Wartime Photographs of Wilhelm Walther
In March 1940, Oberleutnant Wilhelm Walther transferred from Aufklärungs-Abteilung 5, an armoured reconnaissance unit, to Bau-Lehr-Bataillon z.b.V. 800 – forerunner of what would soon be known as the ‘Brandenburger’. Two months later, he led a commando action in the Netherlands and became the first of his unit to be awarded the Ritterkreuz (Knight’s Cross). By May 1944, Walther was an Oberstleutnant and an experienced regimental commander in what had evolved as the Division ‘Brandenburg’. He would eventually join Obersturmbannführer Otto Skorzeny’s SS-Jagdverbände as Chief of Staff, before seeing out the last days of the war with the short-lived Schutzkorps Alpenland.
More than 200 images, together with the original German captions and English translations, portray the life and times of this career officer, from the German annexation of the Sudetenland in 1938, to operations in Russia, Greece and the Balkans during 1941–44.
In comparison with other units of the Second World War, relatively little has been published about Germany’s commando forces. This is hardly surprising, considering the paucity of source material available and the air of mystery and intrigue still surrounding this specialist formation. This unique collection of rare images was sourced from the photograph album of Wilhelm Walther and is sure to appeal to all with an interest in the war in the West and on the Eastern Front, as well as to militaria collectors, modellers and re-enactment groups.
This is a marvellous set of archive images charting one man's life during WW2. He did survive the war, living to the great age of 100 when he passed away in 2010. It's rare we get to see a collection from one man that illustrate his WW2 story so this makes for a rare and fascinating collection of wartime photos. This one deserves to be popular I think.Military Model Scene
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