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Horst Wessel, The Combat History of the 18. SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Division

“HORST WESSEL” The Combat History of the 18.SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Division covers the combat histories of two units, the 1.SS-Infanterie Brigade (mot) and the 18.SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Division “Horst Wessel”. The 1.SS-Infanterie Brigade (mot) was employed at the central and southern parts of the Eastern Front from the beginning of the war against the Soviet Union in June 1941 until end 1943/beginning 1944. Its combat trail led through the following areas: Jul 1941 – Lwow (Lemberg). Aug/Sep 41 – Korosten, Dec 41 – Kremenchug, Dec 41 – Brjansk, Dec – Aug 42 Kursk, Aug – Nov 42 – Borissov, Dec 42 – Newel, Oct 43 – Smolensk, Nov/Dec 43 – Bobruisk. End 1943/Beginning 1944 - transfer to Stablach, East Prussia for refitting.

While refitting it was decided that the brigade’s remnants would be used as the nucleus of the new 18.SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Division “Horst Wessel”. They were transferred to Croatia in the spring of 1944 for the establishment of the new division.

The “Horst Wessel” division had a unique history. Filling its ranks proved difficult and it never reached its authorized strength, or received all necessary equipment. The intent to form it from Hungarian Volksdeutsche failed because not enough volunteers stepped forward. Only a new Hungarian law made it possible for the Germans to draft the Hungarian Volksdeutsche. While forming and training, the division had to send off battle groups to take part in various battles, a practice that continued until the end of the war. As a result, it never fought as a complete division. Generally, its combat path led through the following areas: Mar 1944 – Occupation of Hungary (operation Margarethe), May 1944 – transfer to the Batschka, Jul – Aug 44 – Defensive fighting ion Galicia, Sep/Oct 1944 – combatting the Insurrection in Slovakia, Nov 44 – Jaszbereny, Hungary, Dec 44 – Matra Mountains, Feb 45 Slovakia and Czech Republic, Mar – May 45 Southwest Poland and Southeast Germany. May 45 – Surrender.

Wilhelm Tieke has done an excellent job of researching and writing a very readable book that combines the operations of the division with the personal accounts of its soldiers. Long overdue, this volume should be an asset to any WW II library.

Small format 6" x 9", 472 pages, 112 photos, 29 maps, English text.

About Us

J.J. Fedorowicz Publishing went into business in 1983 as Military Book Distributor, selling other companies’ books through the mail. Many of those books were in German, and so during the next few years a number of individuals commented on how it would be nice to see them in English. I investigated the costs and possibilities, and the first book was printed; 400 copies of a 40-page biography on Paul Hausser (how many of you own that one?). This was followed by European Volunteers, the first hard cover and first translation. And here we are now, almost 100 books later, and many more to go.

From the first day, the company’s objective was to provide translations of the very best German-language books covering the German ground forces in WW II and to publish them in a format that would last many years (hard cover, on acid-free paper, with laminated covers). It appears that we have been fairly successful.

Started as a one-man operation by John Fedorowicz, the company grew steadily until more help was needed. Over time, 3 partners came on board and we added Tiger Hobbies as a local outlet for modelers and book buyers. Eventually, as times and economic circumstances demanded, the company has returned to the original owner. However, Sharron, who came on board in 2002 as office manager, has stayed to keep me in line and on target. Ken helps with Tiger Hobbies. So here we are, John, Sharron and Ken - when you call you will get one of us.

Defying the hard economic situation, we plan to publish many more excellent books in the future and to serve your reading and modeling needs for many more years.