by Ian Baxter
7th SS Mountain Division Prinz Eugen At War 1941–1945 (Paperback)
A History of the Division
Another interesting book compiled by Ian Baxter on one of the German SS divisions. Lots of interesting archive photos make up the major part of the book.
The 7th SS started in 1941 as a volunteer division of ethnic Germans living outside of Germany, mainly in eastern European countries like Romania, Hungary, Croatia, and others. But it soon turned out there were not enough volunteers, so the Germans introduced the draft in those countries to fill the division. Not surprisingly, that made it a less than an ideal unit in terms of strength and motivation. The Germans overcame that limitation by training the men extra hard and pushing them to obey any order.
Interestingly, and regretfully, over time the 7th SS became one of the most ruthless SS divisions, fighting mainly in the Balkan against Yugoslavian partisans (and civilians). Over time it changed from a regular SS division into a Mountain Division, more or less forced by the location and situation it was put in.
What I really miss in the otherwise excellent book, are maps. When one is not familiar with the area, all foreign names of towns and cities have no meaning, and one cannot really understand where all the action took place without searching Google Maps or other maps. And the region has changed since the war and the end of the Cold War!
The photos are excellent as usual and show lots of action, the people and their equipment. Ian Baxter tells the story in 5 chapters.
Formation, Anti-Partisan Operations, 1945 – Operation Weiss, Guerilla Warfare and Last Months.
Also included is an Appendix with the Order of Battle (units) and Commanders.
This is another great addition to the long row of Images of War books from this publisher. Available from their webshop here.
By Ian Baxter
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Images of War
Published: 4th September 2019