Speaking of the Wiking, RZM (Remy Spezzano & yours truly) is FINALLY working on the book about the relief of Kowel & the follow-on Operation Ilse. We'll start the layout within the next month. It will be primarily a photo book, though w/heavy text accompaniement, a bit like Platz der Leibstandarte, but with more context. It won't focus specifically on Wiking, of course, since it was only one of several divisions taking part in the relief operation, so we'll have photos depicting the 4th & 5th Pz.Divs, the 5th Jaeger Div. and the good old steady 131st Inf.Div. Many of our photos will be coming from NARA, the Bundesarchiv & the Slovenian Archive, but the main source of studio-qualify photos will be coming from the Baumann collection, which Remy has obtained the exclusive rights to (at some cost, I might add). Many of Baumann's photos have been published before, but most have been misidentified, placed out of context and reproduced without permission and we will correct the historical record, at least in that regard. These are studio-quality photos, taken by a master, who until he angered the sister of Eva Braun, had been Eva's personal photographer working under the auspices of Josef Goebbels. When Baumann spurned Eva's sister's desire to marry in the spring of 1942, it was "Off to the Russian Front" for him, where he (fortunately for us) was sent to the Wiking with their SS-PK & where he took some of the finest photos of W-SS troops ever made and who was in action continuously from that point until he departed the division in the fall of 1944. I've got copies of many of the contact sheets, and they are simply fantastic - very clear & sharp, with key leaders & individuals easily identifiable. This is one book I can't wait to get started on.
Abbott: This sure is a beautiful forest.
Costello: Too bad you can't see it for all those trees!