“Panzer Grenadier der 5.SS-Panzerdivision ‘Wiking’ im Bild”

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“Panzer Grenadier der 5.SS-Panzerdivision ‘Wiking’ im Bild”

Post by John P. Moore » Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:22 pm

I received my copy of the new 3rd edition of Fritz Hahl´s book, “Panzer Grenadier der 5.SS-Panzerdivision ‘Wiking’ im Bild” today. The text is in both English and German. It is the same large format as the earlier two editions, but on glossy paper this time which improves the appearance of the many photos. The 2nd edition increased in page count to 359 pages from the 299 pages of the 1st edition and an additional 70 have been added to the 3rd edition. The new sections include a Foreword by Fritz Hahl, some material about Kurt Eggers from the Panzer Regiment, the s.Panzer Abteilung 503 and the division cemetery as Uspenkaja. At Fritz Hahl’s request and with my permission the publisher included 56 pages of “Wiking” officer listings and the chronologic officer KIA/MIA listing from my “Führerliste der Waffen-SS” publication that Fritz Hahl had worked on with me over the years.

Below is part of the Foreword that Fritz Hahl wrote for the 3rd edition.
“Directly after the war, I repeatedly considered the idea of writing about my war experiences, as a member of the "Westland" regiment in the "Wiking" division. At the time, I drove to Osnabrück, to the Munin-Verlag [publishing company], which was headed by Helmut Thole. He explained to me, that his publishing company only published stories of troops from the division level and upward. I thereupon turned my regiment story into a history of the "Wiking" division, and to this end I requested contributions from various units. So, we met for an editorial meeting in Osnabrück. In attendance were Heinrich Debus, reconnaissance battalion, meanwhile a prosperous director of a brewery in Biedenkopf, Heinrich Grabert, antiaircraft artillery battalion, Franz Hack, the last regimental commander of "Westland," with whom I would continue to meet for several years, from war's end up until his death. He assumed command of "Westland" on the 12th of October, 1944. On the very same day, I was seriously wounded for the seventh time, at the Bug-Vistula triangle. Rudolf Haselmann, Josef Krombholz, Ludwig Lieb, Werner Meyer ("Germania" regiment), Fred Mulflur (antiaircraft artillery battalion) and Wilhelm Tieke. Meanwhile, all of those named have been called to the great army in the sky. Only Wilhelm Tieke is still alive and also writes some things about our troop. It was an illustrious bunch that launched a surprise attack on the good Helmut Thole. But we met with success, since the result was the first edition of "Panzergrenadiere der Divison Wiking" ("Armored Infantry Riflemen of the Wiking Division") in the summer of 1984. We even had a stand at the book fair in Wiesbaden, at which I was able to answer many questions about our troop from interested visitors.

Each of the above-named persons brought with him more or less short contributions to the book project. I provided approximately ninety percent of the text. At the time, I was still fully occupied professionally, and I wrote the text during a three-week stay at a health resort in Bad Radolfzell. Naturally, the use of the resort's facilities was all too brief. I dictated it all on tape, and my secretary wrote it down in proper form. I was still a branch director of an insurance company at the time, and because of a lack of time some things were not a complete success

In the book, I described my experiences as member of the “Westland" 4th Company, which was posted in the summer of 1940 in the Munich-Freimann SS barracks. In the spring of 1941, we were transferred to the Heuberg troop training grounds. Then came our moving into position in the forests near Lubin and the first engagement on the 1st of July 1941, whereby the first of the fallen was our regimental commander Hilmar Wackerle. The turbulent advance into the Ukraine and taking up the winter position at the Mius River followed. In May 1942, I was detached from there to the officer training school in Bad Tolz, as the division marched into the Caucasus, and heavy fighting had to be withstood here as well. My course of study was the 12th war officer course for active SS officers, which I passed in December 1942 and was promoted to SS Standartenoberjunker ……………”

The third edition is published by Deutsche Stimme Verlags and ordering information should appear soon on their Web site.

http://www.ds-versand.de/index.php?cat= ... ruppe.html

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Re: “Panzer Grenadier der 5.SS-Panzerdivision ‘Wiking’ im Bild”

