Osprey Warrior 61 : German Security and Police Soldier 1939-1945
The security units of the Third Reich were many and diverse. The paranoia of the Nazi regime and its desperation to suppress potential opposition and non-conformist views and to persecute perceived undesirables saw a myriad of powerful police and security units established. Yet often an oversimplified view is projected of these organisations - some of which, it is true, were little more than organised death squads - and thus the complex history of the function and experiences of the security and police units through the course of the war is lost. This book goes beyond the superficial view, and through a comparative study of many different types of units, provides a detailed and informed picture of the variety of operations and duties, as well as the motivation and behaviour of the men who served in these key wartime roles. It charts the recruitment, training, service conditions and wartime experiences of typical World War II security forces and police soldiers. Everything from the routine of military traffic duty, guarding POWs, to combating partisans and resistance fighters and the unsavoury and inexcusable actions against civilians are covered, to illustrate the broad range of experiences lived and duties performed. It covers the military police of the Armed Forces proper and the Waffen-SS, including the dreaded Feldjager, who prowled occupied territory searching for those without papers and often press-ganged into service anyone considered capable of holding a rifle. Also dealt with are the combat units of the German State Police, the SD Sicherheitsdienst and its off-shoots into the Einsatzgruppen, the Eastern Volunteer Police Auxiliary 'Schutzmannschaft' units, as well as the extreme and dreaded anti-partisan units 'Dirlewanger' and 'Kaminski', who were responsible for some of the most appalling acts of the war - so appalling that the SS had Kaminsky executed. A key part of the analysis covers what motivated these men to commit such outrages, as well as what motivated others to serve in less extreme and more routine security roles, and how these aspects differed across the broad range of units. Note is given to the special pay and conditions of service that such soldiers enjoyed, and to the abuses of power that often took place. Text by Gordon Williamson with illustrations by Velimir Vuksic.
- Appearance and Equipment
- Daily Life
- The Security Forces and Police Soldier at War
- Colour Plate Commentary