An exciting and untold story of 800 Georgians, impressed into Germany military service, rising up against the German masters in the final days of WWII. There are most probably many stories of WWII yet to be told and the most tragic are of soldiers giving up their lives in the final hours of a long war when their sacrifice will make no difference to the result – Most Recommended.
NAME: Night of the Bayonets, The Texel Uprising and Hitler's Revenge, April- May 1945 FILE: R3210 AUTHOR: Eric Lee PUBLISHER: Greenhill Books BINDING: hard back PRICE: £19.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: World War II, World War 2, World War Two, WWII, Second World War, European Theatre, Low Countries, logistics, war end, final days ISBN: 978-1-78438-468-5 PAGES: 206 IMAGE: B3210.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y28s6uzk LINKS: DESCRIPTION: An exciting and untold story of 800 Georgians, impressed into Germany military service, rising up against the German masters in the final days of WWII. There are most probably many stories of WWII yet to be told and the most tragic are of soldiers giving up their lives in the final hours of a long war when their sacrifice will make no difference to the result – Most Recommended.
Remarkably little has been told of how the young men of countries over run by the Germans were pressed into German service. Georgia was one of the neighbouring countries invaded brutally by the Soviets between 1918 and 1920. When Wehrmacht troops advanced East, they were initially seen as liberators although that did not last long as atrocities lost the hearts and minds of most of the ‘liberated’ populations. As a result, some serving the Germans did so, at least initially, with enthusiasm, but many were pressed into service. This was the case in Georgia.
The Germans initially advanced rapidly into Soviet Russia and its satellites but as the Russians regrouped and struck back, the Eastern Front became a grinder as the death toll on both sides rapidly rose. The Soviets started with a large population and a willingness to sacrifice any numbers to halt and throw back the German troops. Fighting was desperate and brutal in the extreme and Germany needed to fill the vacancies. Taking volunteers, and pressing those unprepared to go willingly, from the newly occupied territories was an obvious solution at least in part. The German officers and men frequently regarded these soldiers as expendable and did not treat them well.
The uprising of 800 Georgians stationed on Texel Island was desperate and they massacred 400 Germans in a few hours, using knives and bayonets. The war was lost and, in these final hours, action by any force was not to change the outcome. However, Hitler ordered a revenge attack which led to the attempt to retake Texel Island with a bloody battle. Twelve days after the official German surrender to the Allies, Canadian forces landed on Texel to end the struggle. Only 200 Georgians survived.
The author tells the story well and provides the historical background. This absorbing story is supported by a unique selection of photographs, many in full colour, in a photo-plate section.