The History of the Galician Division of the Waffen SS. Volume 1: On the Eastern Front, April 1943 to July 1944

The History of the Galician Division of the Waffen SS. Volume 1: On the Eastern Front, April 1943 to July 1944

by Michael Melnyk

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Overview

The History of the Galician Division of the Waffen SS. Volume 1: On the Eastern Front, April 1943 to July 1944 by Michael Melnyk

The first volume of a two part set on the history of the Galician Division is based on over 25 years research by accomplished historian Michael James Melnyk who has sourced additional new and hitherto unseen original material on all aspects of the Division’s history from archives and private collections in Europe, Australia, North American and Canada. Complemented by the individual accounts and contributions of many veterans which add an engaging personal dimension, this new definitive two volume account supersedes his earlier divisional history published in 2002. As a recognized authority on the subject he has produced the most reliable and exhaustive account to date lavishly illustrated with many rare and unique photos and crammed full of details, notes and references in this last ever book to include direct and new material from the participants.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781781555286
Publisher: Fonthill Media
Publication date: 11/04/2016
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.80(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Historian Michael James Melnyk has researched the Galician Division exclusively for over two and a half decades amassing a huge amount of material on this topical unit. An established author and authority on the subject, he has extended his previous works to encompass an extraordinary level of detail in this latest offering. He is regularly consulted as an expert on this subject and has participated in television and radio documentaries for the BBC and independent stations, as well as providing source material on related topics.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 5

Notes on Sources 9

Introduction 11

1 The Crucible of a Nation State 13

Galicia 13

New Governor for Galicia, Dr Otto Wächter 17

Early Plans 24

A New Dimension 27

The Nature of the Beast 28

The Ukrainian Perspective 34

The Opening Ceremony 28 April 1943 37

The 'Sore Tooth' 37

The Call to Arms 39

Compulsion: Rifle or Spade? 54

Choice No More 55

The Sore Tooth Continues to Fester 57

Opposition 58

An Analysis of Enlistment Figures 60

The Lion or the Trident? 70

To the Training Camps 73

2 Forging a Fighting Force 83

Basic Training. 'More sweat at school, less blood in the field' 83

Swearing In the First Contingent 103

The Next Phase 118

Establishing the Korsettstange [German personnel framework] 120

The Confusion over the Galizische SS-Freiwilligen Regimenter Nos. 4-8' 121

A New Commander 135

Deceptive Appearances 146

Unification at Last 152

Funeral Duties for the Ehrencompanie 156

3 First Combat Assignments 158

First Deployment Kampfgruppe Beyersdorff 158

Security Duties for 4 and 5 Galizischen SS-Freiwilligen Regiments 179

The Operations of Gal. SS-Freiw. Rgt 4 181

181 The Operations of Gal, SS-Freiw. Rgt 5 187

4 Final Preparations 192

Truppenübungsplatz Neuhammer 192

The First year 202

Himmler Visits the Division 217

The Lynchpin Remains 231

The End of the Polizei Regiments and Consolidation 231

New Orders 235

XIII Army Corps 239

5 On the Eastern Front 242

Return to the Homeland 242

The Brody Pocket (Kessel von Brody) 252

The Northern Pincer: Rava Ruska Axis 253

The Southern Pincer: The L'viv Axis 253

The First Counterattack by WGR 30 255

Failure of the Counterattack by 1 and 8 Panzer Divisions. 261

The 'Koltiv Corridor' 262

Too Little, too Late 263

17 July In the Front Line 269

Encirclement 274

18 July: Trapped 276

A New Line, 19 July 1944 'Only psychopaths don't have fear'-German officer to Waffen-Unterscharführer W. Molodecky 282

20 July 1944, A Fateful Day 295

Friday 21 July 1944 300

22 July: Liquidation 304

6 The Final Reckoning 312

Sammelstelle, Stary Sambir (assembly point Stary Sambir) 312

Meeting with Bisanz 316

The King Without a Country, the Commander Without a Division 318

Muster Point Serednje 322

Endnotes 329

Appendix 1 402

Appendix 2 404

Archive Sources and Select Bibliography 406

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