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Horst Wessel: The Combat History of the 18. SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Division covers the combat histories of two units, the 1.SS-Infanterie Brigade (mot) and the 18.SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Division 'Horst Wessel'. The 1.SS-Infanterie Brigade (mot) was employed at the central and southern parts of the Eastern Front from the beginning of the war against the Soviet Union in June 1941 until end 1943/beginning 1944. Its combat trail led through the following areas: July 1941 – Lvov (Lemberg). August-September 1941 – Korosten, December 1941 – Kremenchug, Dec 41 – Brjansk, Dec – Aug 42 Kursk, Aug – Nov 42 – Borissov, Dec 42 – Newel, Oct 43 – Smolensk, Nov/Dec 43 – Bobruisk. End 1943/Beginning 1944 - transfer to Stablach, East Prussia for refitting.

While refitting it was decided that the brigade’s remnants would be used as the nucleus of the new 18.SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Division “Horst Wessel”. They were transferred to Croatia in the spring of 1944 for the establishment of the new division.

The “Horst Wessel” division had a unique history. Filling its ranks proved difficult and it never reached its authorised strength, or received all necessary equipment. The intent to form it from Hungarian Volksdeutsche failed because not enough volunteers stepped forward. Only a new Hungarian law made it possible for the Germans to draft the Hungarian Volksdeutsche. While forming and training, the division had to send off battle groups to take part in various battles, a practice that continued until the end of the war. As a result, it never fought as a complete division. Generally, its combat path led through the following areas: March 1944 – Occupation of Hungary (operation Margarethe), May 1944 – transfer to the Batschka, July-August 1944 – Defensive fighting ion Galicia, September-October 1944 – combatting the Insurrection in Slovakia, November 1944 – Jaszbereny, Hungary, December 1944 – Matra Mountains, February 1945 Slovakia and Czech Republic, March-May 1945 Southwest Poland and Southeast Germany. May 1945 – Surrender.

Wilhelm Tieke has done an excellent job of researching and writing a very readable book that combines the operations of the division with the personal accounts of its soldiers. Long overdue, this volume should be an asset to any WWII library. English text.

NB Price is provisional

  • AUTHOR: Tieke, W
  • FORMAT: 472pp 112 Bw 29 maps Hb
  • Code: 15088

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