Breaking the Chains

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Overview

BAREAKING THE CHAINS is a full account of the 14th Waffem-SS Division, formed by Ukranians, initially from the province of Galacia but later encompassing the whole of the Ukraine. The history of this unit is set uupon a particularly full discussion of the political background of the Ukraine, especially the Ukranian nationalist movements of the post-World War 1 period. These movements, especially the OUN (Organisation of Ukarinian Nationalists), were fundamental in providing the basis for the new division being for the creation of two early Ukranian formations (Roland and Nachtigall battalions) which fougtht at the outset of the Russian campaign. After the German take-over in the Ukraine, many other units were set up, Notably the German Police 'Schuma' battalions and many German Army volunteer units, generically termed Osttruppen (East Troops). These units are also fully covered in the book - as far as information is avaliable. However, in the later German political system in the major part of the Ukraine, the oppressivce policies of Reichskommisar Irich Koch eventyally led to much anto-German feeling and the setting up of local partisan forces, most priminetly in the form of the UPA. It is this destructive policy by some , but certainly not all German officials which the author argues was a major factor in thje eventual German defeat. The book concludes with the immediate post-war agonies of the ukranian nationalist movement in the face of the horrific Stalinist dictatorship. A full set of appendices are included, covering all known Ukrainian units in the German ground forces, rank and appointment terms in the SS, Police, German Government etc., and the usual Shelf Books treatment of foreign placenames. All in all, this book constutures a complete history of the Ukranian involvement in World War II - a Story of tragedy, Disappointment and, on the German side, What would appear to be gross stupidity.
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