitement of it all, oblivious to Nazi horrors. These are ripping war yarns and are well read. I would have preferred a German accent rather than a English one. But he does a professional job.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-10-2019

paneer ace excellent

excellent book good story and enjoyable narration. Interesting view of ordinary tankers and their behaviour