Hitler's Praetorians: The History of the Waffen-SS 1925-1945
The Schutzstaffel-SS-(Protection Squad) were the black uniformed elite corps of the Nazi Party. Founded by Adolf Hitler in April 1925 as a small personal bodyguard, the SS grew with the success of the Nazi movement and, gathering immense police and military powers, became virtually a state within a state. The Waffen-SS (Armed-SS) branch was made up of three subgroups: the Leibstandarte, Hitler's personal bodyguard; the Totenkopfverbande (Death's Head Battalions), which administered the concentration camps; and the Verfugungstruppen (Disposition Troops), which swelled to 39 divisions in World War II and which, serving as elite combat troops alongside the regular army, gained a reputation for both professionalism and brutality. Hitler's Praetorians is the complete history of the Third Reich's fighting elite from its humble beginnings to the end in Berlin in May 1945.Hitler's Praetorians begins with a detailed examination of Waffen-SS ideology, selection and training. Their chief "virtue" was their absolute obedience and loyalty to the Fuhrer. On the battlefield the Waffen SS had few peers, especially its elite panzer divisions. Hitler's Praetorians analyzes the many battles and campaigns of the Waffen-SS divisions, such as at Kharkov and Kursk in 1943, and on the Western Front in Normandy in 1944. As well as color maps and black-and-white photographs, Hitler's Praetorianss contains biographical boxes on the commanders who turned the Waffen-SS into a fearsome military machine. There are also boxes on the weapons and equipment used by the Waffen-SS throughout the war, with each item of hardware being illustrated by a line diagram and accompanied by a specifications table.- Detailed single-volume study of Hitler's Black Guard- Analysis of Waffen-SS battle tactics- Contains feature boxes on Waffen-SS commanders and hardware- Full-color mapsAbout the AuthorTim Ripley is a freelance writer and an acknowledged expert on the tactics of modern warfare. He is also the author of SS: Steel Storm and SS: Steel Rain.
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