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 Normandy 1944 German Military Organization, Combat Power and Organizational Effectiveness by Niklas Zetterling   This is not a book for the...

Normandy 1944: German Military Organization, Combat Power and Organizational Effectiveness by Niklas Zetterling Normandy 1944: German Military Organization, Combat Power and Organizational Effectiveness by Niklas Zetterling

Normandy 1944: German Military Organization, Combat Power and Organizational Effectiveness by Niklas Zetterling

Normandy 1944: German Military Organization, Combat Power and Organizational Effectiveness by Niklas Zetterling




 Normandy 1944


German Military Organization, Combat Power and Organizational Effectiveness


by


Niklas Zetterling




  This is not a book for the casual reader of history. This book is meant for readers who already have a background in military history, especially World War II history. The author's conclusions in some of the chapters of the book are sure to raise some eyebrows, and bring forth some harrumphs. Some of the book's chapters are:

German Terminology
German Combat Unit Organization
The Effects of Allied Air Power
German Tanks Employed in Normandy
German Losses in Normandy
German Combat Efficiency

 The first myth the author dispels is the 'Tiger' myth. Very few Tigers were actually employed in Normandy, and the chance of an Allied Soldier running into one was pretty slim. Reading some veteran accounts, every building and hedgerow was hiding a malevolent Tiger. The next dispelled myth is the effectiveness of Allied Air Power. Some books have been written to show that a German Soldier could not raise his head for fear of a P-51 or P-47 blowing it off. The truth, according to the author, is that while the Allied Air Forces did very well in destroying the French rail network, their contribution to the destruction of the German Forces was not nearly as significant as was once thought. As an example, the author shows that during the Falaise Gap debacle, at most three percent of the German Vehicles were destroyed from the air. This was during what could be described as a 'turkey shoot', from the Allied point of view.


 The author will probably get some pushback on his evaluation of German combat efficiency. The author uses his own calculations to deduce that German combat efficiency was greater than the Allies across the board. This amount would vary according to the training etc. of the German unit or units in each battle. One statement by the author is very telling to me. In it he states, "That during the summer of 1944 the Allies actually had a greater numerical superiority in Normandy than the Red Army had on the Eastern Front. Despite this, the Allies did not really make better progress than the Red Army. Few have questioned the superior combat effectiveness of the Germans over the Red Army."

 Most wargamers are also statisticians at heart. We tend to remember the actual OOBs of many battles etc. This book is a God send for those of us who are wired that way. To show two examples of what is in the book:

 On May 15, 1944 SS-Panzer Division "Das Reich" had 18 7.5 cm IG guns on hand.
On May 24, 1944 the same division received 8 Panther tanks

 Information like this is to be had in the book on every German division that took part in the Normandy Campaign.

 If you are a reader of history that lives on facts and figures this is a book for you. As far as the author's conclusions, this has been a battle that has raged over the last 75 years. I will leave it to each reader and his own deductions. All I can say, is that Mr. Zetterling goes out of his way with information to back up his conclusions. I recommend this to any history lover and especially wargamers and anyone who is thinking of developing a wargame or modifying an existing one. 

 Thank you Casemate Publishers for allowing me to review another one of your fine efforts.

Robert


2 comments :

  1. Nice, there are any connection or comment about the very statistical book about the German Military Effectiveness that was wrote in the 90's. I don't remmember the name now but I think it was also a little polemic in its time.

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  2. I think you are talking about a book from Dupuy.

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