Reviewed and highly recommended by Don DeNevi.
“From the Realm of A Dying Sun”, by renown military historian, Douglas E. Nash, Sr., and published by incomparable Casemate, is an ultimate Christmas gift for the serious war reader.
Bar none, and simply put, this strikingly excellent series of three combat dramas on the tactical and operational levels of the German Waffen SS is the most comprehensive combined study ever written.
Each book is complete on its own merit, but with a close mutual relation forming one theme, the 4th SS Panzer Corps fighting to save Warsaw from the Soviet steamroller; relieving the embattled German garrison defending Budapest; and fortifying Vienna, the last major defense before the Fuhrerbunker in Berlin.
“Volume 1: IV. SS-Panzerkorps and the Battles for Warsaw, July – November 1944”, 541 pages
Activated during the initial stages of the defense of Warsaw in late July of 1944, IV. SS-Panzerkorps was “born in combat” and spent the last ten months of the war in battle after ferocious battle. Its corps commander, Herbert Otto Gille, was legendary for maintaining morale, strategy, and tenacity, and above all, lethality. Yet, he was always embroiled in heated disputes with headquarters over his seemingly cavalier conduct of operations. This book is based on previously unpublished material including unpublished photographs of unit commanders, fighting scenes, camp life, and personality records and descriptions, recently discovered in Russia.
“Volume 2: IV. SS-Panzerkorps in the Budapest Relief Efforts, December 1944 – February 1945”, 534 pages
On Christmas Eve, 1944, Corps Commander, SS Obergruppenfuhrer Gille received an urgent telephone call to organize and lead his 35,000 men to relieve Budapest, having survived three major Russian attacks already. Gille and his IV. SS-Panzerkorps overcame insurmountable obstacles in their attempts to rescue the city’s garrison, only to have their final attack called off at the last minute. Gille was furious. His troops were only a few kilometers away after nearly a month of attacks, often hand-to-hand fighting. Hitler’s decision cost the Hungarians and Germans hundreds of thousands of troops, mostly killed. The only course of action remaining was to dig in and protect the Hungarian oilfields as long as possible.
“Volume 3: IV. SS-Panzerkorps from Budapest to Vienna, February – May 1945”, 333 pages
Hitler was not about to give up his hard-earned, precious Hungarian oilfields. At the cost of defending Berlin, he decided to dispatch SS General Sepp Dietrich’s now famous 6. Panzerarmee to retake Budapest by encircling and destroying Soviet Marshal Tolbukin’s Third Ukrainian Army, thus reversing the entire Eastern Front situation in Germany’s favor. This only ambitious offensive, known as Fruhlingserwachen (Spring Awakening), was soon bogged down due to Soviet resoluteness and the usual springtime thaw. In short, it resulted in huge German losses. It was only a question of time before Berlin would fall and Hitler’s suicide. But the IV.SS-Panzerkorps didn’t give up until it’s last shot was fired in it’s bitter end. Then, most of the IV’s troops fought their way through the Russian encirclements to reach the safety of the agreed upon Soviet-Allied demarcation line where on May 9th it finally surrendered to U.S. forces.
So, reader, still searching for a perfect Christmas gift for the World War II enthusiast, or yourself? This wonderful, finically, scrupulously researched history is it. Nonpareil, it is a rare, certainly unusual, but an extraordinarily exciting read. Doug Nash gives you, your loved one, or friend, the final words on the subject, especially if one ever hoped to get inside a Waffen-SS uniform and unit on The Eastern Front to not only learn everything about it, but to live it during mortal combat.
This reviewer gives “From the Realm of A Dying Sun” the highest of all possible rankings, especially after reading the three volumes, as well as investigating the literary background of their author, retired U.S. Army colonel, Douglas E. Nash, Sr. To purchase directly, telephone (610) 853-9131, or email: [email protected]. For further. Information, pull up, www.casematepublishers.com. Each book retails for $37.95.