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The 8th Tank Division
of the German Armed Forces
1939–1945
Photos – Texts – Documents

A book for those, who are interested in military and
contemporary historical events and for military collectors

Volume 1
1939–1942 review on the history of the division

Volume 2
1943–1945 with events thereafter

After the first edition from the year 1992, we can now present the improved and extended new edition of the documentation about the 8th Tank Division of the German Armed Forces. As already in the first edition, the path, which the division took in the years 1939-1945, has been traced by means of pictures, documents and accompanying texts. The important events of this path were: Its founding as the 3rd light-armored division (1938), participation in the occupation of the Sudetenland and the remaining part of Czechoslovakia (1938/39), transformation into the 8th Tank Division (1939), Poland campaign (1939), West campaign (1940), Balkan campaign (1941) and the war against the Soviet Union (east campaign) in the years 1941-1945.

The 8th Tank Division took part in all the important campaigns of the Second World War in Europe. In the Poland and the West campaign, it was the most important division of the army. As the leading division of the military group north in the war against the Soviet Union, it occupied the city of DŁnaburg only a few days after the beginning of the war. It was by far ahead of all the other divisions of the military group north. During the war against the Soviet Union / Russia, the 8th Tank Division was used in the sections of the army group north, center and south. It was very often employed at the focal points of the war happenings. The division had great success, but therefore also suffered high losses. Names like DŁnaburg, Luga, Ilmensee, Tichwin, Demjansk, Cholm, Welikije Luki, Witebsk, Brjansk, Kursk, Orel, Desna, Kiew, Shitomir, Tarnopol, Duklapass and Budapest accompanied the battles and path of the 8th Tank Division in the war against the Soviet Union. The division was considerably involved in the last large defence success of the armed forces in the east, the battle for Lauban/Schlesien.

The achievements of the 8th Tank Division show themselves in the many awarded high decorations: 2 Eichenlaub honorees, 27 Ritterkreuz honorees, 99 honorees of the German Cross in gold, 2 honorees of the German Cross in silver, 9 honorees of the Close Combat Medal in gold and 28 honorees of the Honoree Medal of the army.

In relation to the first edition the number of photos illustrated, the documents and vouchers have doubled. Selected reports out of the war diaries have been additionally incorporated to a larger extent. These show - with the supplementing descriptions from time witnesses of the 8th Tank Division - the extraordinary high risks and dangers the troop had been exposed to during each combat day. In this connection, battles against undercover groups in the hinterland of the front are being reported.

The topic, the actual hostile tank weapon - in regards to technology and employment principles - has been dealt with based on primary sources. Additionally a few German tank types are being discussed in detail, i.e. the PzKpfw. V "Panther".

In the year 1944 was created the schw.Pz.dept. 510 with members of the tank regiment 10 of the 8th Tank Division. The department belonging to the traditional group of the 8th Tank Division that fought with the PzKpfw. VI "Tiger" is being remembered in this edition. The book reports also about the traditional group "8th Tank Division and the Tiger dept. 510" and how it cultivates its relationship to the German Federal Armed Forces.

The documentation on the 8th Tank Division considers the topic of collecting, safekeeping, reinforcing and archiving contemporary military historical documents and objects of the former German Armed Forces. There will be an important addition in the new edition dealing with this sector, which is of great importance to those, who are interested in military and contemporary historical events and for military collectors.

Note: The author of the book has selected the proven old orthography, because it has been used already in the entire literature. He is of the opinion that this book is cultural property, which has grown during decades, and it cannot be changed randomly.


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