This is the second book by Stephan Cazenave in the series Panzers Normandie 44, and in this case looking at Liebstandarte SS Adolf Hitler(LSSAH), the 1st SS Panzer Division. It specifically covers the Panzer Regiment’s refit in Belgium and then the combat in Normandy from mid-July to the end of August 1944.
The book is written in French, and for some (many?) members this will be an obstacle, but I managed to cope OK! The text in the bulk of the book covers the actions of the regiment in Normandy, and this is informative and interesting. Featuring many first-hand accounts, the story of the actions are explained in a gripping way. Maps and sketches explain some of the events.
The 160 pages include some 300 photos, and these may be quite an attraction to readers. However, it needs to be said that many of the photos (75+) are portrait photos of the SS officers, and a large number more are photos of named individuals posed with their vehicles. I will say that personally I have no interest in looking at head-and-shoulders photos of SS men, so this selection of pictures would only be attractive for readers and researchers who particularly like seeing these particular faces. Besides, a fairly large number of photos feature Joachim Peiper, who later became quite infamous.
The relatively few vehicle photos show Panzer IV and Panther, with only a handful showing other vehicle types. Even amongst the small number of selected photos, I found it difficult to look at four pictures of the same dead bodies on the engine deck of a Panzer IV……
While beautifully produced and lovingly written by someone fascinated by the SS personalities and Peiper in particular, I would find it hard to recommend this book to the average modeller. However, if the reader has a specific interest in this unit and the individuals within it, then I’m sure this book would have much to offer.
Pub.: Maranes Editions, available from Panzerwrecks (£39.99)