Reichsfuhrer-SS, Chief of German Police, Reich Commissar for the Consolidation of German Nationhood, Reich Minister of the Interior, Commander of the Replacement Army, and Commander-in-Chief of Army Group Vistula -- Heinrich Himmler ultimately combined all of these positions in his person. All of his roles are described and explained in detail for the first time in this comprehensive book. What were the tasks of the Security Police compared to the SD (Security Service)? What was the function of the Dienststelle SS-Obergruppenfuhrer Heissmeyer? These and other questions are answered in this book, which also describes combat operations by the Waffen-SS and the Ordnungspolizei. The resettlement of the ethnic Germans and the deportation of the Jewish populations of Europe also form part of the book, as do the detailed history of Army Group Vistula. A total of 275 illustrations, together with the complete texts of several of Himmlers speeches complete this outstanding book about the man responsible for the implementation of National-Socialist policy.
All of the uniform-specific insignia used by the Waffen-SS in World War II are presented in this concise, all-colour book. Included are sleeve and cap eagles in their various versions, collar tabs, sleeve shields, and cuff titles, as well as shoulder boards and straps, and rank insignia. Using nearly 300 colour photographs, this book shows the scope in insignia the Waffen-SS achieved by war's end, and how far it deviated from Himmlers earlier principles as a result of the steadily deteriorating war situation. Some of the rarest insignia shown are those from Waffen-SS units using Armenian, Bosnian, Indian, and Georgian troops. Also included are numerous war-era photographs that document the wearing of the various insignia shown.
The story of the French units of the Waffen-SS in World War II -- the Franzoesische SS-Freiwilligen-Grenadier-Regiment; Franzoesische SS-Freiwilligen-Sturmbrigade, Waffen-Grenadier-Brigade der SS Charlemagne; 33. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS Charlemagne -- is told in this concise and detailed book. Examined first are the many fascist and national-socialist movements that existed in France at the beginning of the twentieth century, from whose ranks the majority of the war and eastern front volunteers were recruited. The recruiting campaign and training of the SS volunteers are examined, along with the combat operations by armed French units in Galicia, Pomerania, Kolberg, and in the Gotenhafen area. After the necessary unit rebuilding following these costly actions, there followed further actions in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, and the actions of unit remnants in the Reich capital Berlin. The book is augmented by rare photographs, some never before published, and detailed maps.
A detailed history of all 18 Waffen-SS grenadier divisions in World War II, including formation, combat operations throughout the war, and final disposition at war's end. Rare images-including soldbuchs and award documents-and personal veteran accounts are featured, along with equipment, commanders, maps, and charts. Included: 14. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (ukrainische Nr. 1); 15. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (lettische Nr. 1); 19. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (lettische Nr. 2); 20. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (estnische Nr. 1); 25. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS Hunyadi (ungarische Nr. 1); 26. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS Hungaria (ungarische Nr. 2); 27. SS-Freiwilligen-Grenadier-Division Langemarck (flAmische Nr. 1); 28. SS-Freiwilligen-Grenadier-Division Wallonien (wallonische Nr. 1); 29. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS RONA (russische Nr. 1); 29. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (italienische Nr. 1); 30. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (russische Nr. 2); 31. SS-Freiwilligen-Grenadier-Division; 32. SS-Freiwilligen-Grenadier-Division 30. Januar ; 33. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS Charlemagne (franzAsische Nr. 1); 34. SS-Freiwilligen-Grenadier-Division Landstorm Nederland (niederl. Nr. 2); 35. SS-Polizei-Grenadier-Division; 36. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS; 38. SS-Grenadier-Division Nibelungen.
Take a detailed look into the brutal anti-partisan warfare in Yugoslavia during the Second World War. The SS war against the partisans, dubbed Bandenkampf (literally fight against bandits ) at the time, differed greatly from the conventional war at the front. The 24. Waffen-Gebirgs [Karstjager]-Division der SS anti-partisan unit was mostly comprised of ethnic Germans from Romania and operated in the Karst border area of Austria, Yugoslavia, and Italy from 1943 to 1945. This is not only a history of this SS division -- including details of formation, training, commanders, and operations -- but also an examination of the German Anti-Partisan War Badge in Gold and its recipients from the unit. Very rare examples of actual badges, award documents and soldbuchs, and never before seen war era images are presented.
Take a rare look at a little known Third Reich badge awarded to volunteers from the occupied eastern territories who served in various German formations. As the German military situation worsened in 1942, Hitler authorised formation of so-called eastern units made up of Slavic volunteers. With the number of eastern volunteers rising rapidly and many of them already having distinguished themselves in action, the question of how to honour their service arose. In July 1942, Hitler ordered the awarding of the Decoration for Eastern Peoples. Those permitted to be awarded included Turkish units, Cossack units, Crimean Tatar units, Auxiliary Police (Schutzmannschaft) Battalions, unarmed auxiliaries (Hilfswilligen, or Hiwis) in German units, and domestic security units in the operations zone. Very rare examples of actual badges, award documents and soldbuchs, and never before seen war era images are presented here.
