- Hardcover: 192 pages
- Publisher: Motorbooks Intl; 1st American Edition edition (March 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0760310157
- ISBN-13: 978-0760310151
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.5 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,072,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ss-Totenkopf: The History of the 'Death's Head' Division 1940-45 Hardcover – March, 2001
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Besides offering nothing new, there are historical inaccuracies throughout. For example, the author on page 126 uses the Soviet account of the battle of Prochorovka (part of the battle of Kursk and largest tank battle of all time) which claims that the SS Panzer Divisions have Panther tanks. None of the SS Divisions had Panther tanks at the time of the battle of Kursk and they did not get them until later in 1943 or early 1944. Moreover, on page 188 there is a table of 'Totenkopf' tank inventory for the battle of Kursk and there are no Panther tanks, only Panzer III's, IV's or Tigers. Not to mention the 'Totenkopf' division did not take part in the battle of Prochorovka, it was holding the Psel bridgehead.
The only part that the book offers that is good is at the end of the book. There are short descriptions of the weapons used by the division. The tables are good too for quick reference. The one table gives the division's war service with what corps, army, and army group it was attached to and the location for that time period.
If you want good information about the 3. SS Panzer Division 'Totenkopf,' there are definately better books out there.Read more ›
Now, this does not mean that the book is bad as such. For a reader seeking a light or introductory history of Division Totenkopf, this book will probably be better than Sydnor's more in-depth (but also drier) study. It presents a pleasant enough read, and as a work of military history it certainly is superior, for example, to such a basic and more "literary" account as Rupert Butler's "Curse of the Death's Head" (Arrow, 1985; reissued as "Hitler's Death's Head Division" by Cooper, 2004). At the same time, for those who have read Sydnor, there is little or nothing new here, and they should be aware of that.
On another note, I cannot agree with the reviewers who accuse Dr. Mann of "bashing" Totenkopf and the SS and recommend Sydnor instead. If anything, Sydnor does far more "bashing" (that is, discussion of indoctrination and war crimes, alleged and real) of the division than Mann. Although of course, not everyone will agree that a certain amount of such "bashing" is a bad thing to begin with.
In the author's introduction, he begins in the 1920s with Hitler, Rohm and others trying to initiate and grow the Nazi Party and extends the coverage to describe the key events into the 1930s until Rohm is assassinated and Hitler becomes chancellor in 1933. Himmler has a bigger role as he becomes the head of the SS. The Dachau camp opens and the camp system expands which introduces Eicke and the SS camp guards which will eventually evolve into Himmler's SS Divisions with Totenkopf a prime example. Since Eicke played such an important role, the author gives him due coverage concerning his ideology, training practices and political indoctrination. Eicke believed that if you wanted to win the war you had to be more brutal and nastier than the enemy; there was no room for morals.
The historical commentary continues with a summary of the key engagements the SSTK was in and includes Poland 1939, France 1940, the drive toward Leningrad in 1941 culminating at the Demyansk Pocket, Kharkov 1943, Kursk, Mius and Merla River campaigns, Krivoi Rog in Dec 1943, Rumania in April 1944, Grodno, Warsaw, Budapest and finally its surrender to the US 3rd Army in April 1945 and the subsequent handing off to the Soviets.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed this book very much. Very intresting, day to day history of the 3rd SS-Totenkopf Division. Only found 2 minor mistakes in the book.Published on December 28, 2013 by Gary Kohl
If you like picture books, this isn't bad. But some pictures are regurgitated from other SS-Division books and detracts from the value. Read morePublished on December 31, 2011 by William M. Thrash
When I initially read the reviews posted here, I was hesitant to waste my time reading this book. Now that I have done so, however, I find that most of the complaints are... Read morePublished on November 29, 2006 by C. Delf
Before I say anything anything else I want to let everyone to know I HAVE NOT read this book. Obviously the reader above was either misinformed of mislead by this book. Read morePublished on February 28, 2003
Its very lacking and he does a lot of guess work instead of putting down historical accuracies. Stick with Soldiers Of Destruction, i found that a book worth reading over and over... Read morePublished on February 5, 2003