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Thanks to a very interesting collection of testimonies and photographs from former soldiers of the “LSSAH”, the German, Thomas Fischer escorts us through the often not very well-known world of the artillery and what’s more, that of the Waffen-SS’s 1st Division ! Although a bit of a change from the Panzers and the Grenadiere, the world of the Artilleristen is just as interesting: observation, direction finding, gun deployment, shells preparation and the “intimate”, almost “affectionate” relationship between the gunner and his gun or his howitzer.
A Spartan East Prussian, an artilleryman from the outset and a very strict group commander, Gustav Mertsch not only engaged his guns from the rear using a curved trajectory, but also as often as possible used a flat trajectory fire, pounding certain targets almost at point blank range. During some battles, the artillerymen had to use their rifles, particularly in the East, because the enemy was so near and got close in by surprise. In this book, the reader will understand the vital importance of artillery, both in defence and in attack, as much during the short Balkan Campaign in the spring of 1941, as during the trying months in the vastness of the Eastern Front. We find the Artillerie-LAH once again in Normandy when it was deployed to the south of Caen at the end of June, beginning of July 1944. Seriously wounded in Normandy, Gustav Mertsch was withdrawn from the invasion front and never returned to the Leibstandarte. After the war, he settled in Hanover. Aware that he had been a very severe Kommandeur, Mertsch preferred to avoid contact with his former soldiers in the Artillerie-LAH.
|Format||21 x 29x7 cm|
|nombre de pages||80|