Blitzkrieg. For many the word conjures up a vision of massed columns of tanks sweeping through Europe, smashing all resistance, relentless caterpillar treads leaving a trail of devastation in their wake. War historians agree that it was the Panzer divisions' achievements that were largely responsible for Germany's early run of success in the Second World War and, once the tide of fortune had begun to turn against the Reich, the Panzers subsequently became the very backbone of its defence. The dramatic story of Hitler's tank divisions is more than one of mere mechanical efficiency. It is also about those who commanded and fought, and believed in their near-invincibility. These are the men who come to life in this immensely readable narrative - great generals like Guderian, Rommel and Manstein, tank aces like Wittmann and Bake, and inspired commanders like Balck and Bayerlein dominate the story of Panzerkrieg. Dispensing with jargon, but including explanatory maps, rare illustrations and fascinating detail on uniforms, crew members and mechanical features of the machines, the authors give a comprehensive overview of all aspects of the subject, both human and technical. They have also benefited from new information available since the opening of cold war archives. Emerging from the narrative is the whole vast canvas of the war, as it follows the titanic struggles which ranged between the Bocage country of France, the desert wastes of North Africa, and the limitless steppes of Russia. The development of German fighting vehicles and tactics is fully charted, and the many myths and misconceptions that have grown up around the Panzerwaffe are exploded. Extensive research, reference to the memoirs of the leading participants, and original new conclusions all contribute to this finely measured assessment of the evolution, exploits and eventual destruction of this superlative fighting force.