Normandy 1944 by Niklas Zetterling - 2nd Ed

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Cornelius
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Joined: 17 Jun 2014, 19:27
Location: UK

Normandy 1944 by Niklas Zetterling - 2nd Ed

Post by Cornelius »

Normandy 1944 – German Military Organization, Combat Power and Organizational Effectiveness
by Niklas Zetterling

A comparison of first and second editions.

Many will be aware of Zetterling’s research into the German forces in Normandy in 1944. He has carried out a lot and in 2000 produced a fascinating study published by J. J. Fedorowicz that I find indispensable for understanding this campaign. I counted myself fortunate because I have a copy of that edition and it was out of print for some years. Recently however the title was reprinted by Casemate Publishers in a “fully revised” second edition. I was intrigued and looked at the reviews on Amazon. There were only two of any substance: one said the book was hardly revised at all (so no point in buying a second edition), the other identified that changes from the first were concentrated on unit data (which was of interest to me) and that the overall, the author’s conclusions were unchanged. I decided it seemed worthwhile buying the second edition as it was not exorbitantly priced and I have used the first edition a lot so it is looking a little worn.
From a quick examination of the new book, it appeared that, as the review suggested, not much at all had changed. However, I decided to go through the unit histories and look for additions/changes. This was a visual search and not foolproof. Still, it gave me an idea of whether the additional investment had been worthwhile.
Here is my summary of the changes to unit histories I have noted:
• Schwere SS-Panzer Abt 102 – one extra sentence on losses.
• Schwere Panzer Abt 503 – one fewer references in the new version.
• Schwere Panzerjaeger Abt 654 – by far the largest addition identified – four pages of new text including vehicle numbers and employment, and losses. This was all from a recently available unit war diary. This is perhaps the most extensive and useful addition in the second edition.
• Panzerjaeger Abt 657 – two sentences added.
• 3rd Fallschirmjaeger Division – one extra sentence (with an obvious word missing).
• 77th Infantry Division – four extra lines and an extra references about the origin of the personnel.
• 265th Infantry Division – One paragraph of five extra lines about the origin of the personnel and one of six lines about the unit’s fate, plus some extra references.
• 266th Infantry Division – one extra line on losses to air attacks and partisans.
• 271st Infantry Division – one extra line on casualties in July.
• 272nd Infantry Division – one extra line on casualties in July.
• 275th Infantry Division – one extra line on numbers in July.
• 276th Infantry Division – three lines on the origin of the division. More information on arrival and initial deployment in Normandy. A sentence on the final fate of the division.
• 277th Infantry Division – one extra line on casualties in July.
• 326th Infantry Division – one extra line on casualties in July.
• 346th Infantry Division – one extra line on casualties in July.
• 2nd Panzer Division – the unit Organogram for 2nd SS Panzer Division is also given for 2nd Panzer Division, rather than the correct diagram from the first edition – it has gone completely AWOL. That is poor proof-reading. It is fortunate that I still have the first edition. The author has added a few lines on casualties to end of July 1944.
• 2nd SS Panzer Division – revision to strength at end of 1943.
• 9th SS Panzer Division – paragraph on AFV strength on 5th July added. Paragraph on casualties in July added.
• 10th SS Panzer Division – one extra line on casualties in July.
• 12th SS Panzer Division – one extra line on casualties in July.
• 17th SS Panzergrandier Division – paragraph on casualties in June replaced by four paragraphs of new text, plus another further on.
• 21st Pamzer Division – sentence on tank losses to 26th June. Sentence on casualties in July.
• Panzer-Lehr Division – Sentence about AFV losses to June 26th added.i
There are changes to the appendices. Appendix 3 Calculations of Armour-Piercing Capabilities has been replaced by an appendix on The Reliability of Casualty Reports. The missing appendix is not Normandy specific and not a real loss – such information can be sourced elsewhere. The replacement appendix is however also not really relevant to Normandy, being a critique of methods of estimating German casualties in general. Appendix 6 - Estimated Allied Armour Strength in Normandy – is lost from the second edition. This information is probably better sourced elsewhere and so is not a major loss to this book. The final appendix has also been omitted from the second edition. That appendix was “Christopher A Lawrence’s Comments on John Sloane Brown’s Critique of Trever Dupuy’s Calculations of German Combat Efficiency” and is not Normandy related, and more academic bickering so it not a loss.
In conclusion, most the additional unit material is of little consequence to an owner of a copy of the first edition. However there is some useful new stuff. The error on the 2nd Panzer Division would be more of a disappointment though if you do not own first edition. The chapter on books on individual unit histories misses Kortenhaus’ History of the 21st Panzer Division, which was surely published when the revisions were being collated, and that is another disappointment.
My own verdict is that I consider it was worth the money on spent on the new edition, but it is not a step change and if your budget is tight then don’t bother with the new edition. If you don’t own the first edition then you have to buy this book.

CarlL
Posts: 970
Joined: 25 Mar 2013, 20:53
Location: North Yorkshire

Re: Normandy 1944 by Niklas Zetterling - 2nd Ed

Post by CarlL »

Cornelius,
Thank you for taking time to write your "review" and sharing it on this site. Very useful information about this publication.
Good to see such book reviews or commentaries.
Would welcome others in future.

CarlL

Cornelius
Posts: 3
Joined: 17 Jun 2014, 19:27
Location: UK

Re: Normandy 1944 by Niklas Zetterling - 2nd Ed

Post by Cornelius »

My pleasure.

CarlL
Posts: 970
Joined: 25 Mar 2013, 20:53
Location: North Yorkshire

Re: Normandy 1944 by Niklas Zetterling - 2nd Ed

Post by CarlL »

Its good that its had 150+ views but sad that such useful summary has not led to a discussion at this time. But as I said previously a REALLY good review.
CarlL

Cornelius
Posts: 3
Joined: 17 Jun 2014, 19:27
Location: UK

Re: Normandy 1944 by Niklas Zetterling - 2nd Ed

Post by Cornelius »

Well maybe there's not much to discuss ...

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