The 'Grossdeutschland' Division in World War II: The German Army's premier combat unit (Elite #255) (Paperback)
Investigates the history and evolving appearance of the 'Grossdeutschland' Division, the German Army's premier combat unit during World War II.
Featuring eight pages of original artwork and carefully chosen photographs depicting personalities, uniforms, insignia and personal equipment, this is the absorbing story of the German Army's elite 'fire brigade' during 1939–45. The unit began its life as an elite guard detachment; expanded to regimental size in 1939, it saw action in France in 1940 and Yugoslavia in 1941 before participating in the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union.
Reinforced to divisional status, 'Grossdeutschland' fought on the Eastern Front in 1942–44, notably at Rzhev in late 1942 and Kharkov in early 1943. Refitted and redesignated a Panzergrenadier-Division, 'Grossdeutschland' played a key role in the battle of Kursk in July 1943, before acting as the Wehrmacht's 'fire brigade' in 1943–44.
In late 1944, 'Grossdeutschland' was expanded to Panzerkorps status, with Panzergrenadier-Division 'Brandenburg' also taking the field. Further units joined the order of battle, the Führerbegleit-Brigade fighting in the Ardennes in 1944–45 before also being redesignated a division. All of these campaigns are covered in this book, which charts the evolving appearance of this elite formation over nearly six years of brutal warfare.
James F. Slaughter, a professional historian with a lifelong interest in World War II, holds a BA in history from West Virginia University, a Master's in military history from Norwich University and a doctorate in history from the University of Wolverhampton.
Ramiro Bujeiro is an experienced commercial artist who lives in Argentina.