This photographic volume depicts Himmler’s favorite unit in the Waffen-SS: the III ‘Germanic’ SS Panzerkorps, for it fulfilled Himmler’s longtime political plans of recruiting ‘Germanic’ volunteers for the creation of a greater Germanic Reich in the future. As such, it consisted in part of SS volunteers from western and northern European countries. Although largely forgotten today, this elite SS unit fought on a variety of battlefields ranging from Croatia and Ingermanland’s snow-covered forests near Leningrad to the historic Estonian city of Narva, where it defended the Baltic countries of Estonia and Latvia against the Red Army in 1944-45. The remnants of the Panzerkorps ended up in both the hopeless defense of Pomerania and the final apocalypse at the battle for Brandenburg and Berlin in April-May 1945, when the Third Reich went down in a storm of fire and steel.
Volume 1 covers the period from the creation of the III SS Panzerkorps in the summer of 1943 until the German evacuation of Estonia in September 1944. The coverage includes the unit’s involvement in anti-partisan operations in Croatia (September-December 1943), the fighting at Oranienbaum-Leningrad and the battle for Ingria (January-February 1944); the defense of the Narva bridgehead and the battles for Dorpat and the Blue Hills, finishing with the German evacuation of Estonia (February-September 1944). On the Eastern Dront, a motley mix of nationalities and individuals fought under the Swastika and subsequently it was volunteers from various countries who served in the III ‘Germanic’ SS Panzerkorps, including Norwegians, Danes, Swedes, Swiss, Dutch, Flemings, Walloons, Estonians, Germans and ethnic Germans from Rumania. Even a handful of renegade British volunteers turned up in this unit during the final weeks of the Second World War. All of these soldiers had widely varying reasons for joining the Waffen-SS.
The 2 volumes forming this series will not only include well over 1,000 mostly unpublished photographs of the III SS Panzerkorps during 1943-45, but also a large number of previously unpublished personal battle descriptions by surviving officers and soldiers of this corps from the authors’ archives of personal correspondence. The photographs are also accompanied by interesting unit histories, biographies, commentaries on weapons and vehicles, as well as analyses of battlefield tactics.
Author: Lennart Westberg, Petter Kjellander, Geir Brenden
Hardcover, large format, 280 pages, 378 b/w photos, 22 b/w ills, 5 b/w maps, English text