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Panzergrenadier Divisions of the Waffen-SS

Panzergrenadier Divisions of the Waffen-SS
Autor: Rolf Michaelis
Data publikacji: 2010-10
ISBN: 9780764336607
Wydawca: Schiffer Publishing
Język: angielski
Wymiary: 23.1 x 15.5 x 2.5 cm
Oprawa: twarda
Liczba stron: 208
Produkt chwilowo niedostępny.

W przypadku braku książki w magazynie, czas realizacji zamówienia może wynieść 3-6 tygodni.
Opis produktu:

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 "Reichsführer-SS"; 17th SS-Panzergrenadier Division "Götz von Berlichingen"; 18th SS-Freiwilligen Panzergrenadier Division "Horst Wessel"; 23rd SS-Freiwilligen Panzergrenadier Division "Nederland". 


The 4th SS-Polizei Panzergrenadier Division was raised in October, 1939 from former Ordnungspolizei-civilian policemen and Allgemeine-SS reservists. At the time of the invasion of Poland, the division was still forming but would later be assigned occupation duties before the start of 1940. After the fall of France, it remained in Western Europe until the attack on the Soviet Union in June, 1941. The division was assigned to Army Group North and took part in the advance on Leningrad. Rather poorly trained and equipped, its performance was uneven. It was involved in heavy combat around Wolchow and Lake Ladoga, where it acquitted itself well but suffered heavy losses. In the spring and summer of 1943, the division was transfered to the Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia and then to Yugoslavia where it performed anti-partisan duties. In March, 1944, the division was transfered to Greece where it performed security duties. In late 1944, the division was transfered to Budapest to halt the Soviet advance and by early 1945, it was transfered once again to the northern sector where it took place in the defense of Danzig. After being pulled out, it was later transfered to Berlin, where it was finally destroyed.

The 11th SS Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier Division Nordland was formed in February, 1943 by the Germans to set up an international SS division manned and commanded by foreign volunteers. The Germans hoped to utilise a far greater proportion of foreign volunteer senior ranks. Considerable use was made of the remnants of the disbanded Germanic legions in staffing the division, and it certainly carried the widest range of nationalities to be found in any single Waffen-SS division. By the end of the war, Danes, Dutch, Norwegians, Estonians, Finns, French, Swedish, Swiss, and even British volunteers had either served in the division itself or had been attached to it. By the autumn of 1943, the division was training in Croatia, and in January, 1944 was judged to be ready for combat. It was attached to Army Group North and fought near Leningrad in the Battle of Narva (also known as the Battle of the European SS). After this major battle, the division was ordered to Riga to stop the Soviet advance and subsequently withdrew into the Courland Pocket where it was evacuated to Germany in early in 1945. It saw heavy fighting around Danzig, Stettin, and Stargard, before becoming part of the force defending Berlin. The division was finally destroyed in the Battle for Berlin in April/May, 1945.

The 16th SS Panzergrenadier Division Reichsfuhrer was one of the three "personal" formations, of the military forces of the 3rd Reich period, along with the 1st SS Panzer Division Liebstandate Adolf Hitler and Luftwaffe Hermann Goring FJ-Panzer Division. From its origin as a bodyguard unit, the Reichsfuhrer was expanded and participated in Operation BARBAROSSA in 1941 and Operation FALL BLAU in 1942. It was then posted to Corsica in 1943 for garrison duty and then on becoming a full SS division was transfered to Italy in 1944. It rarely operated as a full strength unit, spending most of it's existence deployed as independent battalions and companies in combat operations throughout the Balkans and Italy. During the war in Italy, it fought mostly defensive battles-from the Anzio-Nettuno beachhead, the Appenines, Pisa, Leghorn, the Livergnano Encampment, and Bologna in Italy to the Carpathian Mountains and Lake Balaton in Hungary. The division was often employed in major anti-partisan operations and also served as a mobile reserve and 'fire brigade' for Kesselring during the defensive battles for the Green/Gothic Line. A kampfgruppe from the 16th Training and Replacement Battalion was based in Arnhem and took part in Operation MARKET GARDEN. The division surrendered to British forces near Klagenfurt, Austria at the end of the war.

The 17th SS Panzergrenadier Division Gotz von Berlichingen was raised near Poitiers, France in October, 1943. It was formed from scratch, ith the majority of its original cadre coming from replacement units and conscripts, many of Rumanian extraction. The division was granted the honor title Gotz Von Berlichingen, a 15th Century German knight who had, after losing his right hand in battle, wore an iron prosthetic hand. In keeping with this, the division's emblem was a clenched fist. The division was placed under the LXXX Army Corps. In February, 1944, the division was still lacking vehicles and on the orders of LXXX Army Corps, the division began to round up French vehicles in an attempt to complete its mobilization. By March, 1944, most of its major combat formations were fully motorized. On 1 June 1944, the division found itself at Thouars, France with no tanks (although the Panzer Abteilung was equipped with assault guns), a few months of training, and below strength in officers and NCOs. The division finally saw action against U.S. forces in Normandy on 10 Junr 1944, where it suffered heavy losses. The surviving units of the division were withdrawn and re-fitted in the Saar during September, 1944 by absorbing the 49th and 51st Panzergrenadier Regiments. It fought around Metz in Octber and November, 1944 but was ordered to withdraw back to the Saar where it saw action in December, 1944. It was also at this time that it received Volksdeutsche replacements and its regiments brought up to strength. It fought in Lorraine during Operation NORDWIND and in March, 1945, the division retreated towards Nuremburg. The survivors surrendered to U.S. forces near Achensee on 7 May 1945.

In January, 1944, Hitler ordered Himmler to raise a Waffen-SS division from a cadre of SA reservists. In fact, the 18th SS-Freiwilligen Panzergrenadier Division Horst Wessel was formed together from a Totenkopf Standarte motorized brigade and the 1st SS-Infanterie-Brigade, together with elements from the 6th SS-Gebirgs Division Nord and numerous Hungarian and Yugoslav Volksdeutsche. The division was assembled at the Stablack Training Area in East Prussia in 1943. It was built up during the winter of 1943/1944, and in July, 1944, a kampfgruppe from the division was sent to the Ukraine to help bolster the crumbling front there, rejoining the division in December, 1944. Thereafter, the division served in the retreat through Poland and Slovakia and ended the war east of Prague, before being taken into Russian captivity.

The 23rd SS-Freiwilligen Panzergrenadier Division Nederland consisted of Dutch volunteers and was formed on 10 February 1945, when SS-Freiwilligen Panzergrenadier Brigade Nederland was upgraded to divisional status. The brigade had been in action in Croatia and the Baltic States since the end of 1943, and had shared in the retreat from Leningrad to the Narva Line and back to the Courland Pocket. Along with the rest of III SS-Korps, Nederland was evacuated by sea to Stettin, where they were to form part of the defensive line on the Oder. In December, 1944, it was then thrown into the rapidly crumbling Eastern Front in Pomerania. It was remorselessly driven westwards, and eventually surrendered to the Americans at Furstenwalde.

PANZERGRENADIER DIVISIONS OF THE WAFFEN-SS is both a well-written and carefully researched book that uses detailed data and participants experiences in telling the combat history of the six panzergrenadier divisions of the Waffen SS. Using rare photographs and documents along with charts, author Rolf Michaelis has provided students of World War II another outstanding piece of scholarship that will help them understand the organization and make-up of these units.

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