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Platz Der Leibstandarte: A Photo Study of the SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler and the Battle for Kharkov January-March 1943 [Hardcover]

George M. Nipe , Remy Spezzano
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

15 April 2002
In the first months of 1943, the SS Panzer-Grenadier Division "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler" was involved in all phases of the complex Kharkov campaign. During the initial defensive fighting, the division held its sector for two weeks against the full weight of the Soviet 3rd Tank Army; a remarkable feat in itself. After the city fell, the "Leibstandarte" withdrew to a new defensive position and protected the important supply rail centre at Krasnograd while the "Das Reich" and "Totenkopf" divisions executed the first phase of the counterattack. When the 3rd Tank Army began its move south to block the advance of these two SS divisions, "Leibstandarte" carried out raids and interdictory strikes that disrupted the Soviet realignment and weakened the army's fighting power. Having rejoined the SS Panzerkorps, after taking part in the destruction of the Kegitschevka pocket, the "Leibstandarte" led the way back to the city of Kharkov. Dynamic young officers such as Kurt Meyer, Max Wunsche and Jochen Peiper personally led attack columns that struck deep into the city, eventually forcing the Russian troops to abandon Kharkov. From these photographs, it is clear why, after enduring the losses necessary to retake the city, these renamed the enormous Red Square as "Platz der Leibstandarte." High quality reproductions of original wartime photos, and compelling captions by author George Nipe illustrate in incredible detail the men, equipment, weapons, and vehicles used in this decisive Eastern Front battle.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Presidio Press (15 April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0965758427
  • ISBN-13: 978-0965758420
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 21.9 x 28.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,619,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent pictorial on the subject 13 Aug 2004
Ok, almost everybody knows that Kharkov battles (they were quite a few) reveal the difficulties faced by the German forces during the retreat back to Germany. Kharkov, was were the Waffen SS, and in particular the LSAH, reveal themselves as why they were the ELITE. With a name given to a Avenue in the city LSAH, devoted in full heart to the defense, reconquest and final destruction of the city prior to the retreat, and this is amazingly depicted on the vast number of photos, but while some are already well known, others may provide the reader and the modeller some interesting ideas of the battle and the outcome it had. I recoomend this as a modellers book but also as a entry book to those initiating themselves on the topic of WW2.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Platz der Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler 9 April 2002
By Joseph Burgard - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As the title of the book says, it is a photo study of the Waffen-SS divisions that fought in the battle for Kharkov. One word to describe the book would be awesome. The collection of photos is truly amazing and one can tell that each photo was delicately and faithfully reproduced from the original prints or contact sheets. Many of the photos have never been published previously. The types of photos range from combat, staged shots, rest, award ceremonies, and the behind the scenes type activities. After looking at the pictures, one will be able to get some sort of idea of what it was like to fight in the harsh Russian winter. All of the photos were taken by 'Kriegsberichters' or war journalists who were right with all the soldiers in the thick of the fighting. Not only are the photos excellent for study, but also as reference for reenactors and the like. Other features in the book include the following. An introduction that explains where the photos came from and some technical data about the photography employed. A nice synopsis of the battle of Kharkov to give you an idea of the overall picture. Superb captions for each photo written by George Nipe. Lastly there are eight short biographies of some of the more famous LAH commanders, like Panzermeyer and Jochen Peiper, with impressive color portraits painted by Marco Ortelli. Overall an excellent book worth buying.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Photo History 6 Jan 2006
By Ozark Trail Outrider - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Rare is the book that provides pictures that are actually related to the text provided. Even rarer still are pictures that capture in sequence the entire event. Such is the case with this volume. From start to finish the reader is presented with a sequence of photographs that literally document aspects of the complete campaign for Kharkov in the winter of 1943.

The pictures are also notable for depictions of many well-known and other lesser known figures of the Leibstandarte, Das Reich, and Totenkopf divisions. Of particular interest are those photos showing a young Jochen Peiper in action. This photographic volume also has a remarkable series of photos showing the fate of a Soviet horse drawn column as it is overtaken by Peiper's Kampfgruppe. Not a happy ending to be certain, but a very real glimpse into the realities of combat on the Eastern Front. In fact, one must wonder how similar the context of the events that would occur at Malmedy over a year later, when an American column would be overtaken by another of Peiper's Kampfgruppes. Certainly, the pictures in this book show a no quarter given attitude for the advancing German kampfgruppe.

For the generalist, this volume will be an interesting look at German formations in action. However, for the serious historian, the pictures clearly show the players, weather, terrain, and operational activities of the Waffen SS all at a given place and point in time.

This book is a must for any serious library on German arms or the Waffen SS in particular.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Feeling Of Being There. 28 May 2002
By TONY STANSFIELD - Published on
This has to be the best military photo history that I've seen. The pictures gave a real feeling of being there, and captured for me the essence of what was going in Germany's last major success in the East.
The book is an absolute must for all students of the Eastern Front struggle.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Photo Book 19 Feb 2003
By D. Schafer - Published on
Fabulous photos for students of the Eastern Front, Waffen-SS and modelers. What I found most interesting were the amounts of obsolete equipment (ie: Mk III tanks) used by this elite division. This certainly puts into question the accepted theory that the Waffen-SS received the latest equipment in quanity at the expense of the Heer (army). If this is the case, then it supports the notion that the men of the Waffen-SS were indeed superior soldiers.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One hell of book! 1 Oct 2002
By A Customer - Published on
To put it briefly, this is an amazing book. Picture quality is beautiful. There is an incredible arrary of rare photographs not found anywhere else. After reading so much about this epic battle, this book did a fine job of bringing it to life in a whole new way. A good companion to Kurt Meyer's Grenadiers. For students of the Eastern Front, it doesnt get much better. Well worth the price.
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