Blood and Soil (Hardback)
The Memoir of A Third Reich Brandenburger
As seen in the Daily Mail, May 2019: 'The dark world of Hitler's elite Brandenburger troops: Bloody account of German special forces soldier reveals how he revelled in bringing death... before realising the horror of the Nazis.'
As seen in the Daily Express, May 2019.
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‘The author is a sympathetic narrator and he has told his story… with genuine verve and style… [His] South Tyrolean origins, and his role in the Brandenburg Division make the book very distinctive.’ Roger Moorhouse.
The Brandenburgers were Hitler’s Special Forces, a band of mainly foreign German nationals who used disguise and fluency in other languages to complete daring missions into enemy territory. Overshadowed by stories of their Allied equivalents, their history has largely been ignored, making this memoir all the more extraordinary.
First published in German in 1984, de Giampietro's highly-personal and eloquent memoir is a vivid account of his experiences. In astonishing detail, he delves into the reality of life in the unit from everyday concerns and politics to training and involvement in Brandenburg missions. He details the often foolhardy missions undertaken under the command of Theodor von Hippel including the June 1941 seizure of the Duna bridges in Dunaburg and the attempted capture of the bridge at Bataisk where half of his unit were killed.
Translated into English for the first time, this is a unique insight into a fascinating slice of German wartime history, both as an account of the Brandenburgers and within the very particular context of the author’s South Tyrolean origins.
Given the very perilous nature of their missions very few of these specially-trained soldiers survived the Second World War and much knowledge of the unit has been lost forever.
Widely regarded as the predecessor of today’s special forces units, this fascinating account brings to life the Brandenburger Division and its part in history in vivid and compelling detail.
Listed in the 'top reads of 2019' featureSoldier magazine, December 2019
A rare glimpse of the Brandenburger special forces in WWII. The Brandenburgers were perhaps the first modern special forces to be formed and their history is little known, making this personal memoir of a Brandenburger an important addition to the historical knowledge of WWII – Very Highly Recommended.Firetrench
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The inside story of Hitler's elite squad, the Special Forces, told by an actual member, straight from the horse's mouth, as it were.Books Monthly
One of the best memoirs of a German soldier I have ever read. The author provides a detailed accounting of the Brandenburgers missions and daring exploits in Eastern Europe, Greece, The Russian Front and various parts of the German Reich during World War II.Argunners
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For me it is the completeness in this man’s story that makes this book worth picking up and spending time reading it. It sucks you into his story and lets you get an idea of what it was like fighting in some of the theatres of World War 2, and this approach grounds you in a different time with different ideas of what was right and wrong and how this person interacted with those situations. This book is one of those offerings where you find yourself not wanting to put it down, it drags you and has you wanting to know what happens next.Armorama
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A new book details life and death in Hitler's special forces during the Second World War.Daily Express 22/5/19
These fascinating images reveal life and death in Hitler's feared special forces unit during World War II.Mail Online
The ruthless Brandenburgers were known for using captured uniforms and fluency in other languages to disguise themselves as enemy soldiers and carry out spy missions abroad.
One such soldier, Sepp de Giampietro, wrote a first-hand account which has now been translated in to English for the first time.
This is a very good read. It is not all derring-do but a really well constructed account highlighting how people living outside the Germany defined by Versailles committed themselves to the creation of a ‘Greater Germany’ defined by German ethnicity. The descriptions of the Brandenburger missions are alive with detail and are compelling. Good to read more German accounts being translated into English. Recommended.Michael McCarthy
Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide
‘A fitting tribute to Germany's clandestine warriors, and a guarantee that their extraordinary efforts have not been relegated to comparative obscurity or entirely forgotten’ - David R Higgins. Hitler's daring and pioneering Brandenburgers special forces served in every German theatre of action. This is the most comprehensive account of an unusual and profoundly successful band of men. Lawrence Paterson traces the origins of the small unit, before the outbreak of war in 1939, as the brainchild of Admiral Canaris and part of his Abwehr intelligence unit through through to its breaking up in…By Lawrence Paterson
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