Ss Steel Storm: Waffen-Ss Panzer Battles on the Eastern Front 1943-1945 (英語) ハードカバー – 2000/10
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SS Steel Storm is an account of the battles of the Waffen-SS panzer divisions of the East from the recapture ofKharkov in early 1943, when I SS Panzer Corps prevented the total collapse of Army Group South, to the last desperate attempts to hold the Red Army before Berlin in 1945. During this period the Waffen-SS panzer divisions fought a string of battles that are arguably the finest defensive actions of modern warfare. They certainly bear comparison with Napoleon's campaign of 1814 or the First Battle of the Marne in 1914.
SS Steel Storm looks at the story from different angles: the use of offensive tactics during defensive battles: the deveopment of German tank and armored fighting vehicle technology; and Waffen-SS unit flexibility that was able to exploit changing tactical situations to the full. SS Steel Storm also explodes a number of myths that have sprung up since the end of World War II, such as the claim that the Waffen-SS panzer divisions were equipped with large quantities of Germanys best tanks.
With the aid of full-color maps plus 170 photographs of Waffen-SS soldiers and tanks in the field, this hardcover reference book provides a unique account of a little-known, but crucially important aspect of Germany's war on the Eastern front.
Tim Ripley is a full time author and photojournalist who is also a keen student of military history. He has written numerous books on hardware, tactics and campaigns, including Bayonet Battle, Operation Deliberate Force, Jane's Pocket Guide to Modern Military Helicopters and Land Power: the Coalition and the Iraqi Armies. He currently lives in the north of England. --このテキストは、ハードカバー版に関連付けられています。
I have long had an interest in WWII and my bookshelves have many titles relating to this subject. My purchase of this book was to amplify my knowledge of the SS in particular. The book does not disappoint.
This book is Copyright in 2000 and so although now some 14 years old is still part of the modern continuing historical process of annotating and discussing the events of this remarkable but tragic time in European history. The book is a hard back and very nicely bound. The hard cover of the book has the same image as the dust-cover and so will be immediately identifiable in your bookshelf should you decide to discard the dust-cover. The book has many pictures, some of them absolutely iconic, all in black and white being the photography of the day. Many of the images of tanks, weapons, officers and men are very well done (exposure, composition, detail etc) and so probably originally produced by professional camera-men. There are also a number of maps showing the movements of the units to help “picture” the text describing the details of the, in some cases, enormous battles that took place. In the back of the book there is a series of tabulated data such as Waffen-SS Ranks, Waffen-SS Divisional Insignia, Armoured Fighting Vehicle and Artillery Capabilities, Orders of Battle etc.
As the war started to go bad for Germany in 1943, Hitler started to be affected by paranoia and became suspicious of his Army Generals. The Schutz Staffel (SS) were originally raised as Body Guard to Hitler. These men were chosen in part for their ideological adherence to Nazism and fanatical devotion to Hitler himself. Their organisation was expanded by Hitler as counter-balance to his suspicions and distrust about the regular military. The SS formations were involved in the extreme brutalities that happened during that time but also fought bravely against opposing armies and had some amazing victories early on, so were given priority in manpower and weapons, much to the disgust of the regular army. However as things went from bad to worse on the Eastern Front Hitler used the SS formations as a kind of military “fire brigade” that did indeed work... for a while.
One of the things that I find interesting in this account is the shear numbers contained the battle accounts. Imagine facing up to an attack with over 2300 tanks, or to be moving down a dirt road with about 40 Panzers, come over the crest of a hill to find 800 Soviet tanks about to come and “get” you. What do you do??? Destroy them of course!!!
The text is easy reading and exciting; not over-burdened with detail. As with most books it is divided into appropriate chapters all with pictures and maps. In reading through this book you feel that the Germans were winning the war because of some of the astounding victories that are narrated however when you realise that each of these major battles is another 500 Km closer to Berlin, you think, boy!! these guys did some amazing things under the intense pressure of a collapsing front.
This book, for those interested, is a great read and I find it amazing that at the time of writing this review (Mar 2014) there is only one other review; after being in print for some 15 years. Even though Nazism is now considered socially reprehensible and I fully agree, I like to think of this book as, “my little book of Nazis”...the SS were ALL Nazis!
If you're interested in WWII histories check out my other reviews. I've reviewed some pretty amazing accounts of WWII and other books.
This book does an excellent job of detailing the where and how and starts by claiming that the SS were not given preferential treatment for equipment to achieve the combat performance that they obtained. At two different points, it then states that certain high ranking Nazi's saw to the refitting of their particular pet groups (esp. the Totenkoph division).
The tactical details are a little light, the maps do present a general "who was where" feel to the battles, but the map details are few. The accounts of Kursk could be given more space in my opinion.
HOWEVER, this book does an excellent job of explaining the authors opinion of why the Waffen SS units were elite fighting groups and the disproportionate effect they had on the monstrous battles that raged. Some of the details are hard to believe if it weren't for the fact that we know how numerous the Russian casualties were. Truly, the Nazi war machine was crushed by waves of human flesh and poorly trained tankers in the vast sea of the Russian Steppe!
Two details that amazed me were how much Waffen-SS tactical plans sounded like current doctrine for much of the armored community and how much Hitler's micromanaging and countermanding his generals aided the collapse of the Reich he had assembled. The effect was staggering, especially at Kursk, arguably the pinnacle battle of the ETO!