By the end of the Second World War there were soldiers of more than 30 nationalities fighting in the 38 combat division of the Waffen SS; Reich Germans were in the minority. How did a regime founded upon notions of its own racial superiority come to welcome hundreds of thousands of foreigners into its military elite - and what motivated these men? Following the sell-out success of his first volume in this series, Hitler's Gauls, the author examines in depth the Langemarck division, composed entirely of fighters drawn from the Flemish lands of Northern Belgium. Motivated by a powerful anti-communist zeal and a desire to escape forever the interference of their traditional enemy, France, these men fought at Stalingrad and in the encircling battles of the Volkhov pocket. They fought the bitter campaign in the Ukraine in 1943-44, then in Estonia at the Narva. The Division was destroyed by the Russian juggernaut in1945. Illustrated with rare photographs, many previously unpublished, and with close analysis of the key figures such as Flemish Knight's Cross winner Remy Schrijnen, this is a fascinating study of fanatical courage.
Jonathan Trigg is the author of Hitler's Gauls, Hitler's Jihadis, and Hitler's Vikings.