The German View of World War II

The German View of World War II

Thursday, March 25, 2021

“History is written by the victors” is a familiar saying, often misattributed to Winston Churchill. While the quote’s origins may be murky, its meaning is clear—the winners of a conflict get to control how the story is told later in the history books.

Occasionally, though, the vanquished also get a say. Such is the case with a series of books called Die Wehrmacht im Kampf, which gives the German Army’s perspective of operations in World War II.

The AUSA Book Program has partnered with Casemate Publishers to release the first-ever English versions of these books, which were originally published in the 1950s and 1960s by former members of the Wehrmacht. Those veterans provide first-hand accounts of key battles fought throughout Europe and North Africa.

Each volume in the series features a modern introduction by Dr. Matthias Strohn, an expert on the German army who teaches at the University of Buckingham and at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. 

As Strohn points out, the significance of the books extends beyond the battles they cover. The series kicked off with Panzer Operations, written by the noted armor officer Hermann Hoth. When Hoth originally published his story in 1956, the Cold War was in full swing and the NATO allies were very interested in tactical and operations details of how the Germans battled the Soviets on the Eastern plains of Europe.

Here is the full list of Die Wehrmacht im Kampf books, starting with the most recently published titles:

  • Arctic Front: The Advance of Mountain Corps Norway on Murmansk, 1941 by Wilhelm Hess
  • Narvik: The Struggle of Battle Group Dietl in the Spring of 1940 by Alex Buchner
  • Leningrad: The Advance of Panzer Group 4, 1941 by W. Chales de Beaulieu
  • Operation Crusader: Tank Warfare in the Desert, Tobruk 1941 by Hermann Büschleb
  • Dunkirk: German Operations in France 1940 by Hans-Adolf Jacobsen
  • The Battle of Korsun-Cherksassy: The Encirclement and Breakout of Army Group South, 1944 by Nikolaus von Vormann
  • Vitebsk: The Fight and Destruction of Third Panzer Army by Otto Heidkämper
  • Panzer Operations: Germany’s Panzer Group 3 During the Invasion of Russia, 1941 by Hermann Hoth

Look for more to be released in following seasons. To get your copy of any of these titles, please visit