Post by Marc Rikmenspoel » Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:31 pm

I have the 2nd edition, and it is one of the best books Munin ever produced. It isn't mentioned above, but Patrick Hinchy, Hubert Meyer's British son-in-law, provided the translation, so the extensive English text is mostly quite good. Besides the many photos, the best part of the book is the information not found anywhere else, such as how Harry Polewacz and HaJo von Hadeln were killed by the same bullet, fired by a sniper! Another detail is that Gerd Lotze was not really in command of 5./Westland when he was killed and awarded a posthumous Knight's Cross, as is stated in many works on RKT. In fact, Lotze was on a sort of leave between instructing courses at the JS-Tölz, and paid a visit to his old regiment. As an honored guest, he was allowed to take temporary command of his old company for an afternoon, and led it in the successful attack after which he was KIA.

Thanks John, for sharing this background on the creation of this highly recommended book!

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Re: “Panzer Grenadier der 5.SS-Panzerdivision ‘Wiking’ im Bild”

Post by book lover » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:37 pm

Hi,is there a north american dealer stocking this title?

Also is there any chance fritz hahl's memoir "Mit Westland Im Osten" will be published in english?

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Re: “Panzer Grenadier der 5.SS-Panzerdivision ‘Wiking’ im Bild”

Post by John P. Moore » Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:21 pm

Here is a direct link to the book posted today on the publisher's Web site.

http://www.ds-versand.de/product_info.p ... info=p4450

The original plan for the 3rd edition of "Panzer Grenadier ..." was to include "Mit 'Westland' im Osten" in both German and English languages in the expanded version, but it did not happen. If there is enough demand maybe the publisher can be persuaded to do that for the next edition. That is really an excellent book and gives the reader a very good sense of what Fritz Hahl was thinking about during the combat operations. In the meantime, the best suggestion that I can make is to learn to read German so you can appreciate that book and the other many fine German-language books that will probably never be translated into English.

john

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Re: “Panzer Grenadier der 5.SS-Panzerdivision ‘Wiking’ im Bild”

Post by Marc Rikmenspoel » Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:39 pm

Tom Petteys at The Aberdeen Bookstore carries the various former Munin photobooks, mostly in the Nation europa editions. But he has the new reissue of SS-Fallschirmjäger im Bild, so I expect he'll also have Panzergrenadiere der Panzerdivision Wiking im Bild once this latest edition makes it to North America (probably distributed by Casemate, they seem to handle most books of this sort, I'd also check their website).

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Re: “Panzer Grenadier der 5.SS-Panzerdivision ‘Wiking’ im Bild”

Post by Doug Nash » Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:33 pm

John,
Do you know if anyone is planning on reprinting Felix Steiner's book Die Freiwilligen - Idee und Opfergang in English? I thought that Fedorowicz would have jumped on that one by now.
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Re: “Panzer Grenadier der 5.SS-Panzerdivision ‘Wiking’ im Bild”

Post by Paul E » Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:31 pm

Thanks for the update John , i have a copy of the second edition which was a Christmas gift from Siegfried Melinkat from the Wiking Panzer Regiment,

regards

Paul

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Re: “Panzer Grenadier der 5.SS-Panzerdivision ‘Wiking’ im Bild”

Post by Doug Nash » Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:36 pm

My copy is the first edition - published in 1984, so it doesn't have all the updates. I took it to the Wiking Reunion in 1998 and got 32 members to autograph it, including three Knight's Cross winners - guess that will be worth something in 20 years or so.
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Re: “Panzer Grenadier der 5.SS-Panzerdivision ‘Wiking’ im Bild”

Post by John P. Moore » Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:31 pm

Doug - You are indeed fortunate to have those veteran autographs in your copy of the book.

I have not heard anything about anyone planning to do the Steiner book in English and I am not even sure that it is still being reprinted in German since I don't see it being offered for sale anywhere. My copy is a 5th edition from 1973.

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Re: “Panzer Grenadier der 5.SS-Panzerdivision ‘Wiking’ im Bild”

Post by Uncle Joe » Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:45 pm

John, how are other physical qualities? Most of the Nation Europa/Munin books I have seen have had pretty average binding and quite thin covers (warp easily and are often warped as new).

