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The 15th Panzer Grenadier Division at War
Reliable and Relentless Valor and Glory
378 pages; 21 chapters and 2 appendices
The 15th Panzer Grenadier Division at War is a comprehensive historical e-book
about one of the German Army’s dozens of little know fighting units that were
surpassed any elite fighting force in the world. However, in the WWII German Army,
there were over 100 German elite divisions and the German Army did not ascribe
that honor to this division. The 15th Panzer Grenadier Division at War proves that
the 15th Panzer Grenadier Division was a German elite division in every sense
of the word. It was a division heaped with glory, and rock-ribbed with enduring
professionalism, under-girded by the enjoyment of warfighting.
German Army’s General von Senger, the XIV Panzer Corps commander in Italy,
1944, once pointed out that the veteran 15th Panzer Grenadier Division was the,
“best he had; it had the finest soldiers and an outstanding division commander and
staff”. Such kudos were extended to the 15th Panzer Grenadier Division by every
corps and army commander under which the division served, as well as by Adolph
Hitler himself. Those that commanded the valiant and effective
"The tactics employed by the Germans on those three days at Salerno, made full use of their advantages in positioning
and mobility. Mobile units, including the 15th Panzer Grenadier Division, practiced the principles of the “floating
Schwehrpunkt.” Tanks, followed by infantry carried in half-tracks, concentrated quickly at exposed gaps or vulnerable
parts of the allied lines and made quick stabs. Whenever the positions reached did not offer opportunity for further
exploitation, the Germans withdrew to their original concentration areas, ready to strike in a few hours in another
direction. If a seized enemy position was important for future plans, the Germans immediately fortified it with a small group
of infantry. That defense force was inevitably strong in machine guns and mortars, and held their position against all
odds, even when bypassed by allied counterthrusts. The veteran combat leaders of the German panzer forces had been
fighting for five years and were professionals living in combat on a scale of warfare far different from the inexperienced
(three months) and predictable US and British troops."
Excerpt from The 15th Panzer Grenadier Division at War
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15th Panzer Grenadier Division, from 1943 to May 1945, always ranked it highly in a Wehrmacht where over 300 combat
divisions, were spearheaded by a majority of elite divisions.
The 15th Panzer Grenadier Division was a first-class, maneuver division that earned its fame in Sicily, Salerno, Anzio,
along the Volturno, Gothic and Gustave Lines in Italy; and in France, Belgium and the German Reichswald. Fighting adroitly
and lethally in the rugged mountains of Italy, the Lorraine Plains in France, several French forests and towns, the fiery and
smoky canyons of Aachen, the forests around Bastogne Belgium, and the swamps and forest of Northwest Europe, the 15th
Panzer Grenadier Division was always one the best German Army combat units. The division was always reliable and
steadfast in defense, and on the offense it was fast-moving, hard-charging, and well-led.
On more than one occasion, only two battered, depleted battalions (e.g. 200-320 men each) of the 15th Panzer Grenadier
Division destroyed entire full-strength American divisions. That is why the Fuhrer always remembered the 15th Panzer
Grenadier Division and earmarked it as the Center of Gravity for each new critical offensive and crisis situation on the
Western Front. Yet, it was never rated as a German elite division because there were many WWII German Army elite
divisions that were even better.