Notes & Despatches

In our Notes & Despatches section are short, topical articles, first-hand accounts and reviews of books, films and websites. We add new articles and reviews every month and you can keep up to date with what’s being added by subscribing to our newsletter. We welcome suggestions for contributions.

Wehrmacht In Action5 August 2015

Panther Bulletin

The following article comes from the US War Department’s Intelligence Bulletin for January 1944 (Vol II, no. 5.). The Intelligence Bulletin, which contained summaries of Allied intelligence on German equipment and tactics, was published every month and distributed in limited numbers (usually about 150 copies per division) for use by officers and enlisted men in the field. Copies of the Bulletin provide a fascinating insight into what Allied intelligence officers knew about German capabilities, and also what they felt the men in the field needed to hear. As can be seen from this article, which downplays the threat posed by the Panther tank, the gulf between what Allied intelligence knew and what it felt should be passed on to the troops was often quite wide.

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Wehrmacht In Action13 April 2015

Tiger Encounter

The following two US Army intelligence reports provide a fascinating insight into the initial Allied reaction to the first appearances of the Tiger tank on the battlefields of North Africa.

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Wehrmacht In Action13 April 2015

Operational History


The history of the 90th Light Africa Division is shorter than most typical German divisional units because it existed for only two years. Those two years followed the entire North Africa Campaign from 1941 until May of 1943 when all Axis units surrendered in Tunisia. The history of this unit follows directly the fortunes of all German units stationed in North Africa.

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I Was There2 March 2015

Helmut Ritgen, 19 December 1942

This account comes from the memoirs of Helmut Ritgen, who was the Regimental Adjutant of Panzer Regiment 11, part of the 6th Panzer Division. It describes the actions fought by his unit on 19 December 1942, the opening day of Operation Winter Storm - the attempt to break through to the encircled 6th Army in Stalingrad. From his viewpoint in the command tank of Generaloberst Erhard Raus he describes the initial clashes with the Soviet troops manning the frontline and the breakthrough into the open country beyond.

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Wehrmacht In Action2 March 2015

Operation Sunflower


74 years ago, Erwin Rommel had an immediate impact on the North Africa theater in one of the great achievements of the deployment of a fluid, mobile offensive.On 6 February 1941, the order was given to deploy German troops to North Africa to shore up the Italian forces there. The operation was codenamed Sonnenblume - “Sunflower”. The initial deployment was by men of the 5th Light Division (later renamed 21st Panzer Division). By far the most important individual was the commander of these men, Erwin Rommel.

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Sites20 February 2015

Strachan Militaria

20th Century Militaria from Around the World

Strachan Militaria specialises in original militaria from Germany, Great Britain, the United States, Italy, Russia, France and Spain from the major conflicts of the 20th century.

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