• The Panzer Killers

  • The Untold Story of a Fighting General and His Spearhead Tank Division's Charge into the Third Reich
  • By: Daniel P. Bolger
  • Narrated by: Stephen Mendel
  • Length: 13 hrs and 2 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (161 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A general-turned-historian reveals the remarkable battlefield heroics of Major General Maurice Rose, the World War II tank commander whose 3rd Armored Division struck fear into the hearts of Hitler's panzer crews.

The Panzer Killers is a great book, vividly written and shrewdly observed.” (The Wall Street Journal)

Two months after D-Day, the Allies found themselves in a stalemate in Normandy, having suffered enormous casualties attempting to push through hedgerow country. Troops were spent, and American tankers, lacking the tactics and leadership to deal with the terrain, were losing their spirit. General George Patton and the other top US commanders needed an officer who knew how to break the impasse and roll over the Germans - they needed one man with the grit and the vision to take the war all the way to the Rhine. Patton and his peers selected Maurice Rose.

The son of a rabbi, Rose never discussed his Jewish heritage. But his ferocity on the battlefield reflected an inner flame. He led his 3rd Armored Division not from a command post but from the first vehicle in formation, charging headfirst into a fight. He devised innovative tactics, made the most of American weapons, and personally chose the cadre of young officers who drove his division forward. From Normandy to the West Wall, from the Battle of the Bulge to the final charge across Germany, Maurice Rose's deadly division of tanks blasted through enemy lines and pursued the enemy with a remarkable intensity. 

In The Panzer Killers, Daniel P. Bolger, a retired lieutenant general and Iraq War veteran, offers up a lively, dramatic tale of Rose's heroism. Along the way, Bolger infuses the narrative with fascinating insights that could only come from an author who has commanded tank forces in combat. The result is a unique and masterful story of battlefield leadership, destined to become a classic.

©2020 Daniel P. Bolger (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Gen. Rose’s story is now wonderfully told by Daniel Bolger, himself a three-star general who in retirement has become a masterly historian.... The Panzer Killers is a great book, vividly written and shrewdly observed.” (The Wall Street Journal

“Hitting like a Sherman cannon, Daniel Bolger’s The Panzer Killers drives the reader through a curtain of steel, shells, concrete, and flesh and into the heart of Germany’s Third Reich. What unfolds is a captivating story of an unsung Jewish rabbi’s son who led America’s deadliest tank division across a river of blood to the cusp of victory.” (Jonathan W. Jordan, national best-selling author of Brothers Rivals Victors

“Major General Maurice Rose finally gets his due in The Panzer Killers. Written with insight only a general turned historian could have, Daniel Bolger brings to life World War II's best tank commander in a riveting account of armored combat.” (Kevin Maurer, number one New York Times best-selling coauthor of No Easy Day and author of Rock Force: The American Paratroopers Who Took Back Corregidor and Exacted MacArthur's Revenge on Japan

What listeners say about The Panzer Killers

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Pronunciation counts

I was familiar with the story of MG Maurice Rose before I came across this book. LTG Bolger did an excellent job of crafting a narrative that conveys a sense of who the man who eschewed publicity and kept himself to himself really was. The story of Rose and the 3D AD in World War II deserves to be well known. My only complaint is with the narrator and producer failing to do the basic and fairly simple research to learn the proper pronunciation of some common military terms. The Browning Automatic Rifle was known as a “B-A-R”, not a “bar”. The 1st Infantry Division is known as the Big Red ONE, not the Big RED One. I’m probably more sensitive to those lapses because I’m an Army veteran, but it still should be important to the people creating the audiobooks to get those things right.

7 people found this helpful

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Historically Accurate Masterpiece

Bolger’s research and attention to detail is unsurpassed and Mendel’s delivery paints a realistic picture of the 3rd Army’s advance across Europe during WWII.
Anyone with an interest in WWII history will appreciate this recount of the bravery and sacrifice our ancestors had in the face of a fanatical enemy.

4 people found this helpful

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Very informative book

I an a retired US Army tanker (1972 to 1994). was never with the 3rd AD. it was a very in depth book. I thank the author for writing it

3 people found this helpful

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Terrible book

It sort of focused on 2 star Maurice Rose but spends most of the book bashing other American generals, especially Bradley.
Author has an intense affection for Montgomery who is generally considered a mediocre commander.
I'd give it fewer stars if I could

2 people found this helpful

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True American leader

Narrator was a bit dry. Great story, but wish it had more first hand narrative.

1 person found this helpful

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An unknown American 2-star armored commander.

American hero receives his story justly told as is his due. The greatest generation indeed

1 person found this helpful

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Eh

Narration is labored, boring.

Story is tedious, uninspiring.

Overall: not worth the credit. Too bad. There is an important story here somewhere.

1 person found this helpful

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A tribute to the life of General Rose

General Bolger brings a unique military perspective to the life of General Rose. A detailed battlefield description of the military tactics of General Rose and the 3rd Armored Division after the Normandy invasion. Bolger tells the story of a complex man who kept his life and Jewish heritage private as he tore across Europe as the "Immaculate Killer of Nazis." His absolute focus and determination for his two and half years of combat through North Africa, Sicily, and Europe was to defeat Nazi Germany and return to his family. Sadly, that quest ended on March 30, 1945 when he made the supreme sacrifice for his country. This book is a profound tribute to this heroic General and the people who served with him. Stephen Mendel also did a masterful job of narrating the audio book.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent!

Worth your time and effort. I learned many things. Maurice Rose is a name we should all know.

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A highly opinionated and overly-simplified book

Daniel P. Bolger wants you to know that he was a good commanding officer because he was at the front with his troops. He openly mocks commanders in this book by boiling down their lack of success to being "map guys," and hits on this point countless times, to the point where you find yourself saying "OKAY, I GET IT." (Note: He's basically saying "Good officers lead from the front and can compute complex battlefield situations quickly." Less successful commanders "Lead from three miles back in a headquarters and can't hack it up on the lines."). He's completely fixated on this oversimplification, yet deems it unworthy of further discussion. His descriptions of some generals borders on slander and doesn't offer any citations to explain his opinions of these people.

That being said, the research here is great. General Rose is truly an unsung hero in American history, and Bolger does a good job of illustrating his breakneck race through Europe (hence the three stars and not something lower for being a pig-headed windbag). Performance was okay, it just got more annoying when they were chiding citizen soldiers for their ability to read maps well, but not battlefields.

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  • pete
  • 05-27-21

bored to tears

story boring from the start. .. monotone narration ... was difficult to keep listening. .. not recommended ...

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  • Cameron Knott
  • 01-26-22

Good history

OK treatment of Maurice Rose and 3rd Division's battle from DDay to Germany. Some really good analysis but the text is repetitive and has a lot of purple prose.