Readers discovered in 1995, with The Devil's Adjutant and in 1997 with STEEL INFERNO that Michael Reynolds' experience as a combat veteran and leader of soldiers, from platoon to mechanized division, informs his works with rare insight and realism. A rigorous, exacting researcher with an eye for telling drama, Reynolds is no armchair theoretician or chronicler of the minutes of High Command. He scrutinizes battles as they actually occurred - maelstroms of firepower, courage and flesh in which superior strength and combat skills were the sole, unvarnished factors in success.MEN OF STEEL follows Germany's largest remaining elite formation, 1 SS Panzer Corps, during the last five months of the World War II in Europe. Threatened with massive invasions from both the East and the West, in the last days of the Third Reich, Hitler opted to counter-attack. In December 1944 the Germans launched a last desperate offensive in the west, 1 SS Panzer Corps its cutting edge through the Ardennes in what became the greatest American battle since Gettysburg. After Anglo-American armies under Braadley, Patton and Montgomery had sealed off the Ardennes breakthrough, the panzer corps was transferred to mount an attack against the onrushing Soviets in the East. At Lake Balaton the 1 SS Panzer Corps waded into vastly superior Red Army forces in what became the last German offensive of the war.On both fronts the panzers were finally overwhelmed and the victors exulted in the annihilation of Nazi Germany. By examining in thorough detail the final death throes of Hitler's elite combat formations, Reynolds vividly illustrates the price of Allied victory, and why it was so difficult to achieve. Michael Reynolds retired from the British Army with the rank of Major General in 1986. His last command was NATO's International Mobile Force, and he subsequently became Director of its Military Plans and Policy Commission. His previous two books, The Devil's Adjutant (1995) and Steel Inferno (1997) were released to international acclaim.
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About the Author
Since retiring from a distinguished military career, during which he saw active service and commanded at all levels up to Division, Major General Michael Reynolds has become a respected historian and writer. His previous books have brough him international acclaim and he is now recognized as a leading specialist on the Waffen-SS and its actions in World War II.Married with three daughters and six grandchildren, Michael Reynolds lives in East Sussex, England.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Michael Reynolds brings a refreshing and clear eyed candor to both Men of Steel and Steel Inferno. He is unsparing of his praise for the tactical prowess of the Waffen SS units that made up the I and II SS Panzer Corps whilst not overlooking their failures and transgressions. He also adds to our understanding of the campaign in Northwest Europe as seen from the German side. I particularly appreciated his honest accounting of the lacklustre performance of the British 2nd Army, and specifically its leadership and that of subordinate corps commanders, in Operation Market Garden as compared to their counterparts on the German side. Overall his books show not only that the soldiers of the SS panzer units were formidable adversaries but how well both American and British soldiers did to face and defeat them in battle with, in most cases, markedly inferior equipment and weapons. Had it not been for the allies' outstanding artillery and dominance of the air, the German superiority in the quality of their tanks, anti-tank weapons and even infantry arms would have been overwhelming. Both books are thoroughly recommended.for WWII buffs interested in the nitty-gritty of the NW Europe theatre in particular. The sections dealing with the Eastern Front are somewhat less interesting and detailed.