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Waffen-SS: Hitler's Army at War

de Adrian Gilbert

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The Waffen-SS was one of the most feared combat organizations of the twentieth century. Originally formed as a protection squad for Adolf Hitler it became the military wing of Heinrich Himmler's SS and a key part of the Nazi state, with nearly 900,000 men passing through its ranks. The Waffen-SS played a crucial role in furthering the aims of the Third Reich which made its soldiers Hitler's political operatives. During its short history, the elite military divisions of the Waffen-SS acquired a reputation for excellence, but their famous battlefield record of success was matched by their repeated and infamous atrocities against both soldiers and civilians. Waffen-SS is the first definitive single-volume military history of the Waffen-SS in more than 50 years. In considering the actions of its leading personalities, including Himmler, Sepp Dietrich, and Otto Skorzeny, and analyzing its specialist training and ideological outlook, eminent historian Adrian Gilbert chronicles the battles and campaigns that brought the Waffen-SS both fame and infamy.… (mais)
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In this wide-ranging study of the notorious SS field force, the main theme is on how much validity there is to Himmler's boast that he was building a pan-Germanic army to defend European values. In this kind of analysis units such as the Flemish and Dutch legions are as relevant as the panzer divisions and Gottlob Berger, Himmler's chief of recruitment, is as important a personality as field commanders such as Sepp Dietrich or Paul Hauser. This is particularly true as the dwindling area of control of the Third Reich was obsessively trawled for any manpower that be considered even marginally German, even for the front-line armored units. Perhaps the only thing that I can mark down this clear-eyed narrative for is that so much is covered at an increasing gallop that the chapters dealing with the climactic campaigns of 1944-1945 feel a bit shallow; it is a lot to cover organization, operations, atrocities and aftermath, even with 500-odd pages to work with. ( )
  Shrike58 | Oct 2, 2020 |
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The Waffen-SS was one of the most feared combat organizations of the twentieth century. Originally formed as a protection squad for Adolf Hitler it became the military wing of Heinrich Himmler's SS and a key part of the Nazi state, with nearly 900,000 men passing through its ranks. The Waffen-SS played a crucial role in furthering the aims of the Third Reich which made its soldiers Hitler's political operatives. During its short history, the elite military divisions of the Waffen-SS acquired a reputation for excellence, but their famous battlefield record of success was matched by their repeated and infamous atrocities against both soldiers and civilians. Waffen-SS is the first definitive single-volume military history of the Waffen-SS in more than 50 years. In considering the actions of its leading personalities, including Himmler, Sepp Dietrich, and Otto Skorzeny, and analyzing its specialist training and ideological outlook, eminent historian Adrian Gilbert chronicles the battles and campaigns that brought the Waffen-SS both fame and infamy.

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