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Tiger Battalion 507 (Hardback)

Eyewitness Accounts from Hitler’s Regiment

WWII Greenhill Books Greenhill: WWII Tanks Hitler & the Third Reich Military

By Helmut Schneider, Foreword by Robert Forczyk
Greenhill Books
Pages: 288
Illustrations: Illustrated throughout with more than 200 photographs
ISBN: 9781784384968
Published: 3rd April 2020

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‘May the army of millions of dead of all nations bear witness to humanity for the hope that future generations may learn to discard war as the best way to resolve their differences.’ Helmut Schneider

This is the little-known story of Heavy Panzer (Tiger) Battalion 507 told through the recollections of the men who fought with the unit.

The book was conceived during a reunion of the ‘507’ at Rohrdorf in 1982, where it was agreed to set up an editorial committee under Helmut Schneider, himself a veteran of the battalion, to search for as many survivors of the unit as possible and gather their reminiscences. The resulting account is a treasure trove of first-hand material, from personal memories, diary entries and letters to leave passes, wartime newspaper cuttings, Wehrmacht bulletins and more than 160 photographs.

The account follows the unit from its formation in 1943 and the catastrophic events on the Eastern Front, through battles on the Western Front and engagements against the American 3rd Armoured Division to the confusion of retreat, panic-stricken flight and Soviet captivity in the closing stages of the war. Honest and unflinching, this remarkable collection of autobiographies offers a glimpse into life in Hitler’s panzer division and is a stark testimony of a generation that sacrificed its best years to the war.

This is the first English-language translation of the work.

This looks like an impressive book from the outset, and after you have read it you won’t be disappointed. This book takes a look at the soldiers of the 507 Tiger Battalion, from 1943 to the end of the Second World War. The book is basically a collection of memoirs, diary entries, documents and reports about life in the battalion, mixed together with lots of photographs and pictures along the way. We hear about life on the Eastern and Western Front, many of the details and reports are fascinating even about dull parts of life, it’s still intriguing. Eventually seeing how they fared against the Americans towards the end of the war. This really feels like a warts and all book and it’s all about the actual men on the ground soldering, not a book where it is all about the top brass. This book is full of well collected together items and this variance keeps you the reader keen and wanting know about the next event, considering this isn’t a story it is gripping.

Congratulations to Helmut Schneider who has amassed a fascinating collection, which really does delve into the life and history of the battalion. This book really does feel like a comprehensive account in the battalion. Anyone into this type of fighting and heavy tanks will certainly enjoy this book, which is why that I am happy to give it an impressive 5 out of 5 stars, a great read.

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UK Historian

This is one of those books that you sit down to read for an hour and then have the other half asking "if you are going to bed tonight?" I enjoyed this title a great deal and enjoyed seeing and reading about life as a member of a Tiger crew. The details covering events from fighting to retreating and even formation of the unit were a very interesting aspect of the book. This is possibly the best title I have covered as regards telling the story of the crews of the tanks from more than one viewpoint.

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Armorama

This is an excellent book – comprehensive, entertaining and educational. For anyone wanting to know why the Tiger was so feared on the battlefield and how these heavyweight leviathans were used to such good effect in the final years of the war they need look no further. The engineering was one thing and the Tiger’s fearsome reputation was another – but what really made the difference was the men who operated, recovered and fixed these tanks. Tiger Battalion 507 is a definitive record which will serve both amateur tank enthusiasts and academics. Recommended.

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Phil Curme

Tiger Battalion 507 is a fantastic book that delivers incredible detail and narrative on the men and actions of the Battalion. It is a ‘must read’ for anybody interested in German armour in general and Tiger tanks in particular. Containing many primary source accounts from the men of 507 it is a book that adds much value to understanding the men who served and the actions in which they fought. It is well supported by images that are unit specific, not generic, and you can almost smell the heat, grime and professionalism of these men. A very valuable addition to the genre and a ‘must have’ for anybody seriously interested in Tiger tanks.

Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy

About Helmut Schneider

Aged 19, Schneider volunteered for the Panzer Arm in March 1941. He was one of the first five men sent to the Eastern Front. He took part in the Caucasus campaigns in and joined the Heavy Panzer Battalion 507 in 1943. He next moved on to the panzer grenadiers where he was given a Wanderer bicycle, a Panzerfaust and an assault rifle and was sent to fight the US Army on the Western Front. His decorations included the Panzer Assault Badge and the Iron Cross Second Class.


About Robert Forczyk

Robert Forczyk is a leading expert on the history of armored warfare, and he has made a particular study of the Second World War on the Eastern Front. His many books include Georgy Zhukov, Demyansk 1942-43, Red Christmas: The Tatsinskaya Airfield Raid 1942, Rescuing Mussolini: Gran Sasso 1943, Sevastopol 1942: Von Manstein's Triumph, Leningrad 1941-44, Model, Erich Von Manstein and Panther Vs T-34: Ukraine 1943.

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