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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 eight 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.