Karstjager-new book on Waffen SS anti-partisan Op (Heimdal)

#1


This is another of the large books by Heimdal publication dedicated to WW2 era german divisions

This is the illustrated history of the Waffen-SS 24. Waffen SS-Gebirgs (Karstjäger) division, that recounts and illustrates the story of this specialist mountain unit and their struggle against Slovenian partisans in the operational zone, Adriatic Coast between 1942/45.

300pp. 380 photos. Large format. French/English text

So far, Heimdal has produced huge books on the 1, 3, 8, 9, 10, 12, 17 W-SS divisions as well as books on the Tiger Bn of the 1 and 2 SS Div, Pz-Lehr, 21 Pz Div, Kossaks, Kriegsmarine....and many others; many were written with the help of veterans and the use of private photo albums.

The tone is not apologetic and the amount of information is large even though reading those mamoths can be tedious as they are heavy and mostly bilingual now.

Those books tend to sell out quickly and are then found at outrageous prices on Ebay (Pz Lehr normally fetches between 180 and 200 euros...).

Karstjager has been released at the beginning of this week and is already sold out in some shops...and it goes for 55 euros !

I personaly don't buy them but I am wondering if I will not take the plunge if only for speculative reasons....and because I am curious to see how the SS went about the business of hunting down guerillas in the mountains...
 

Andy_S

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
Interesting that there is such incredible interest in the Waffen SS in English-speaking nations that related books sell out and resell for ridiculous prices; one has to wonder who these fanatical readers are.
 
#3
fantassin, you must be looking forward to the book on the Heroic Defenders of Berlin
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/33rd_Waffen_Grenadier_Division_of_the_SS_Charlemagne_(1st_French)#Defence_of_Berlin ;)
 
#4
I have often noticed how many nations that never had to suffer under nazi occupation consider the Waffen SS as "cool" or as just another military organisation. I even met that attitude with Brit soldiers that had never heard of events such as the Le Paradis massacre of Brit POWs by the Totenkopf Div. in the North of France in 1940.

One also has to remember that rarely has an organisation benefited from such good propaganda and PR that gave the impression that all SS div. were elite units while probably less than 10 out of 38 really warranted that status. The glamorous uniforms and camo also helped and they still fascinate...just look at nazi militaria prices compared to all the other nations...

To Para-medic: It's already been done....

Forbes, Robert (2006). FOR EUROPE: The French Volunteers of the Waffen-SS, Helion & Company Ltd.

It's a good book and it a reliable source of non-biased infos.
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#5
fantassin said:
I have often noticed how many nations that never had to suffer under nazi occupation consider the Waffen SS as "cool" or as just another military organisation. I even met that attitude with Brit soldiers that had never heard of events such as the Le Paradis massacre of Brit POWs by the Totenkopf Div. in the North of France in 1940.

One also has to remember that rarely has an organisation benefited from such good propaganda and PR that gave the impression that all SS div. were elite units while probably less than 10 out of 38 really warranted that status. The glamorous uniforms and camo also helped and they still fascinate...just look at nazi militaria prices compared to all the other nations...

To Para-medic: It's already been done....

Forbes, Robert (2006). FOR EUROPE: The French Volunteers of the Waffen-SS, Helion & Company Ltd.

It's a good book and it a reliable source of non-biased infos.
Not only the SS, but also the Wehrmacht were routinely killing surrendering British and French soldiers during the invasion of France.
According to K. Metzger, who was Rommels radio operator at the time, the Herr General had no problem with this in the context of battle priorities, and only drew the line when battlefield police following up behind carried out executions "cold".
 
#6
Andy_S said:
Interesting that there is such incredible interest in the Waffen SS in English-speaking nations that related books sell out and resell for ridiculous prices; one has to wonder who these fanatical readers are.
People who like to play "let's pretend" at weekends?





:roll: :roll: :roll:

Rodney2q
 
#7
Yes Alsacien, you are right; Rommel's 7 Pz Div massacres of Senegalese POWs in 1940 are now well documented but Rommel is such an iconic figure among the badly informed and his "war without hatred" charade has caught on so well that very few people are aware of that.
 
#8
The Allies sometimes returned the favour; I recall watching a documentary on WWII in which a vetran tells how a group of about 20 German POW's had their throats slit by Canadian soldiers.

When he asked why they had killed the Germans in such a brutal manner, they replied that they did not want to waste bullets... 8O :twisted:

The problem with slaughtering prisoners is A)The enemy may as well fight to the death and B)You can't expect any mercy if the situation is reversed.

German effciency? My arrse. :roll:
 
#9
The Canadians were especially ruthless in Normandy after canadian POWs were executed (in one instance at least) or deliberatly ran over by trucks and killed (on at least another occasion) by members of the 12 SS Div. It was the 12 division's first engagement. There were also some instances of german POWs being used as human shields on tanks in Normandy.
 
#10
Interesting - if you're a geek like me - choice of name for the publishers; Heimdal, IIRC, is the guard on Bifrost, the Rainbow Bridge that connects Asgard, Land of the Gods, to Midgard(Earth). According to Norse/Germanic mythology.

Although the Nazis were technically Christian, they also referanced Germanic Paganism, most notably in the SS "lightning bolts" Runes. And while the Swastika is an inverted Sanskrit symbol, it also nearly identical to the Triskele - the Nordic symbol of death and rebirth, the eternal cycle of life itself...
 
#11
Heimdal is a bit of an anomaly in the publishing world. Some time you find their books on bargain basement at 10% of the original price and sometimes you find rare examples of "Kriegsmarine" published in the 90s for over 200 euros on Ebay...

