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