Founded by Heinrich Himmler in 1944 when it became clear Germany would be invaded, the Werewolf guerrila movement was given the task of slowing down the Allied advance to allow time for the success of negotiations or 'wonder weapons'.
Staying behind in territory occupied by the Allies, its mission was to carry out acts of sabotage, arson and assassination, both of enemy troops and of 'defeatist' Germans. The zeal of the young guerrilas left a great impression on occupying troops and the partisans' tactics of poisoning food, stringing wires across roads and carrying out summary executions added thousands to the casualty total of the bloodiest war in history. In eastern Germany, the partisans were ruthlessly hunted down, yet the USSR remained conscious of the Werewolf threat well into the 1950s.
Perry Biddiscombe has researched the movement exhaustively, and details Werewolf operations against the British, Russians and fellow Germans, on the Eastern and Western Fronts and in the post-war chaos of Berlin. He studies the Allie's response to the real and perceived threat from the guerrillas and the collapse of the movement in a newly fledged democratic Germany.
Giving the lie to the established story of a cowed German population meekly submitting to defeat, this is a fascinating insight into what has been described as 'the death scream of the Nazi regime'.