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A nice introduction to the SS. The SS (Stosstrupp Adolf Hitler) was a number of things--Hitler's body guard, law enforcement duties, concentration camp controllers, and soldiers (the Waffen-SS). This volume examines the work of the SS from 1939-1945. Early on, there was competition between the SA and the SS (to be devoted to Hitler, whereas the SA had other ambitions). With the demise of the SA, the SS became that much more important.
The SS had two elements--the Waffen-SS, the military arm, and the Allgemeine-SS, a police and security force with tentacles throughout German society. The second chapter lays out the variety of responsibilities of the Allgemeine-SS nicely. In addition to describing the "tentacles," this discussion also considers recruitment and training, symbolism (the death's head--totenkopf), uniforms, flags, and so on.
Then, the Waffen-SS. Appearance, equipment, training, weapons, tactics, and famous commanders, such as Sepp Dietrich. Some of the more legendary divisions in the Waffen-SS: Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, Das Reich, and Totenkopf. Other formations emerged, too, such as Wiking, a division made up of volunteers from Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, etc. The racial exclusivity of the Waffen-SS began to be compromised as needs for soldiers became more pressing as the war continued.
The book discusses the fighting power of the Waffen-SS—and its slow disintegration as it was bled to death in the Soviet Union and in France after the Normandy invasion. There were a few last hurrahs, such as in the Battle of the Bulge, but this element was slowly ground down due to causalities and inferior replacements.
Overall, an accessible and readable portrayal of the SS. .
Chris McNab's wonderfully-illustrated HITLER'S ARMIES, A HISTORY OF THE GERMAN WAR MACHINE 1939-45 traces the development and combat ops of the German Army including the Waffen-SS and Fallschirmjager. Strikingly illustrated with hundreds of color and b&w photographs, color maps and diagrams, combat artwork and color plates of weapons and uniforms, it's an appealing, comprehensive history of the men and units that made Blitzkrieg a household word.
The Battle Of Stalingrad lasted from July 17, 1942 to February 2, 1943. Two million Germans and Russians died. The entire city was des...
One young officer coming upon a unit that had overtaken a column of German refugees fleeing westward later recalled: ‘Women, mothers an...
The Soviet army entered Austrian territory on 30th March 1945 and captured Vienna on 13th April. RAPE IN AUSTRIA ‘The rape chap...
Stalingrad. The word will, perhaps, will always remain synonymous with hardest war. Never was the war so brutal, so inhuman and fought so ...
The Einsatzgruppen were special SS mobile formations tasked with carrying out the mass murder of Jews, communist functionaries, and others...
Hitler's Nazism is considered wrong on many counts (but there many today, who in private, admire it); the most evident fact is that Nazi...
War is a messy business. There are no rules in war. So when the France fell in May 1940, many French women, some for sheer survival, others ...
The following images are of a Waffen SS division as it moves into France in 1940. The Pictures are by German war photographer Friedrich Zs...
Germany attacked Poland on September 1, 1939. Within days the Polish army was finished. Poland never knew what hit it. Britain and France d...
Both the sides; German and Russian, used equipment captured from each other. Here a German soldier is seen riding a Russian T-60 tank C...
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Points to Ponder: Why Is China Unstable?
The aim of individuals in any society is money and power. Societies that give equal chance to all its members to get them will be the most stable. That is why democracies are more stable than other systems of governance.China after Deng's reform gave the chance to get rich but power is in the hands of an elite; the Communist Party of China. Membership to the party is at the whims of the local party bosses. This leaves out many people who crave political power dissatisfied and disgruntled. There in lies the roots of instability. The Party suppressed these demands once at Tiananmen in 1989. But force is hardly the way to deal with things like these.
READ MORE: Tiananmen Square Massacre