One of the worst WWII books I've read in years, I couldn't wait to put this down forever. Richard Landwehr is an irresponsible historian and laughably poor writer. He has cobbled together an unreadable mess of what should be a tautly dramatic account of a monumental battle in the annals of the Waffen-SS. Of the 177 pages, roughly 90 is comprised of actual text. The rest is blurry photo reproductions and blank pages.
The five maps in this book offer little utility for the reader and none of them relate to the text. They're low-quality facsimiles that give no indication of troop movements, counter-attacks, towns, roads, and hills that Landwehr describes. Try understanding this without a map: "Along the Danube opposite the north point of Margarethen Island to the church 500 meters west of Hill 300, then due west of Zoeldmal to the north of Hill 259 including the Orban and Sas Hills, then to the rail and road crossing at Horthy Miklos Street before returning back to the Danube." That's a typical sentence in this book.
Other reviewers keep saying this book is an easy read. No. Easy reading is Max Hastings and Antony Beevor. Landwehr is torture to read because he's 1) tediously dry and 2) conveys giddiness and bias for the subject that I found distasteful.
Landwehr is drier than stale bread. He describes military maneuvers in such a tepid and wooden fashion that he might as well quote battlefield reports in full. Actually, he does that at one point. And it meshes well with his dull summaries, an example being: "The 12th Hungarian Infantry Division was subordinated to the 13th Panzer Division while 1st Hungarian Armored Division was sent to IV Panzer Corps." Only once or twice does the narrative get interesting and that's when he quotes powerful first-hand accounts from SS soldiers. These accounts told me more about the siege in one page than Landwehr accomplishes in a chapter. Another annoyance is that Landwehr never abbreviates or offers shorthand for division names. Every time the Florian Geyer division is mentioned, you will have to read its full appellation: "8th SS Cavalry Division 'Florian Geyer'".
When he's not dull and pedantic, Landwehr is engaged in chauvinistic bias against the Soviets, zeal for the righteous cause of the SS defenders, and immature off-hand remarks. Landwehr routinely refers to the Soviets as "communists" and "Reds". He casually describes Red Army operations as a "communist onslaught" (p. 12) or "Red tide" (p. 13). He says, "It is to be hoped that [the Waffen-SS defenders] be remembered for all time by those of us who still live free from the communist tyranny they fought against!" Landwehr goes so far as to claim this: "because of their [Waffen-SS] actions the world is a little better place today than it would have been had the city been evacuated or surrendered." This is totally baseless speculation that no responsible historian would argue without evidence or reasonable analysis.
Equally irritating is Landwehr's amateur enthusiasm (often using exclamation points) and exaggerations of the "valiant" defense of the SS divisions. Examples of his hyperbole: "Disaster was staved off by hard work and courageous counter-measures on the part of the German divisions." "With super elan the SS men charged into the enemy positions..." (p. 84) "The defenders of the city were putting up an awesome resistance." (p. 89) "...haggard defenders still fought on...displaying unfathomable courage and tenacity." (p. 117). Landwehr also digresses into sophomoric story-telling, in one instance virtually giggling over an SS officer receiving a shrapnel wound to the buttocks.
Bottom line: Landwehr is one of the worst writers on the Waffen-SS, perhaps even of all WWII monographs I've ever come across. I actually pined for Rupert Butler and Bruce Quarrie. You're better off reading the chapter on the Siege of Budapest in Great Battles of the Waffen-SS. And if you're looking for depth, read these instead: The Siege of Budapest: One Hundred Days in World War II; Tomb of the Panzerwaffe: The Defeat of the Sixth SS Panzer Army in Hungary 1945.