Leibstandarte

Ardennes 1944

Stephen Smith, Simon Forty

Photographs old and new reconstruct the battles of the 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte in 1944, providing a vivid comparison between then and now.
Date Published :
October 2017
Publisher :
Casemate
Language:
English
Series :
Past & Present
Illustration :
Color and b/w photos throughout
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Paperback
ISBN : 9781612005423
Pages : 64
Dimensions : 9.75 X 7.25 inches
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In stock
$16.95

Overview
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The 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler was the spearhead of the assault by Sepp Dietrich’s Sixth Panzer Armee on the northern flank of the German Ardennes offensive. Divided into Kampfgruppen, the lead was Kampfgruppe Peiper whose armored force included SS Heavy Tank Battalion 501 equipped with King Tigers. The attack was launched on a snowy, freezing December 16, but from the outset, the division lost time against schedule. It captured a fuel dump at Büllingen, but brave defense forced Peiper onto the southern Rollbahn D whose tight, winding roads proved difficult to negotiate and soon the Kampfgruppe was strung out over 25 kilometers with its heavy armor—the King Tigers—slowly losing ground as vehicle after vehicle succumbed to automotive failures. Pushing through Stavelot and Trois Pont, the advanced units of the Kampfgruppe reached Stoumont before lack of fuel—the Americans had retaken Stavelot and closed off the route for German resupply—and US Army action forced it to halt at La Gleize. Six days later, on Christmas Eve, with no hope and no fuel, Peiper and his men abandoned their vehicles and made their way back to their lines: only 770 got there.

They left behind 135 armored vehicles including the King Tiger that today stands in front of the museum at La Gleize. They also left scattered on their route the murdered bodies of US servicemen—at Malmedy, Ligneuville, and Wereth—and civilians, massacres that would lead to postwar trials and continued recriminations.

The Past & Present Series reconstructs historical battles by using photography, juxtaposing modern views with those of the past together with concise explanatory text. It shows how much infrastructure has remained and how much such as outfits, uniforms, and ephemera has changed, providing a coherent link between now and then.

About The Author
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Stephen Smith, a veteran of over a thousand armed operations during his twenty-two years with the Metropolitan Police specialist firearms command, was born in south London in 1960. He joined the Met at nineteen and after twelve years in uniform passed selection for PT17, the Mets firearms unit, where he was selected to work on the specialist firearms teams, experiencing first-hand the explosive and controversial world of police firearms operations.Between operational postings, Stephen has taught most aspects of armed policing. He left the Met in 2013 after 33 years service and now instructs firearms and tactics with a non-Home Office police force.Author of _Stop! Armed Police!_ (Hale Publishing, 2013) Stephen Smith recently featured on Channel 5, in the four-part documentary series _Armed and Dangerous_ and previously HBO's _Secrets of New Scotland Yard_. He has also advised on films and TV police dramas. He continues to have a great interest in police firearms history and supports the police firearms charity the PFOA.

Simon Forty was educated in Dorset and the north of England before reading history at London University’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies. He has been involved in publishing since the mid-1970s, first as editor and latterly as author. Son of author and RAC Tank Museum curator George Forty, he has continued in the family tradition writing mainly on historical and military subjects including books on the Napoleonic Wars and the two world wars. Recently he has produced a range of highly illustrated books on the Normandy battlefields, the Atlantic Wall and the liberation of the Low Countries with co-author Leo Marriott.

REVIEWS
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"A good addition to this series, and one that would be handy to have in your car with you if you get to visit the area.”

- Military Model Scene

"The author has done a great job of couching the book in such a fashion as to relate the history of the unit, it’s commanders, and the actions that they fought without resorting to the adulation that sometimes seems to follow the Waffen SS. I highly recommend this book, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.”

- Army Rumour Service

"The latest array of titles in Casemate's Past and Present series offers a superb mix of maps and photographs, supplemented by brief but informative text…Outstanding value in terms of both quality and price." *Winner of the 'Miniature Wargames Recommends' award for January 2018*”

- Miniature Wargames

“This series of books have been planned and executed by Casemate with panache...They would make ideal Christmas presents for younger history buffs because each volume offers just about enough in a single sitting. I cannot fault them.”

- War History Online

“Great value and excellent quality – highly recommended.”

- Military Modelling

The titles in the 'Past & Present' series are very much worthwhile having on the bookshelf, as a reference work, or to be enjoyed as a general read.”

- GunMart

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