Combat History of the Panzer-Abteilung 103 September 1943-August 1944, by Norbert Szamveber
Book published by PeKo in 2016, 118 pages. Large A4 size hardback - c.21cm by 30cm (N6335)
Brand New Book
From Introduction: Unfortunately very few German unit war diaries from WW2, especially those written by elements under divisional level, survived. However, such documents give a particular insight into the most intriguing details of combat actions. Nevertheless, PeKo Publishing House managed to find itself in possession of such a rarity, the Kriegstagebuch of PanzerAbteilung 103, which covers the period from summer 1943 to spring 1944. I was more than glad to undertake the task of writing a combat history of the unit based on that war diary, supplemented by other contemporary sources.
Reading the documents relating to the history of this armoured unit, which was compelled to engage in combat with Allied troops using StuG. III assault guns instead of tanks on a terrain in Italy where the conditions were much less than ideal for armoured tactics, was illuminating. Most of the time, Panzer-Abteilung 103 was put into action while broken up into platoon or company strength units at best which were then simultaneously deployed at several locations to provide support for German infantry or to fight against the Allies' armoured fighting vehicles.
Regrettably, the Abteilung's diary ends in April 1944 with its appendices only partially intact. Despite this, a very detailed picture emerges of the significant role played by Panzer Abteilung 103 at a time when Italy pulled out of the war and the Allies landed at Salerno and during the fighting at the Anzio/Nettuno. Chapters include:
Re-establishment of the Panzer-Abteilung 103
Italy Pulls out of the war
Fighting from Salerno to the river Volturno
In the Bernhardt Line
Against the Anzio Bridgehead in the area of Aprilia
Holding manoevres up to the River Arno