|Author : Robert Michulec & Stephen Andrew|
Printed in Hong Kong
|- 52 Pages |
- 138 Photos
- 4 Color plates
One of the most memorable and feared symbols of the German war machine of WWII was the Waffen-SS. The name actually means “Armed” (Waffen) Protection Squads” (Schutz Staffeln), and their “SS” initials were portrayed as runic lightning bolts. The “SS” name reflected the force’s origins as a political unit to protect senior party officials, but of course it was to develop into a powerful combat entity. A total of thirty-eight Waffen-SS divisions were raised during the course of the Second World War, although many of the late-war divisions were of poor quality or were poorly equipped.
The book covers the development of the Waffen-SS from its establishment on 6 December 1939, through to the end of 1942. A second companion volume will trace the Waffen-SS from 1943 through to the close of WWII. The book includes a brief description of how this notorious military organization expanded under the tutelage of Reichsführer der SS Heinrich Himmler. There is a list of the eleven SS divisions formed up till 1942, and a useful table that compares German and U.S. Army ranks and formation names. As suggested by the title of this volume, the majority of the black and white photos portray Waffen-SS soldiers at war. This means there are plenty of good shots showing uniforms, equipment and weapons in the field of combat – all excellent material for figure modelers or military historians. Although not the focus of the book, there are incidental pictures of weapon systems and vehicles in use with SS forces. There are also four high-quality color plates expertly produced by Stephen Andrew. These give readers a glimpse of how uniforms and equipment was worn, and their typical coloring.
The author has added very pertinent and helpful captions to the many photos contained in this book. For those wishing to take a close look at Waffen-SS personnel in action, whether in summer or winter, then this fine new volume will serve readers well. While the emphasis remains on troops serving on the Eastern Front, readers will not fail to find inspiration and enlightenment on various aspects of this important Germany military force of WWII!