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Brandenburgers - The Third Reich's Special Forces (Spearhead) Paperback – 5 Dec 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Ian Allan Publishing (5 Dec. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0711029792
  • ISBN-13: 978-0711029798
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 18.4 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,343,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Chris Ellis has been writing about weapons and military history for many publishers for over 40 years. He compiled a volume for Ian Allan Publishing in the successful 'Collector's Guide' series on the German Army. His collaboration with Peter Chamberlain produced the classic British and American Tanks of World War 2. More recent titles include monographs on the German Flak/Pak 88mm and the Schmeisser. This is his second contribution to the Spearhead series, following on from his volume on the 21st Panzer Division.

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This is at best a meh...
If you know nothing about the Brandenburgers,this book could be a useful place to start,but nothing more.
The last half of the book is dedicated to the Waffen SS units,that took overas the German SOF,and very little about the regular Brandenburg division.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mark53 on 8 Mar. 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most of my spare time (and money) is spent on making models and purchasing books to get the correct details and this is a welcomed addition to my collection, well written and well photographed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
OK book, if you've never read anything about the Brandenburg Division 27 Feb. 2014
By The Gyro Captain - Published on
Format: Paperback
That about says it all--if you've never read a book about the Brandenburg Division, then you'll probably learn something from Ellis' book. Otherwise, this is just a rehash of known facts about the Brandenburg Division that doesn't add to the Historiography of this unique unit. Worse still, the author refuses to delve into the end of the division, when they fought as Panzergrenadiers in Czechoslovakia. The Brandenburg Panzergrenadier Division was destroyed in Czechoslovakia, when they tried to hold off the Red Army long enough for German civilians and other Wehrmacht units to escape.

If you're looking for photos of the Brandenburgers, you won't find them here. Most of the photos are fillers--after all, the best photo the author could find for the cover is a couple of SS reenactors who aren't even dressed as Brandenburgers. Equally bizarre is the author's hard-turn into the world of Otto Skorzeny. Yes, approximately 2,000 Brandenburgers joined the SS after the division was turned into a standard Panzergrenadier division. But the division's interaction with Skorzeny was minimal, compared to the sum of their operations. So the inclusion of nine (!) photos of Skorzeny is really irrelevant to the book.

My biggest problem with Ellis' research is that he ascribes unproven war crimes to the division, based on whether or not there were unit members in the victim country at the time. It seems as if the author adds these false assertions to make the Brandenburgers seem more like the stereotypical Nazi--when in fact the division was pretty apathetic to National Socialism (a by-product of their working for Adm. Canaris). Ellis even includes a photo of the US soldiers killed in the Malmedy massacre, though the Brandenburgers were hundreds of miles away fighting in Poland.

If you are interested in the Brandenburgers in their special operations role, I would suggest any other book than this. If you are interested in the Brandenburgers as a whole, I heartily recommend "The History of the Panzerkorps Grossdeutschland, Volume 3," by Helmuth Spaeter. Spaeter was a staff officer for the Brandenburgers, and is an excellent historian.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Germany's Special Forces of World War two. 21 Jan. 2012
By DRB - Published on
Format: Paperback
These guys were the Special Forces of Germany during World War two. They did alot of covert operations and fought on both fronts. This book covers some of the men in the unit and summarizes some of the missions. It also explains how the unit evolved and how it eventually dissolved due to politics. There is not alot of depth as you can find in other books on these men, however, it is a good book to start out with.
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