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New Review: Normandie 1944: 2. Panzer-Division Tome II Caen-Vire-Mortain

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Review Author: 
Dick Montgomery

C'est une magnifique publication, riche en prose et en photographie. Presentee en francais, mon manque de maitrise du francais me fait passer a cote de la qualite de la prose, mais la photographie ne necessite pas de traduction precise.

In English - This is a magnificent publication, rich in prose and photography. Presented in the French language, my lack of command of French means that I am missing out on the quality of the prose, but the photography and the captions for the images does not require precise translation. 

While the book is in the French language, some ability to read and understand French would be extremely helpful. My command of French is, at best, that of a six-year old. But even with a remarkably disappointing ability to speak and write in French, I found that the captions of the photographs were not at all difficult to roughly translate and to understand. When all else fails, one can seek an online translation tool. 

This publication is the second of three publications that are currently available on the Hiemdal website.  Volume 1 covers the story of the 2nd Panzer Division in 1935 through the fighting at Rauray and in the Cheux area in June of 1944. That first << Tome >> was reviewed by IPMS, and that review can be seen at << https://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/normandie-1944-2-panzer-division-tome-1-reformation-et-combats  << 

For those who have a limited French vocabulary, it is possible to follow the text to varying degrees by simply reading the text slowly and using accompanying images to provide helpful guidance as to the meaning of the text. This being the case for this reviewer, the organization of information was presented mostly in chronological fashion, with support from the images, maps, and documents the author had uncovered during the research phase of his preparation for publication. The book goes into remarkable detail about the personalities of those in command. Also covered in detail are descriptions of the vehicles being used by the 2nd Panzer Division and the positive or negative attributes of these weapons. 

For those who model armor and for those who model figures of German soldiers of W.W.II, this book is rich in reference material. 

"Tome II" (Volume II) covers the 2nd Panzer Division from July 1 ( 1er juillet) through August 12, 1944 (12 aout 1944). 

Table of Contents

Sommarie (Summary, aka Table of Contents)

Transition                                                                     Page 4
Apres 20 jours de combat (After 20 days of fighting)       Page 16

Westlich Caen
Panzer en detachement. ( Panzer on detachment)          
            Panther a Noyers                                              Page 32 
            Jagdpanzer IV - cote 112 (Hill 112)                     Page 64
            Defense Ectot/Hottot                                        Page 70
Stellungskrieg face a face a Caumont (face to face in Caumont) 
            H.K.L Caumont                                                  Page 84 
            La Vacquerie                                                     Page 100
            Lignes arriere    (Rear Lines)                              Page 116
Kampfgruppe  Kohn et Koch     
            Saint-Andre/Saint Martin                                  Page 132
Kampfgruppe Sterz
            May-sur-Orne                                                   Page 150
Front De Vire
De Moyon a Tessy-sur-Vire
Vers la Manche (Toward the Channel)                Page 168
            Moyon- la Denisiere                                          Page 186
            Le Mesnil-Opac et Troisgots                               Page 204
            Tessy-sur-Vire                                                   Page 212
            Le couloir des Pz.Kpfw.IV                                   Page 230
Panzer Objectif Avranches
Kampfgruppen Schake et von Meyer

            Zur Avranches                                                   Page 252
            Le Mesnil-Adelee                                              Page 266
            Le Mesnil-Tove                                                 Page 280

Vers Falaise                                                                  Page 302

Feld-Ersatz-Bataillon 82                                                Page 304          

Regardless of one's ability to speak French, this publication has hundreds of images of the men and equipment that were involved in the combat covered between July 1 and August 12th. Along with these stunning images, there are maps which are of great assistance in gaining a bird's eye view of the fighting. The book also contains a large number of color illustrations of some of the vehicles that are seen in the B&W images.

This book is recommended for several reasons. The photographs are stunning. Those who model armor and those who are "figure" fans have a treasure chest of sharply focused, clear, and detailed images available to them. I am of the opinion that it is not necessary to be fluent in French to find this book worthwhile and very enjoyable. 

Merci a Casemate et Heimdal d'avoir fourni cette excellente publication a IPMS / USA pour examen. 

(Thanks to Casemate and Heimdal for providing this excellent publication to IPMS/USA for review.)

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