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  From The Realm of a Dying Sun  V olume III: IV. SS-Panzerkorps From Budapest to Vienna, February-May 1945 By Douglas E. Nash Sr.    This t...

From The Realm of a Dying Sun Volume III: IV. SS-Panzerkorps From Budapest to Vienna, February-May 1945 by Douglas E. Nash Sr. From The Realm of a Dying Sun Volume III: IV. SS-Panzerkorps From Budapest to Vienna, February-May 1945 by Douglas E. Nash Sr.

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Douglas E. Nash Sr.




 From The Realm of a Dying Sun

 Volume III: IV. SS-Panzerkorps From Budapest to Vienna, February-May 1945


By


Douglas E. Nash Sr.




  This third volume shows the Panzerkorps at the very end of its life.  The book shows us the final battles it fought. They then tried desperately to surrender to the Americans, and avoid Soviet retribution. It also shows, like the other volumes, the deep distrust the 6th Army commander (Hermann Balck) had of the SS troops in general, but the SS Panzer Division Wiking in particular. The IV SS-Panzerkorps was part of the 6th Army. Balck's bad blood with Wiking had come from the actions during the Korsun Pocket in 1944. 


 The IV SS-Panzerkorps was faced with shortages of every kind, and yet there was no end to the Soviet forces attacking them. They fought on, even though even the most ardent Nazis must have known the end was near. It shows what kind of soldiers they were, because the NATO forces delved deeply into how they were able to, time and again, hold off the Russian hordes. 


 The author has written a seminal triad of books on the IV SS-Panzerkorps. Unless one is looking to read a quick overview of its history, these are the books that you want to read. 


 When a good book comes to the end, it is at times like losing a friend. This goes for both fiction and non-fiction books, at least for me. The trilogy of From The Realm of a Dying Sun was much more than a sum of its three parts. The books went from the orders to create the IV SS-Panzerkorps to its inception and finally its life and death. The author showed everything that went into the planning and training of the two Panzer Divisions that were the backbone of the Panzerkorps, the SS-Panzer Wiking Division, and the SS-Panzer Division Totenkopf. With these three volumes military history does not get much better. Mr. Nash showed us not only the Panzerkorps' military effectiveness, but never once shied away from the absolute horrifying acts that the troops were engaged in off the battlefield. The Eastern Front was a no holds barred affair from beginning to end. Both sides took the fighting to the death, and sometimes far beyond. How the IV Panzerkorps was able to take Luftwaffe personnel, and average conscripts (Most of the SS reinforcements for the last few war years were conscripted), and gave them a black and deadly esprit de corps is no longer a mystery due to the author. The three book series is a tour de force, nothing more and nothing less.

Robert

Book: From The Realm of a Dying Sun Volume III: IV SS-Panzerkorps From Budapest to Vienna, February-May 1945

Author: Douglas E. Nash Sr.

Publisher: Casemate Publishers





  From the Realm of a Dying Sun Volume II: The IV SS-Panzerkorps in the Budapest Relief Efforts, December 1944-February 1945 by Douglas E. N...

From the Realm of a Dying Sun Volume II: The IV SS-Panzerkorps in the Budapest Relief Efforts, December 1944-February 1945 by Douglas E. Nash Sr. From the Realm of a Dying Sun Volume II: The IV SS-Panzerkorps in the Budapest Relief Efforts, December 1944-February 1945 by Douglas E. Nash Sr.

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Douglas E. Nash Sr.





 From the Realm of a Dying Sun Volume II:


The IV SS-Panzerkorps in the Budapest Relief Efforts, December 1944-February 1945


by


Douglas E. Nash Sr.





 The first volume took us from the creation of the IV SS- Panzerkorps, and all that entailed, to the battles around Warsaw on the Eastern Front in WWII. This second volume takes us to Hungary and the desperate battle to relieve Budapest. The action takes place on the Eastern Front which by that time is getting uncomfortably close to Germany itself. Hitler demanded that the besieged in Budapest be relieved. Guiderian (Chief of the General Staff) wanted as many troops as possible to keep the Red Army off German soil. He described the Eastern Front as "A house of cards. If the front is broken through at one point all the rest will collapse".


 There were three relief attempts to fight through to the beleaguered in Budapest. Each operation was named Konrad. So, we have operation Konrad I,II, and III. The IV SS-Panzerkorps was in the thick of the fighting in all three operations. The backbone of IV SS- Panzerkorps were the two SS Panzer Divisions Wiking and Totenkopf. At different times during the IV SS-Panzerkorps existence, many other divisions and kampfgruppe's (battle groups) were added to its Order of Battle. 


