SS Peiper, Battle Commander SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler

A fair account of Jochen Peiper and his murder in France in 1976. The subject is a controversial figure because he was tried for war crimes released from prison and then many years later murdered. Highly Recommended.


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NAME: SS Peiper, Battle Commander SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler
FILE: R2474
AUTHOR: Charles Whiting
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back 
PAGES:  194
PRICE: £12.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII, Second World War, World War 2, Ardennes Offensive, 
Sepp Dietrich, Waffen SS, elite troops, armour, Panzers, massacres, 
war crimes

ISBN: 978-1-84884-861-0

IMAGE: B2474.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/lb8kd24
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION: A fair account of Jochen Peiper and his murder in France 
in 1976.  The subject is a controversial figure because he was tried 
for war crimes released from prison and then many years later murdered. 
Highly Recommended. 

Telling the story of Jochen Peiper without concluding for or against 
him is no small challenge but the late Charles Whiting has faced the 
challenge, producing an account that neither glorifies, nor 
sympathises, nor demonizes this SS commander.

Jochen Peiper was typical of SS field commanders, tough, cocky, 
effective, ruthless, and courageous. In many respects, he was 
therefore similar to special forces and elite unit commanders in many 
armies. The two critical differences were that he was prepared to 
ignore established military conventions and to accept very heavy 
casualties to achieve objectives. As a battle commander of the SS 
Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, he could be expected to be guided by Nazi 
beliefs, although the SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler was not above 
expressing its objections to Fuhrer orders by sending the arm of a 
dead comrade to Hitler.

Through his career, Peiper was close to a series of atrocities and 
probably ordered and or participated in some or all of these crimes. 
What he was charged with was complicity in the massacre of 70 unarmed 
US soldiers during the Ardennes offensive in the winter of 1944/45. 
He was convicted and sentenced for these crimes to imprisonment and 
served his sentence. By modern criminal trial standards, it is less 
than certain that he would have been found guilty by a jury. He was 
not at the scene of the massacre, but he may well have issued the 
order. His conviction might therefore be deserved if not beyond all 
reasonable doubt.

Today we can look back and judge without full knowledge, or combat 
experience. At the time, he was regarded as dashing and a brilliant 
commander by his comrades and the German people. The war crimes 
trials regarded any in SS uniform as guilty before considering the 
legal facts. However fair or unfair Peiper's trial and conviction, 
he served his sentence and could have been regarded as having paid 
his debt as convicted.

The SS Leibstandarte was founded by Sepp Dietrich and under his 
command during the Ardennes Offensive which was the last throw of 
the dice on the Western Front. Dietrich, a one time policeman, was 
a hard drinker who was seen as an obstacle by Himmler. An early Party 
member, Dietrich had been trusted by Hitler to command the Fuhrer's 
close protection squad which is where he was seen as an obstacle by 
Himmler who was ambitious to control and expand the SS at the expense 
of the SA and the Army. After many attempts to unseat Dietrich, 
Himmler used one of his legendary drinking bouts to persuade Hitler 
to dismiss him and send him to the Russian front. Himmler confidently 
expected Dietrich, who had no military command experience, to either 
fail miserably or be killed in action. Ironically, Dietrich proved to 
be an exceptional field commander and not only survived but built a 
strong reputation for a courageous and effective general. His approach 
to the task was carried on down through his officers and he was in 
turn respected by them as a soldier. Peiper could be seen as the sort 
of dashing and ruthless officer that Dietrich wanted to serve under him.

After his release from jail, Peiper eventually ended up living in refuge 
in a French village. Who murdered him and exactly why was never 
established. No one was ever brought to trial and it has been said that 
the French police were less than enthusiastic in investigating a former 
convicted war criminal. His end was as controversial as his wartime 
career.