Gordon Williamson

The SS: Hitler´s Instrument of Terror


Comprehensive, profusely illustrated, reader-friendly, concise, nice size edition and clear in its exposition. In about 250 pages Mr. Williamson covers the whole history of these special troops, in all their aspects. Reviewing all its divisions, commanders, foreign nationalities that were incorporated into them, the weapons, the battles, their most talented fighters, etc and without losing the thread of his story: a most remarkable thing. Of course this is no eulogy of the SS, it tells of the barbarities committed as well as the acts of true heroism in battle by some of their soldiers. This is a great history. One can follow their main divisions from their inception long before the war, and how they grew in size and experience parallel to the national circumstances of Germany herself.

The role played by Himmler's crackpot ethnic theories were debunked by sheer necessity of man force: many of its finest soldiers were indeed non-Germans. One feels compelled to read more about this ignominiuos personage, Himmler, as he really was a weird (and evil) guy. On the positive side are outstanding acts of sheer valor and heroism of some soldiers who really deserve to remain in any military history of this war. Some passages of course overlap with the Wehrmacht, since they fought side by side many times, but both the detailed analysis and the wider scope of the SS role are present in this book. Nothing relevant is missing here. A great history book and an engrossing read.