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on 7 February 2014
An excellent fully documented detailed account of the formation and history of "The Division" together with discussion on the motivation behind it's establishment and development. This book does much to dismiss anti-ukranian myths promulgated by Russian, Polish and Jewish interest groups. I strongly recommend it to anyone of Ukranian decent.
Personally, I would like to have seen more analysis . I can understand why this was not the case; the emphasis is on presenting verifiable historical facts rather than a political viewpoint. Perhaps in his next book.
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on 1 May 2017
Anything about the 14th SS is good for me.
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on 21 August 2014
Excellent book. Riveting reading. Much recommended to all interested in WWII history.
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on 1 August 2015
good military history,that avoids the unpleasant realities of the involvement in criminal acts.
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on 15 November 2016
As part of my extensive library on the history of the Third Reich, I must say that this is an outstanding, detailed study of an important Waffen-SS division. The book covers the complete wartime history of this still
topical division, and having travelled the world to research it and interview survivors the author presents a wealth of valuable, new and accurate information of every aspect of the division and the books extensive
content is a credit to the authors research abilities. He does not avoid the contentious issues of collaboration and alleged war crimes but deals with them fairly and objectively always offering meticulously referenced
documentation. Like the cover says in the words of the highly respected historian David Glantz - "This is a fine example of the way history should be written".
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on 18 March 2016
By the end of WWII, over half the estimated 900,000 men serving in the ‘elite’ Waffen-SS were not actually Germans. Indeed the crippling losses on the eastern front caused a radical rethink of the hitherto axiomatic German racial policies of the German ‘Herrenvolk’ (master race) and the Slav ‘Untermensch’ (Subhumans). Paradoxically, as a result, amongst the foreign volunteers from occupied countries who went on to be embraced by the SS organisation were the Ukrainians from western Ukraine which the German referred to as ‘Galicia’, that is to say the ‘Galician Division’ was manned by men who according to the German definition were in fact ‘subhumans’.

In his neutral and well balanced study, the formation and history of this unit are told by Melnyk utilising a great many unseen photos together with a host of well chosen facsimile documents and maps which make the book more interesting for me. In it, he highlights the units deficiencies such as the fact that virtually all the senior commanders being German, and even after the Division was formally recognised as the 1st Division of the Ukrainian National Army in the last weeks of the war, tactically the division was always subordinated to German higher command. Simultaneously he stresses that the deeply spiritual Ukrainians were uniquely permitted to have serving within the Division’s ranks, Ukrainian Catholic clergy, and that it was from the very outset infiltrated at every level by Ukrainian Nationalists.

Take into account that the author, using German, Ukrainian, Polish, Soviet, British, US and Slovak official sources, Michael Melnyk has made a fine studied, detailed an extensive study of this unit which eclipses those of other contemporary works by Logusz, Michalis and Hunczak. I highly recommend this book to everybody interested in this little known aspect of WWII

In conclusion this book is a true historical masterpiece for anyone wanting to familiarise themselves with this complex period of Ukrainian military history.
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on 9 May 2015
A thoroughly researched book which revealed much of interest. The research is very successful in revealing the crucial context of the rationale for and the activities of Ukrainian men and the difficulties faced by them when desiring to fight for one's country but being stuck between Stalin and Hitler. This is one of the first books I have read where the research and the writing is executed within the context of the times. As an academic and a member of the Ukrainian diaspora, I found this book invaluable owing to the depth of research and the incidence of factual referencing.
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on 14 September 2003
This book took at leat a decade in the making I hear, and judging by the extraordinary amount of information which must have taken much pateince to collate, it was undoubtedly a labour of love. Focussing on the Ukrainian men who fought valiantly for their homeland and some may say were deceived and were on a dead man's errand any way, it uses all the miltary records the author could lay his hands on to place these young men at the centre of a largely forgotten episode of the war.
If you thought that lebensraum and Nazi policy was just about the Jewish problem, think again. Many young Ukrainians and other Baltic nations were caught between two evils. One Communist and one Nazi, the problem was for the Ukrainians how to gain political independence and an identity of their own whilst fending off two not dissimilar and two faced enemies.
His style is not intrusive, the facts speak for themselves and the bibliography is impressive and erudite.
Michael Melnyk had a vested interest in as much as his father was one of those men, and anyone who searches for more than the available and conventional history about WW2 should definitely pick up the book and have their eyes opened. Well done to the author, and I hope to see another book from him on this still contentious issue of the Ukrainian role in WW2!
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