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Waffen-SS Dutch & Belgian Volunteers (Paperback)

Military Photographic Books WWII > Battles & Campaigns > Russia & the Eastern Front WWII > Photographic Books

By Ian Baxter
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Images of War
Pages: 160
Illustrations: 250 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399087629
Published: 3rd February 2023



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Following the German invasion of the Soviet Union, numerous Dutchmen, Belgians and Danes volunteered for the Waffen-SS. The largest division, SS Volunteer Legion Netherlands operated in Yugoslavia and then Northern Russia. It was later re-designated 23rd SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division Nederland.

Fighting alongside the Nederland formation was the SS Volunteer Legion Flanders, manned mainly with Dutch speaking recruits from occupied Belgium. After being disbanded it was later reformed as the SS Assault Brigade Langemarck (SS-Sturmbrigade Langemarck).

The SS Volunteer Legion Walloon, recruited from French-speaking volunteers from German occupied Belgium, was sent to Russia and later integrated with the SS Assault Brigade Wallonia (SS-Sturmbrigade Wallonien).

Finally some 6,000 Danes served in Free Corps Denmark which went to the Eastern Front in May 1942. Within a year the formation was disbanded into Division Nordland, known as Regiment 24 Danemark

Drawing on a superb collection of rare and often unpublished photographs, this fine Images of War book describes the fighting history of each formation, notably the 1944 battle of Narva, which was known as the battle of the European SS. As its forces were pushed further back across a scarred and burning wasteland it describes how these Dutch, Belgian and Danish units became cut off in the Kurland Pocket until some were evacuated by sea. The remainder were killed or captured in front of Berlin in April 1945.

“The usual photo-heavy volume in the series includes lots of front-line photos including a considerable number with associated heavy weapons such as machine guns, AA guns, AT guns, mortars, and so on.”

Read the full review here.

Historical Miniatures Gaming Society

This is an interesting addition to the Images of War Series, and it deals with a subject that is often overlooked. People usually think of the Nazi SS as Germans who were tall, blonde, and blue eyed, and of Aryan stock. However, the truth is that the SS comprised of many nationalities and it even had Muslim members. This excellent book covers the Dutch, Belgian and Danish members of the Waffen-SS which was the combat arm of the SS.

The images presented in this book are first class and very good. They show many features of uniforms, equipment, weaponry both small arms and crew served, and photos of leading personalities. As a collection they present a concise overview of these units.

Each of the above nationalities initially had their own unit with its own identity and this book is split accordingly. There are some interesting comments on the history of each nationality / unit, but the bulk of the book is devoted to the period pictures. For a visual reference to these units this book is superb, and it is very good in this aspect.

If you are interested in the history of these Waffen-SS units, or images of the Waffen-SS then this book is a “must have” for your library. The author has put together a set of wonderful period photographs showing the history and activities of these units.

Dr Stuart C Blank, Military Archive Research

Review as featured in

Historical Miniatures Gaming Society, November 2023

5 out of 5

This is yet another useful reference work published by Pen & Sword Military.

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Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

As featured on Military Model Scene

Military Model Scene

One of the lesser known aspects of World War II was the success the Nazi's had in recruited men from conquered and occupied countries to fight against Allied troops. "Waffen-SS Dutch, Belgian, and Danish Volunteers" is impressively illustrated with historical black/white photos documented this unusual military phenomena from the German military perspective.

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Midwest Book Review

An interesting read indeed and I must say the supportive text in this series is always first-class.

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The History Fella

About Ian Baxter

Ian Baxter is a much-published author and photographic collector whose books draw an increasing following. Among his many previous titles in the Images of War Series are Hitler’s Boy Soldiers, Nazi Concentration Camp Commandants, The Ghettos of Nazi Occupied Poland, German Army on the Eastern Front – The Advance, German Army on the Eastern Front – The Retreat, The Crushing of Army Group (North) and the SS Waffen Division series including SS Leibstandarte Division, SS Totenkopf Division At War, Waffen SS of the Baltic States, Waffen SS at Arnhem and Waffen SS in the Ardennes. He lives near Chelmsford, Essex.

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