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SS-Totenkopf France 1940 (ePub)

Military Photographic eBooks WWII > German Forces & Weaponry WWII > Hitler & the Third Reich WWII > Photographic eBooks

By Jack Holroyd
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Images of War
File Size: 32.6 MB (.epub)
Pages: 128
ISBN: 9781783038947
Published: 16th July 2012


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By the end of the Second World War the reputation of Hitler's Schutzstaffel (SS) had become so heavily sullied that the organization was branded criminal and banned in post-war Germany. It's authority in Nazi Germany had been enormous having been made responsible for Reich internal security, it implemented Nazi racial policy and managed the death camps. Most oddly it produced a rival military organization to the German regular army – fighting alongside it but never a part of it – the Waffen SS.

SS-Totenkopf is a photographic account of that unit's birth and first month of active service. The Division, formed from concentration camp guards, fought alongside Rommel's 7th Panzer Division against the only British armoured counter-attack of the campaign. However, instances of atrocities committed by men of the Totenkopf began early and the machine-gunning of 97 prisoners of the Norfolk Regiment occurred. In this brief and violent history of the birth of an SS division the original captions and text which accompanied the photographs have been retained in order to capture the original flavour. The translated text appears inter spaced with the author's explanations.

The SS War Correspondent photographers risked their lives to take some of these pictures so up-with-the-action they were and, with their 'blood up', their comments are nationalistically passionate. This is understandable, so successful was the Blitzkrieg campaign in 1940 compared to the efforts of their fathers in 1914-1918 when they failed to break through to the Channel coast. It helps us to understand the euphoric reaction of some of the Totenkopf at the sight of the English Channel.

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About Jack Holroyd

The author has been employed in printing and publishing for fifty years. His works include five fictional titles, two books on aviation topics, five further titles on the First World War and one covering the actions of the SS Totenkopf Division in the invasion of France in May 1940.

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