The German 3rd Panzer Division was established in 1935 under the command of Generalleutnant Ernst Fessmann. It later participated in the 1939 invasion of Poland, the 1940 invasion of France, and the 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union. On the Eastern Front it participated in the 1942 drive on the Caucasus and participated in the Battle of Kursk as part of the 48th Panzer Corps, fighting alongside the 11th Panzer division, the 167th Infantry division and the elite Panzergrenadier division Grossdeutschland. During the battle, the 3rd Panzer was used to achieve the initial breakthrough and inflicted heavy damage to the Soviet forces. It was then used to protect the flanks of the 48th Panzer Corps. After the Soviet counter-attack at Kursk, in which the 3rd Panzer division tried unsuccessfully to defend Kharkov, it retreated as the Germans were driven back westward. This is a fully illustrated account of the German 3rd Panzer Division in World War II, from 1943 through the end of the war.
The division, which had almost fifty Knight's Cross winners by the end of the war, fought on the Eastern Front during this period, which witnessed brutal clashes between German Tigers and Panthers and Soviet T-34s, including the massive tank battle at Kursk. The book is based on the recollections of the veterans themselves, supplemented by the Division's daily logs, and it features many of their personal photos of tanks and soldiers as well as Russian villages and people.show more