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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.
GREAT WW2 VIDEO GAMES
- Ludek Pachmann, Czech Chess-Grand Master and publicist, forty years after the fact.
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-- DAVID C. MCCULLOUGH
History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
-- MARY ANGELOU
-- Ambrose Bierce
We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.
-- GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
"Patriotism ruins history."
Snippets from History
Snippets From History
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
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