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Daniel Siemens
Guns and hand grenades are not allowed in the theatres,” How can you not want to read on when chapter one starts like this? There are many other surprises in this new history of the S.A. That order was promulgated in 1919 Munich, the heart and home of the storm troopers. In post war Germany many hundreds of political groups were set up after the disillusion and degrading terms of the surrender of First Worlds War German Government; those on the right, the fascists who longed for the old days of order and a chance for a new Germany to make it place in the world, and the left mostly represented by the Communists who wanted to clear out the old order lock stock and barrel to promote a soviet style government in the new Germany.

The S.A were just one of these many groups but how did they make it to be one of the most decisive, and what happened after the night of the long knives , did the fade away or become even more active? Well Daniel Siemens has combed the archives and brought us the answers to these and many other questions. The book is highly readable and despite the amount and technical nature of the history it’s very readable and easily absorbed. At first the brown shirts were white shirts, consisting of units of 12 to 18 men which then combined to make a unit of 80 to 100 souls. They were tolerated and even supported in Bavaria but were under pressure in Prussia. The fact that the small squad unit was made of very close men, who did not see class or wealth in each other, made for lots of tough groups able to support each other in the fights and riots ahead.

As these groups grew the SA needed a new uniform, the infamous brown shirts which each member had to purchase himself. In 1924 in a small Swabian town a cloth merchant was turned into a Clothing manufacturer by its new owner one HUGO BOSS, who later during the recession of the 1930s joined the Nazi Party and used his influence to gain uniform orders to keep his business thriving. The organisation went to make its wealth from making its own brands of cigarettes which civilians were also “encouraged“ to smoke .
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So with more gems like those above this history has to be in your collection if you are at all interested in the Second World War. Daniel writes in a flowing interesting style which made this book an absolute pleasure to read. As for the SA after the Putsch read the book for all the answers. What more can I say except it's one of the best books that I have read this year. Four and a half mushroom heads
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