Waffen-SS Soldier 1940-1945 (Trade Editions) (英語) ペーパーバック – 1999/5/1
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Probably the most highly motivated and ruthless combatant to take the field in World War II, the Waffen-SS soldier was the cutting edge of Germany's military might. From the green fields of France to the freezing steppes of Russia and finally to the shattered streets of Berlin this title details the development of the weapons, equipment and tactics of one of history's most formidable warriors.
Bruce Quarrie graduated with honours from Cambridge University in 1968 and started work as a journalist with the Financial Times. He wrote his first book, on wargaming, in 1974. Bruce's principal interest was in World War II, and his definitive Encyclopedia of the German Army was even translated and published in German. Bruce passed away on 4 September 2004. --このテキストは、ペーパーバック版に関連付けられています。
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As with all Osprey titles this book is not meant to be anything more than a general overview and a jumping off point for greater research. On that basis I recommend it.
However, there is one part of the book that I must criticize. On page 24 there is a reference to St. Ignatius Loyola and the Jesuits. The author posits that Himmler took his organizational model from the Jesuits and that Hitler often referred to him as "my Ignatius Loyola".
Of course none of these remarks are place in any kind of context and the reader is left with the impression that Hitler, Himmler and the SS were buddy-buddy with the Jesuits.
That the editors allowed this to go to print I find appalling and insulting. The Waffen SS had about as much in common with the Jesuits as they did with the Salvation Army.
It is a well known F-A-C-T that both Hitler and Himmler especially hated both Christianity and the Catholic Church. Nazi ideology, especially as practiced by the Waffen SS, was daimetrically opposed to everything the Jesuits stood for and for the author to leave his reader with any other impression is a gross error and monumental misrepresentation.
This flaw almost makes the book not worth buying.
It's pretty much par for the course for Osprey. Osprey is geared towards amateurs who either don't want to bother or willfully don't want to view the cultural aspects of war in general, let alone the less savory cultural aspects that motivated soldiers like those in the SS. This book is part of the general trend in amateur military history of exalting the SS as just "elite" forces like Rangers or Commandos (a comparison Quarrie makes). Not only is this sanitizing history, it's also simply bad history, period. Modern military history has been integrating social and cultural factors into any analysis of a unit's operational or tactical behavior since the '70s and books like these are simplistic and giant steps back. Factors like the SS unit's political indoctrination in the field or their racist attitudes DID influence unit cohesion, morale or behavior. Atrocities aren't just some unfortunate bit of business on the side "real" military historians prefer to ignore in favor of tactics, they have actual and real consequences on the conduct and outcomes of battle.
But I suppose that's not what an Osprey reader wants. He (always a he) wants to read about "elite" soldiers, acting as automatons so they can enjoy pretty uniforms or shiny weapons without any depth. War is a matter that has to be easily condensed for the sake of wargamers. In other words, shallow, amateur history. I don't imagine any wargamer has created dice-roll mechanics or simulates their little tin or plastic soldiers stopping to massacre civilians or captured enemy troops in the middle of battle.