 Long before the IV SS-Panzerkorps was created, both of the SS Panzer Divisions had been in the thick of the fighting in Russia. While one can be disgusted by their actions, one also has to reluctantly give them their just do. Both of the divisions were nearly destroyed several times over in the fighting on the Eastern Front. However, their cadres were able to install an esprit des corps in even their most reluctant, almost press ganged, soldiers. 


 The first volume was by far one of the best military history books I have ever read. This volume continues in that vein without even the slightest hiccup. In this book, like its sibling, the author seamlessly takes the reader from the highest councils of war to the individual battles for each plot of ground.

 

 There are two groups of photographs that are in the book. The first is a portrait gallery of most of the German persona listed in the book. The second is sixteen pages of photos taken of the troops during the actual operations described in the book.


 Some of the book is pretty eye-opening as far as the actual relations between the German Army and this SS-Panzerkorps. General der Panzertruppe Hermann Balck was the commander of the newly reconstituted 6th Armee. The IV SS-Panzerkorps, under Herbert Otto Gille, was subordinated to the 6th Armee for these operations. That there was no love lost between Gille and Balck is shown in several areas of the book along with Balck's actual disdain for the SS. On page 311, Gille is quoted as saying that his new deployment "smelled like a briefcase". This is in reference to the July 20th 1944 attempted assassination of Hitler. The book states that Gille believed Balck was actually trying to destroy his command in an act of treachery. This amazing piece of history is just one of the many that are found in the volume.


 This book, and the preceding volume, are exactly the kind of history that history buffs want to read. From the who, what, and when to the actual descriptions of the battles, these books are almost unparalleled. Thank you Casemate Publishers for letting me review this second volume of a planned trilogy on the IV SS-Panzerkorps. I cannot wait for volume III.

Robert


Book: From the Realm of a Dying Sun Volume II: The IV SS Panzerkorps in the Budapest Relief Efforts, December 1944-February 1945

Author: Douglas E. Nash Sr.

Publisher: Casemate Publishers

From The Realm of a Dying Sun Volume 1 by Douglas E. Nash Sr.  This is an amazing book from cover to ...

From The Realm of a Dying Sun Volume 1 by Douglas E. Nash Sr. From The Realm of a Dying Sun Volume 1 by Douglas E. Nash Sr.

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Douglas E. Nash Sr.





From The Realm of a Dying Sun Volume 1

by

Douglas E. Nash Sr.









 This is an amazing book from cover to cover. The author not only shows you the IV SS-Panzerkorps from inception on August 5th 1943, to the end of the Battle of Modlin on November 25th 1944, he does it in spectacular fashion. You get to see the actual creation of the Panzerkorps from the ground up. From the paperwork that created the Panzerkorps, to the assigning of medical and all other staff, it is in this book. The first ninety pages are taken up by the organization and the actual officers who were to command the separate parts of the Panzerkorps. The rest of the book's 500 pages are taken up by the intensive fighting the Panzerkorps took part in on the Eastern Front. 

 The two Panzer Divisions that made up the Panzerkorps were the 3rd SS-Panzer Division Totenkopf, and the 5th SS-Panzer Division Wiking. Both of these divisions were already known for being in the thick of the battles on the Eastern Front. Their history after being coupled in the Panzerkorps only cemented their reputations. I think we should stop here to explain something. It is possible to read about the SS-Panzerkorps and be amazed at their level of battle-worthiness while fighting at extreme odds against the Soviets; however, you can still feel a revulsion at what the SS actually stood for. At this time of the war the reinforcements sent to the SS divisions were very rarely recruits, but ordinary Germans who had been drafted into the Armed Forces of Germany. This fact makes the actual exploits of the IV SS-Panzerkorps even more amazing. To be continually refilled with recruits and then able to give them the esprit de corps that the veterans had was pretty incredible.

 One of the more interesting claims by the author is that the Warsaw Rising did not really impact the German forces fighting off the Soviets that much. As a matter of fact, Field Marshal Model was actually using the IV SS-Panzerkorps at that moment to counterattack the Soviet forces attempting to capture Warsaw. 

 The book is an excellent overview of what it takes to start up an armored corps from scratch. If it showed only that, the book would be worth buying. Then the author goes on to show it fighting for its life in amazing detail. From the decisions taken at the highest levels to the actual stories of the men in the tanks and on the ground, it is an unparalleled work of military history. The book comes with a good amount of pictures of the officers and troops, along with some well done maps. It also comes with a glossary of German military terms. Thank you Casemate Publishers for letting me review this book, and I am anxiously awaiting Volume II. The fighting on the Eastern Front in 1944 is usually given the short shrift in books compared to the volumes written about the Western Front at the time.

Robert

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