A rare look inside the Sonderkommando Dirlewanger, the SS anti-partisan unit notorious for atrocities in Poland and Russia during World War II. These memoirs were written by a former member of the unit from its formation in 1940 to the end of the war and took part in nearly all its operations. A first hand account of the brutal and barbaric methods used by Dirlewanger against partisans methods that appalled even some SS commanders are revealed here in this memoir. SS-Sonderkommando Dirlewanger was originally manned by convicted poachers, however as the war progressed replacements were found by emptying prisons and filling the ranks with more hardened criminals. Here are the chilling recollections of a soldier in the SS-Sonderkommando Dirlewanger during the Polish and Russian campaigns, the 1944 Warsaw uprising and the final battles near Berlin.
A detailed history of all seven Waffen-SS panzer divisions in World War II: 1.SS-Panzer-Division Lebstandarte Adolf Hitler ; 2.SS-Panzer-Division Das Reich ; 3.SS-Panzer-Division Totenkopf ; 5.SS-Panzer-Division Wiking ; 9.SS-Panzer-Division Hohenstaufen ; 10.SS-Panzer-Division Frundsberg ; 12.SS-Panzer-Division Hitlerjugend . Each unit is presented in detailed history from its formation, combat operations throughout the war, and final disposition at war's end. Rare images -- most never before published, including soldbuchs and award documents -- and personal veteran accounts are featured along with equipment, commanders, maps, and charts.
First established by Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1918, the badge for wounded soldiers was reestablished by the Wehrmacht during the Spanish Civil War, and then later at the beginning of the Second World War. It was awarded in three grades depending on the number and/or type of injuries in wartime. This concise book discusses the awards various grades and includes rare documents and war-era photographs.
Following the high casualties in close-quarter combat in Russia, in 1942 the Wehrmacht established the Close Combat Badge in three grades and was awarded to those after a specific number of battles. This concise book discusses the awards various grades and includes rare documents and war-era photographs.
Roughly 40,000 Latvians served in the Waffen-SS from 1943 to the end of war in the 15. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (lettische Nr.1) and 19. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (lettische Nr.2). They fought in Russia, Latvia, West Prussia and eventually Berlin in April 1945. This book is the complete operational history of this little-known unit and includes first-hand accounts, maps, and very rare war-era photographs, and soldbuchs.
In the follow-up to German attacks in World War II, Ethnic Germans all over Europe were drafted into the German military from all of the occupied countries. Nearly 650,000 from all occupied countries men were put into Wehrmacht, Waffen-SS, and Order Police service. For the most part they fought in their own units or were used as replacements in Reichsdeutsche units. This book details each country and unit from all service arms and includes rare documents, soldbuchs, and war-era photographs.
In the First World War German soldiers received the Iron Cross for valor. During the Second World War there were many additional decorations established to award various deeds in combat. The German assault badges in its various grades were awarded for participation in specific numbers of combat assaults. This concise book discusses the awards various types and grades and includes rare documents and war-era photographs.
During World War II nearly every Wehrmacht soldier outside of Germany came into contact, either directly or indirectly, with the nearly one-million partisans throughout Europe. Operations against these bandits usually fell outside the rules of war and those who fought saw image of incredible cruelty. Those German soldiers and police members who fought against the partisans were qualified to receive the anti-partisan badge. This concise book discusses the awards three grades and includes rare documents and war-era photographs.
The close-range engagement of tanks became extremely important mainly because of the Soviet T-34 and KV-I tanks, which for a long time were superior to all German tanks and anti-tank guns. Frequently employed in small groups of three to five tanks to support the infantry, these Russian tanks could often be put out of action with close-range weapons. This book provides a concise account of Tank Destruction Badge, and the close-range combating of tanks. In addition to a description of the special badge and the most commonly used weapons, it includes operational accounts by recipients of the badge.
In the years between 1940 and 1945, a total of approximately 12,500 Belgians served in the Waffen-SS, a number roughly equal to the strength of an infantry division in 1944. Because of political and social problems and different objectives of the volunteers, however, the men were not combined in a single unit, rather they were deployed in three different formations. This book describes the major units of the Waffen-SS in which the Belgian volunteers were concentrated, where they were deployed, and the battles they took part in. It also explains the reasons why the men served in three different Waffen-SS divisions.
Hitler created the Sniper Badge on August 20, 1944, to impel soldiers to train and be used as snipers. Thus the strategic importance of single combat was stressed in highly stylized propaganda. Since the soldiers themselves to a special extent were in sight of the enemy troops, unlike the members of other service arms, experienced the death of their enemies directly, the numbers of volunteers did not reach the planned extent. In this concise history, this badge, as well as the actions of German snipers, is examined and includes color images of badges, weapons, awards, soldbuchs, and war era photos.
The political and military movement of Bronislav Kaminski in Russia 1941-1944 was a single case in the German occupation politic. Because of his constituted NationalSocialist Russian Labour Party he became for some time an ally to Hitler. His Peoples Selfdefend Army reached 10,000 men and fought for at least two years with great success against the communistic partisans in his combat area on the Russian front.
