The Images of War series has become extremely popular across a wide readership, including some who do not otherwise purchase military history books. This new book reviews a subject that has received very little coverage, the SS-Polizei Division – Much Recommended.
NAME: Images of War, SS-Polizei At War 1940-1945, A History of the Division, Rare Photographs From Wartime Archives FILE: R2660 AUTHOR: Ian Baxter PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING: soft back PAGES: 141 PRICE: £14.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War Two, Second World War, World War 2, armour, tanks, light tanks, medium tanks, heavy tanks, assault guns, tank killers, reconnaissance vehicles, field police, police reservists, Waffen-SS, Himmler, Panzer Grenadiers, mechanized infantry, half-track vehicles, artillery ISBN: 1-47389-097-7 IMAGE: B2660.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/y8vzoxfn LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The Images of War series has become extremely popular across a wide readership, including some who do not otherwise purchase military history books. This new book reviews a subject that has received very little coverage, the SS-Polizei Division – Much Recommended. The SS has generally earned a reputation as a bastion of fundamentalist Nazi beliefs and been closely associated with a series of atrocities and with the industrial scale genocide programme. This reputation was earned, but it has clouded the path to growth for the SS from its humble roots. It has also tainted the military performance of the Waffen-SS on the field of battle. What has been covered is a relatively small part of the Waffen-SS Divisions with the SS-Polizei Division being largely unknown. This book, which is one of the larger volumes in the series, addresses this omission very ably. The SS began as Hitler's close protection squad under the command of Sepp Dietrich. Dietrich was a hard drinking former policeman who was a very early member of the NSDP. Although Hitler's views on tobacco and alcohol were not compatible with Dietrich's habits, they became close associates and took long walks together in the early years. However, Himmler's ambition was running beyond control and Dietrich represented a potential barrier. Himmler tried very hard to persuade Hitler to give him total control of the bodyguards and banish Dietrich. Every time Dietrich went on his epic 'benders', Himmler made sure that Hitler was aware of the details of the latest drinking spree. Hitler proved surprisingly uninterested. During this period, Himmler was expanding the SS under his command and his goal was to replace the SA with the SS, before then replacing the Wehrmacht with the SS. This led to the formation of the first Waffen-SS Divisions. Eventually Himmler persuaded Hitler to sack Dietrich and post him to a Waffen-SS Division on the Eastern Front, expecting Dietrich to either fail miserably or be killed. Dietrich had the last laugh, becoming one of the most successful Generalleutnants on that Front and then commanding the last ditch drive for Antwerp in the Battle of the Ardennes, coming dangerously close to achieving his objectives. What is less well know is the formation of the SS-Polizei Division in 1939, formed mainly from the civil police, which was not initially seen as an SS fighting force. It was to be closely associated with a raft of atrocities in the Low Countries and then in the Balkans where it served as a security service. In 1942 it was transferred to the Waffen-SS as the 4th SS-Polizei- Panzergrenadier Division. That saw the Division receive significant upgrades in equipment and, in the last days of the war, its soldiers were assigned to Army Detachment Steiner defending Berlin, where many of its soldiers fought to the death. The author has provided well-researched text to fully support the images in telling the story of this largely unknown SS-Division. An interesting review that introduces fresh insight into the SS and its components.