Heimdal- Normandie 1944 2. Panzer-Division Book II
Author: Frédéric Deprun
Hardcover, 350 pages with over 400 photographs, illustrations, and maps, French text only
This is the second of a three volume work on the 2. Panzer-Division in Normandy, with the first covering from January to June of 1944...this one from July through August 12, and the forthcoming third volume from August 13th through September. It is completely in French and while I am a bit out of practice, I wanted to check the book out and get some practice in revamping my skills in honor of my grandmother who was in the Maquis during WWII. I am unable to read the book in it´s entirety but between the captions and photos I am able to appreciate the quality and worth of this book. According to what I have been able to piece together from other sources online, these photos are previously unpublished and they do all seem pretty unfamiliar to me. The book is divided into three main sections- Western Caen, Vire Front, and Panzer Objective Avranches which looks in depth at the group´s inability to contain the Allied push during Operation Cobra.
A montage photo meant to symbolize the losses within the 2nd Panzer Division at the end of the fighting in April 1944
Section divider page
The book is a wealth of excellent photos leading to great brainstorming ideas for creative scenes for Western front armor scenes. The book itself was over sized so I was unable to use my scanner to effectively scan photos, but hopefully my camera shots convey the quality of what is inside. There are some excellent maps, and overlays that give a clue as to how scenes may have unfolded with in-town battles. There are also some interesting color profiles of what appear to be actual vehicles and armor that have some interesting artistic effects as I show below in my photos. I didn´t thoroughly read through the entire book as it would take some serious time and effort on my part to translate and I wanted to get this review out in a timely manner, so hopefully my translations of some of the captions below give you a good sense of what is inside.
British photo of a 29th Armoured Brigade HQ tank weaving through Mondrainville July 11, 1944
A possible display option for when you mess up your Pz. IV turret...
Maintenance and Refueling unit organization for Panzer Regiment 3 in Normandy
Panzergruppe West- July 10, 1944
Drone-view of the village of Sept-Vents showing the anti-tank defenses of 2nd Panzer Division in July of 1944, based on soldier memoirs
Relic of a rear door of a 2nd Panzer Div. vehicle... and a representation of a LKW Steyr 640
Captured Sherman Fireflies
Various German combat vehicles between Moyon and Troisgots
Interesting scene for that field kitchen sitting in your stash
Rear inside cover spread
So can I recommend this book for someone like me who can just scrape by translating it, or for someone who has no idea? Absolutely-- the photos themselves are worthwhile of the price...and provide insight for figure and armor modelers with German Western Front examples in their stashes. My scans do not do them justice- and there is a lot to look through here. Patience and some Googling will help you translate anything of interest and I look forward to Book III when it comes out.
Highly Recommended for anyone interested in German operations in the summer of 1944 in France.
Thanks goes out to Casemate Publishing for this review sample.
Reviewed by Michael Reeves
If you liked this review, consider joining AMPS. Your annual membership
includes six copies of AMPS's magazine, Boresight,
and helps to support our ongoing reviews.
Click here for more information about joining AMPS