Book Review – Obedient Unto Death, A Panzer Grenadier of the Leibstandarte – SS Adolf Hitler Reports

 

B1954

In addition to providing a colourful account of his experiences, Kindler also provides a very valuable insight 
into the social; experiences and politics that brought the Nazis to power and for much of WWII earned them 
the wholehearted support of the overwhelming majority of Germans. Hitler tapped into a catalogue of fears, 
aspirations and prejudices that combined with militarism and patriotism that produced such a deadly cocktail 
that was not confined to a few fanatics but spread through a nation. As Kindler demonstrates, those feelings 
and beliefs were not expunged in 1945 but have continued in the fabric of German society, embers ready to be 
fanned into fresh life.

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NAME: Obedient Unto Death, A Panzer Grenadier of the Leibstandarte – SS Adolf Hitler Reports
CATEGORY: Book Reviews
DATE: 220414
FILE: R1954
AUTHOR: Werner Kindler
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PAGES: 194
PRICE: £19.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: SS, Panzer troops, Eastern Front, WWII, 1939-1945, Leibstandarte, Guards Divisions, 
armoured warfare, 1941-1944, Oberscharfuhrer, NCO, Sergeant
ISBN: 978-1-84832-734-4
IMAGE: B1954.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/kc7oxap
LINKS: 
DESCRIPTION: Much of the output of Second World War histories have been written by historians and 
those who were senior officers serving at the time. This new book has been written by an NCO and published 
first in German in 2010. This edition has been translated into English and set out in Pen and Sword's Frontline 
imprint format with two interesting plate sections in illustration the lively and personal style of the author reads 
well. As the personal experiences of an NCO in the Waffen SS, it sheds new life on this military formation 
that sought to mirror the Wermacht and become the prestigious German land force.

The natural bias of Allied propaganda, horror of the Holocaust, and determination to stamp out the Nazi Party, 
combined to produce many misconceptions about the relationship of the SS to the Regular German Army and 
the way in which personnel were recruited, trained and deployed. Many of the most valuable commentaries 
have come from NCOs and troopers who may have had only a poor understanding of the wider tactical and 
political picture, but have provided an incite that cuts through the misconceptions.

The author was drafted into the SS-Totenkopf in 1939, serving with a motorized unit in Poland. It is clear that 
Kindler was a dedicated Nazi and member of the SS, holding his views through life. Having lived in the Polish 
Corridor, he welcomed the invasion of Poland, seeing it as a war of liberation.  In 1939, the SS was being a 
development process that would see it as an elite land force that was operated alongside the regular army and 
equipped in a very similar manner. That process also saw a dramatic expansion from a handful of ultra-loyal 
bodyguards providing close protection for Adolf Hitler, to a significant military force that distinguished itself on 
the battlefield, often winning actions because its commanders were prepared to throw men at the enemy and where 
the men were happy to be used in this way without question.

Kindler's social and political views are firmly embedded in the story, but he provides an unparalleled and vivid 
account of the most brutal campaigns of WWII, where much of his service was on the Eastern Front and the 
terrible war of attrition that saw millions slaughtered on both sides, and where the civilians suffered the same 
massive casualties.

Transferred to the Western Front and the retreat from France, Kindler was to become the last soldier of the 
Leibstandarte to surrender to the Americans in whose sector he was fighting.

In addition to providing a colourful account of his experiences, Kindler also provides a very valuable insight 
into the social; experiences and politics that brought the Nazis to power and for much of WWII earned them 
the wholehearted support of the overwhelming majority of Germans. Hitler tapped into a catalogue of fears, 
aspirations and prejudices that combined with militarism and patriotism that produced such a deadly cocktail 
that was not confined to a few fanatics but spread through a nation. As Kindler demonstrates, those feelings 
and beliefs were not expunged in 1945 but have continued in the fabric of German society, embers ready to 
be fanned into fresh life.