This new book is a concise combat history of the six Waffen-SS panzergrenadier divisions in World War II. The formation and combat histories of each are discussed in detailed text, along with maps and rare photographs and includes: the 4th SS-Polizei Panzergrenadier Division; 11th SS-Freiwilligen Panzergrenadier Division Nordland; 16th SS-Panzergrenadier Division Reichsfuhrer-SS; 17th SS-Panzergrenadier Division Goetz von Berlichingen; 18th SS-Freiwilligen Panzergrenadier Division Horst Wessel; 23rd SS-Freiwilligen Panzergrenadier Division Nederland.
This new book is a concise combat history of the three Waffen-SS cavalry divisions in World War II. The 8th SS-Cavalry Division Florian Geyer was established out of the SS-Cavalry Brigade under Hitlers future brother-in-law Hermann Fegelein. The 22nd SS-Freiwilligen Cavalry Division Maria Theresia was formed out of ethnic Germans from Hungary. The 37th SS-Freiwilligen Cavalry Division Lutzow was built out of the first two cavalry divisions along with new volunteers from Hungary including ethnic Germans and Hungarians. The formation and combat histories of each are discussed in detailed text, along with maps and rare photographs.
This new book covers the little known combat operations of the German Ordnungspolizei (Order Police - regular uniformed police) during World War II. Discussed are unit formations, personalities, and operations including frontline combat, security duties in occupied countries, as well as the participation of some battalions in ethnic cleansing atrocities. Also included are very rare photos, documents, soldbuchs and maps.
When German troops entered Estonia in the summer of 1941 they were welcomed by the Estonians. Thousands of Estonians wanted to take part in the war against Russia. Besides the Schutzmannschaften of German Police in 1942 Himmler started to build up an Estonian SS-Volunteer Brigade which became later the 20. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (estnische Nr. 1). They fought most notably at the Narwa-Front, and later in Silesia.
From summer 1941, some 100,000 Russians served in the German Wehrmacht, mostly as so called Schutzmannschaften under the command of the German Police (Hoehere SS- und Polizeifuhrer) in the eastern occupied areas. The most famous unit was the Brigade Kaminski, established by Bronislav Kaminski in the summer of 1941. In 1944 it became the Waffen-Sturmbrigade der SS Rona later the 29. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS Rona (russische Nr.1). A second division was later established from various Schutzmannschafts-Bataillonen and was designated 30. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (russische Nr.2).
With the beginning of the Operation Barbarossa more than 100,000 Ukrainians volunteered for the fight against Stalin and communismn. These volunteers were put into Schutzmannschafts-Bataillone under the control of the German Police. After Stalingrad however, Ukrainians were allowed to build up a division sized unit for the frontline. Around 15,000 Ukrainians were drafted and their first combat was at the Brody front in Galicia in summer 1944.
Several thousand ethnic Germans in Romania, (the so called Volksdeutscher) were drafted into the Waffen-SS in 1943. With these new troops Himmler built up the new 11th Waffen-SS Division. To fill the ranks Division Nordland also took over battalion strength units from Danmark and Norway, though ninety percent of the division were Volksdeutsche from Romania. They were first used incombat in Croatia, the Oranienbaumer, Estonia, and Latvia. After the Soviet attack in Pomerania they fought in Berlin and were destroyed there.
The 10th Waffen-SS Division Frundsberg was formed at the beginning of 1943 as a reserve for the expected Allied invasion of France. However, their first campaign was in the Ukraine in April 1944. Highly motivated after combat success in Ukraine the unit was then transported back to the west where they fought the Allies in France and Arnhem. The division was later transported to Pomerania then fought southeast of Berlin in the Lausitz area to the end of the war.
The SS Division 30. Januar was one of the last SS-Divisions formed during World War II and was almost entirely composed of training units and 16-18 year old boys (the honorary name 30. Januar was the same date Hitler became Reich chancellor in 1933). First planned as a motorized division, the unit ended up as a normal infantry division because of a lack of fuel. With a final strength of 12,000, they fought on the Oder-front south of Frankfurt/Oder. After the Soviet attack on 16 April 1945 they were wiped out in the pocket of Halbe southeast of Berlin.
This is the first book in English on this obscure early-World War II SS unit. In July 1939, SS-Heimwehr Danzig was formed from members of the III./4. SS-Totenkopf-Standarte Ostmark, as well as from Danzig citizen volunteers. As a unit of the Reichsfuhrer-SS they reinforced other existing Danzig units for the impending invasion of Poland. This book not only describes the political background that led to their deployment in September 1939, but also contains the combat recollections of former members, as well as over 100 photographs, and documents.
This book is the history of the only Fallschirmjager-Bataillon of the Waffen-SS during World War II. Formed in 1943 as a Bewahrungsverband for special missions (guerrilla operations in the Balkans) the unit was deployed at many focal points of heavy combat on the eastern and western fronts. Nearly destroyed at the Schwedt and Alt-Kustrinchen bridgeheads, the remainder pulled back to the west over Parchim at the end of April 1945 and entered U.S. captivity in May 1945. This is their story, including extremely rare photographs.