The divisions of the Waffen-SS were the elite of Hitler's armies in World War II, but some of the most fanatical of these were not even German. SS: Hitler's Foreign Divisions is an in-depth examination of the approximately 350,000 foreign volunteers from German-occupied countries who opted to fight for the Third Reich as members of the Waffen-SS. The book explores the background to their recruitment and describes-on a unit-by-unit basis-their history, structure, and combat record in the war.
Despite their non-Germanic background, the Norwegians, Dutch, Danes, Belgians, Latvians, Estonians, Cossacks, Ukrainians, and other nationalities-often motivated by an extreme anti-Communist zeal- fought hard on the Eastern Front for the Nazi cause, even when their position was hopeless. Often treated badly by their German commanders, the foreign SS units were not all excellent combat formations, however. some, like the British and Indian volunteers, were used for propaganda purposes only, while others, like the notorious Dirlewanger Brigade, who helped brutally suppress the Warsaw Rising, were nothing more than murderous criminals in uniform. Other divisions-such as the Russian-recruited 30th Waffen- Grenadier Division der SS, formed in the final months of the war-never reached a functional strength, and were disbanded before they saw action.
Illustrated with rare photographs and written by an acknowledged expert, SS: Hitler's Foreign Divisions is a definitive history of the foreign SS units who fought for Hitler and Germany in World War II