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Re: “Panzer Grenadier der 5.SS-Panzerdivision ‘Wiking’ im Bild”

Post by John P. Moore » Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:21 pm

Uncle Joe - This is a completely different publisher, Deutsche Stimme at Riesa near Dresden. There is no dust jacket as the cover art work is imbedded in spine along with the front and rear in the same fashion as books by Bender and Fedorowicz. It is professionaly sewn and bound in the same manner as the Patrick Agte's Wittmann book published by Fedorowicz, only better results for the photos. My copy of the book has received considerable use over the past few weeks and shows no signs of wear. This book should meet your demanding standards, plus all the text is in English as well as German.

John

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Re: “Panzer Grenadier der 5.SS-Panzerdivision ‘Wiking’ im Bild”

Post by Richard Hargreaves » Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:32 pm

Revisiting a rather old thread...

I have this excellent volume, really nicely produced and most of it's translated in English for non-Germanophones.

But...

how does it compare with Verweht sind die Spuren? Would I gain much from owning the latter while I'm researching the Caucasus? :[]
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Re: “Panzer Grenadier der 5.SS-Panzerdivision ‘Wiking’ im Bild”

Post by Doug Nash » Thu Jun 02, 2011 6:39 pm

Well, Verweht sind die Spuren was about the Panzer Regiment, while Panzergrenadierdivision Wiking in Bild was about the whole division. The second book had far more text, while the first one was more focused on the tanks, obviously. Both are good though - also, Klapdor's book about the tank regiment has just been translated and printed by JJFed, and worth every penny. There's also Peter's Strassner's Europaeische Freiwilliger about the Wiking, which isn't bad, but unfortunately when he wrote it, a great deal of the original source material that the US Army confiscated after WWII had not yet been copied & released thru the US Archives, so it was lacking a lot. But a good read, nonetheless. There's quite a bit of material available through the Bundesarchiv about the Division that's accumulated over the years that is not in NARA - for instance, before many veterans die, if they have the presence of mind, they donate their personal archives before they pass away & the Bundesarchiv makes that available as well. But I imagine a lot of it gets thrown in the trash too by family members who have no idea what they've got.
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Re: “Panzer Grenadier der 5.SS-Panzerdivision ‘Wiking’ im Bild”

Post by Richard Hargreaves » Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:40 pm

Many thanks as ever Doug. Currently juggling finances to see which purchases I should make!

I paid a lot of money for Klapdor's Wiking book a couple of years ago because I was impressed by his other books and "that'll never be translated..." And hey presto, it's now translated (although it's obviously coming over from the US by packet steamer because my copy's not turned up yet :( ) I always assumed if any work would be printed in English, it would be his Normandy book. Mind you, I never expected 35 Pz Regiment to be translated either...

When you start scratching away there's a lot of published / unpublished material on the Caucasus campaign in German - some really good first-hand accounts at BA-MA (including what looks like the early drafts of a never published propaganda/memorial book). It's only really when you begin researching it in earnest that you understand Stalingrad really was a sideshow.
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Re: “Panzer Grenadier der 5.SS-Panzerdivision ‘Wiking’ im Bild”

Post by Marc Rikmenspoel » Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:41 pm

Richard, what you might enjoy, more than Verweht sind die Spüren, is volume 1 of Paul Oosterling's biography of Johannes Rudolf Mühlenkamp. It has many of the same photos as Verweht, along with others from Poland and France, along with plenty of text in a large format, on glossy paper. Text and captions are German only, and a few sections are taken from Klapdor's book, but overall, this book might be quite useful for you.

Volume 1 covers SS-PA 5 and its later career as I./SS-PR 5 up through Cherkassy. Volume 2 covers the formation of II./SS-PR 5, and then the entire regiment from Kovel onward. It's shorter and less interesting than volume 1, but both are nice books. Since you are on a budget, concentrate on volume 1.

Incidentally, a few of you may remember that Paul Oosterling used to post on this forum, under the screen name "Tom Stein." It took me a long time to realize that he was Dutch, since his English was so good, but he writes German too, obviously.

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