The 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich

Yves Buffetaut

A fully illustrated history of the 2nd SS-Panzer 'Das Reich' Division, from their pre-war formation, through the Blitzkrieg campaigns and Barbarossa to Normandy and their final surrender in May 1945.
Publication date:
December 2017
Publisher :
Casemate Publishers
Series :
Casemate Illustrated
Illustration :
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781612005256

Dimensions : 254 X 178 mm
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• The 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich is one of the most infamous German units of WWII
• Covering all their actions in WWII, from Poland and France, Barbarossa, Kursk, Normandy and the Ardennes to Hungary
• Packed with images and informative text, this book brings the quality of the Militaria series to an English-speaking audience

The 2nd SS Division, "Das Reich,” was a battlefront mainstay for Nazi Germany throughout WWII—from the invasion of Poland in 1939 to the final surrender in May 1945. In between it was switched back-and-forth between east and west depending on the crisis, and it fought in nearly every major campaign, from Barbarossa to Normandy, and from Kharkov to the Ardennes.

Das Reich was the first Waffen SS division created (though the title "1st” was reserved for Hitler's Leibstandarte). Originally named the Verfügungs Division, its regiments fought through the campaigns in Poland, the Low Countries, and France, earning the respect of Wehrmacht leaders who originally doubted the efficacy of SS units. Renamed "Das Reich” after the French surrender, its elements served as a spearhead in the Balkans campaign, achieving a daring capture of Belgrade.

In Operation Barbarossa, Das Reich fought with Guderian's Second Panzer Group, first in the drive on Moscow, then toward Kiev, then Moscow again. Pulled out of the line after gigantic casualties, it seized Toulon in France, then was sent back to Russia, as part of the SS Panzer Corps, to retrieve the German debacle after Stalingrad. At the titanic tank-battle of Kursk, Das Reich was at the forefront.

In June 1944, as a full SS-Panzer Division, Das Reich played an infamous role in its approach march to Normandy, as the French Resistance temporarily reached a high tide. On the Allied invasion front, Das Reich not only escaped from the Falaise Pocket but was sent back into it, to retrieve other German units struggling to get out.

Das Reich fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and was then transferred to Hungary, for Hitler's last counteroffensive of the war. Failing to retake Budapest, elements of the division were able to mount a gallant defense of Prague. When the end came, some formations were forced to surrender to the Russians while others made it to American lines. Its reputation, for better or worse, had already been established.

This lavishly illustrated book by renowned French historian Yves Buffetaut lays out the full history of Das Reich in World War II, with rare photos, informative text, and true insights into a unique combat division in modern warfare.


This series does exactly what it says on the cover - lavishly illustrated, stuffed with photos and biographies what else could you ask for? Certainly my first recourse from now on when looking at the SS panzer divisions. give yourself a treat and buy a copy asap if tanks are your thing.
Army Rumour Service

I happen to really like what Histoire & Collections and other publishers across the Channel have been doing and welcome the opportunity to see their books in English, especially when they cover French subjects.
War History Online

... a first-rate book, which readers will return to many times over and always find something new.
Gun Mart

These twin books by the same author are high-quality…with excellent photographs and an endowment of full-colour pictures of typical equipment.
Miniature Wargames - Chris Jarvis

And here is another fascinating piece of military history from the opposite point of view...this doesn't purport to be an illustrated history of the Reich, but it damn well is!
Books Monthly

The text of each chapter tells the historical story of sequential events while the heart of the book is held by the large number of archive photos which do indeed illustrate the story. Interspersed with all this are separate factual notes giving profiles of various commanders, maps and some fine colour profiles of various tanks and trucks which modellers in particular will enjoy.
Military Model Scene

Quite an excellent publication squeezing a lot into its 128 pages. Recommended.
Scale Military Modelling International Magazine

If you're interested in German Armoured Operations, and in particular the 2nd SS Panzer Regiment then this will be a good read.

In one book the reader will get the full history of this famous German division. Moreover, those photos contain rare material and might come handy for a modeling hobby as well.