Review: Danish Volunteers of the Waffen SS-Freikorps Danmark 1941-1943

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Review: Danish Volunteers of the Waffen SS-Freikorps Danmark 1941-1943

Post by panzermahn » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:15 pm

Hi all,

I just received this book a couple of weeks which is authored by Jens Pank Bjerregaard and Lars Larsen


It is very similar to the other foreign volunteers photobook by Helion Publishing (Hitler's Swedes: A History of Swedish Volunteers in the Waffen SS by Lars T. Larsson and Norwegian Volunteers of the Waffen SS by Geir Brendan & Tommy Natedal). I hope Helion Publishing would come out with a photobook on the Finnish Waffen SS volunteers next.

This is mainly a photobook of the Danish volunteers of the Freikorps Danmark from 1941-1943. Other Danish volunteers from differents units such as 24th SS Regiment Danmark of the 11th SS Panzergrenadier Division Nordland are not covered.

Surprisingly there are not that many photos of Christian Frederick von Schalburg and Knud Borge Martinsen despite these two Danish SS officers are one of the few well-known dramatis personae of the Freikorps Danmark. There isn't much info on the combat history of the Freikorp Danmark apart from the well-known battles that they were involved such as the Demyansk Pocket and the Battle of Velikije-Luki.

There were no mention of Danish Waffen SS Knight's Cross holders though two of the Danish RK winners (Soren Kam & Johannes Helmers) were ex-Freikorps Danmark members. (Correct me if I am wrong, Egon Christophersen, the other Danish RK winner was never part of the Freikorps Danmark but joined the Waffen SS in 1941 and was part of the Der Fuehrer regiment of the Das Reich Division)

There is no mention of the uniforms and insignias of the Freikorps Danmark, (the trifos, dannebrog - only worn by the replacement company & the sonnenrad kragenspiegln worn by the members of the Freikorps Danmark).

However the authors had managed to obtain some of the very interesting photographs that were never published before (such as the funeral ceremony for CF von Schalburg in Demyansk Pocket) and interestingly enough, there are quite a number of photographs of the legendary Danish SS officer Per Sorensen that I don't think has ever been published before. The author also mentioned about some unknown facts such as the two Russian Hiwis (whose first names were provided) that were adopted as the mascot of Freikorps Danmark who continued to serve right with the 24th SS Regiment Danmark right until to its end until Berlin. There are some early photos of Christian Peder Kryssing, the first commander of Freikorps Danmark. There are also some photos of grafitis scratched by the men of Freikorps Danmark asking Kryssing to leave the unit!

The other comment I like to mention is that the photos of the death notices of the members of Freikorps Danmark, while it is interesting but devoting 2-3 pages to it with grainy photographs may not be necessary. However this is just my personal observation. Also, at the appendices where the portrait photos were printed on a similar tabloid size page with a single portrait photo per page made the photos look "stretched" and this may look a bit peculiar for the portrait photos. I am not sure if this is the decision of the publishers but I personally think this is a mistake.

Nevertheless, despite the comments I have, I would like to give thanks to the authors who had done a great job obtaining those photographs from the private archives of the former members of the Freikorps Danmark. It must have been a labour of love from the authors because the price of the book is a small fraction to what the amount of efforts and time the authors had poured into this book. I hope the authors would come out a next volume on Danish volunteers of other Waffen SS units (most notably the 24th SS Regiment Danmark)

i would rate this book 4.5 out 5 stars

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Re: Review: Danish Volunteers of the Waffen SS-Freikorps Danmark 1941-1943

Post by tigre » Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:44 pm

Many thanks for your input on this :wink:. Cheers. Raúl M 8).
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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