This company seem to always be on the verge of bankrupcy but it has recently published 5 books on the Leibstandarte (each costing between 35 and 55 euros and two being already sold out !) and a couple of others...the non-germanic books always seem to attract less readers and I have often wondered whether their purpose was not to be an alibi in case some nosey people (like the LICRA...) tried to brand them as apologists.

For the same reason, most books on germanic units start with a kind of disclaimer to the tune of "Ach, Krieg, Gross Malheur" and "we all suffered much, let's hope it was the last one"....
 
#12
One has to wonder about the motives of people who ONLY buy books about Nazi units; I'm reminded of the classic Father Ted episode where he visits a fellow priest who has a massive collection of Nazi memorabilia.

Ted: "So...you don't have anything from the Allies?"

Priest: "No, that stuff does'nt interest me!"

It later transpires that he is hiding a Nazi war criminal and both of them die after an argument concerning cyanide capsules...
 
#13
Some very good posts here, I too can not understand this 'cool' fascination with the SS, especially those who dress up and play at it.
I remember the massacre of the Warwicks by SS Liebstandarte in Wormhoudt in May 1940.
 
#14
There was also Hitler's infamous "Commando order" stating that all SAS soldiers should be treated as spies and shot after being tortured.
 
#15
Fantassin wrote:
'I have often noticed how many nations that never had to suffer under nazi occupation consider the Waffen SS as "cool" or as just another military organisation. I even met that attitude with Brit soldiers that had never heard of events such as the Le Paradis massacre of Brit POWs by the Totenkopf Div. in the North of France in 1940.'

Not to mention the murder of Canadian prisoners by 2 SS Division 'Das Reich' in Normandy. This division had already had a little 'warm-up' operation at a town called Ouradour on the way up to Normandy from their base in Montauban.

The atrocities by the Totenkopf Division in the Battle of the Bulge (Malmedy and others) are well documented. This was after the liquidation of Lidice in Czechoslovakia following the assassination of Heydrich (Prinz Eugen SS Division) and the elimination of hundreds of Russian villages and their inhabitants by SS Police Divisions.

Indeed, the activities of the SS Dirlewanger Brigade in the Warsaw uprising were too extreme even for the strong stomachs of their commanders, and the unit was withdrawn.

(Edited to remove image path - obviously doesn't work on a networked PC)
 
#16
Andy_S said:
Interesting that there is such incredible interest in the Waffen SS in English-speaking nations that related books sell out and resell for ridiculous prices; one has to wonder who these fanatical readers are.
An Ex CO of mine is now a well known author and presenter of TV Military history. He said that if he gave up "proper" history and concentrated on "military pornography such as "Daggers of the 3rd Reich"..." he'd be a richer man.

Many of the participants will now be dead, but I'd imagine that a serious history of many SS units would be good start point for a war-crimes trial.
 
#17
The fascination for anything german in WW2 is not limited to books and militaria...look a "Hitler's Channel", DVDs, magazines or consider the model kit production...every single german vehicle or tank or plane has been produced in most scales and most marks, even the so-called "paper tigers" that never left the drawing board are produced...on the other hand, meaningful tanks and planes of numerous other countries are yet to be produced...
 
#18
BenghaziBandit said:
Some very good posts here, I too can not understand this 'cool' fascination with the SS, especially those who dress up and play at it.
I remember the massacre of the Warwicks by SS Liebstandarte in Wormhoudt in May 1940.
Because Evil can be very seductive. Basic human nature; walk into any large bookstore and you'll find dozens, perhaps hundreds of volumes on the darkest side of human history: "Gangster porn" - the Krays had as many best friends as there were soldiers on the Balconey - books about serial killers, terrorists of every affiliation, genocide(which predates the Nazis by thousands of years)torture, rape...

Hollywood is another example; it's a cliche that the Bad Guy always gets the best lines. Would Star Wars been such a success with out Darth Vader? Of course not. And the Governator would not have made his name as an action hero without first playing a ruthless killing machine who slaughters men and women without mercy...

There is also the fact that, to quote H.L. Menkin, "There comes a time in every man's life when he is tempted to spit on his hands, hoist the Black Flags and begin slitting throats." Most of us are conditioned from childhood to be non-violent, to resolve conflicts in a "civilised" manner. Of course, there are times when this is not applicable. And then the Nazi's brute force, take-what-you-want-and-kill-anyone-who-tries-to-stop-you philosophy can seem enormously attractive.

I am as guilty of this as anyone; I've often refered on this site to certain types of people - junkies for example - as "untermench". I've also(briefly)watched shows like Jeremy Kyle and found myself thinking that, if people like this allowed to vote, Facism makes more sense than Democracy... 8O

Finally, it's worth mentioning the similarities between Britain today and Germany just before and during Hitler's rise to power: an economy in the toilet, rising unemployment, a weak, corrupt government and a Military that had suffered in a war it could not win...

Of course, our national charector traits are different from the Germans(sorry if that sounds racist, that was not my intention)and there is no danger of Herr Griffen sweeping to power in the next election. But it does go some way to explain both the rise in popularity of the Far Right and the fascination with Nazis...
 
#19
Werewolf said:
Finally, it's worth mentioning the similarities between Britain today and Germany just before and during Hitler's rise to power: an economy in the toilet, rising unemployment, a weak, corrupt government and a Military that had suffered in a war it could not win...

Of course, our national charector traits are different from the Germans(sorry if that sounds racist, that was not my intention)and there is no danger of Herr Griffen sweeping to power in the next election. But it does go some way to explain both the rise in popularity of the Far Right and the fascination with Nazis...
I've been saying that for over 10 years now. Throw in rising crime (or at least the courts lack of punishment), and what seems like unchecked immigration, and you have a recipe for the rise of extreme political parties.

Hopefully our national pysche won't allow for them to come to power though.
 
#20

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