Another great pictorial book that outlines the history of the 7th SS Mountain Division, Prince Eugen during World War II. It was given the title Prinz Eugen after Prince Eugene of Savoy, an outstanding military leader of the Habsburg Empire who liberated the Banat and Belgrade from the Ottoman Empire in the Austro-Turkish War of 1716–18. The 7th SS Division is historically known as the most brutal and savage of the German WWII SS Divisions by reputation and deeds committed during the war.
Ian’s book thoroughly researched and detailed the history of this infamous SS Division through pictures from the war archives. The 7th Division was formed in 1941 from the Volkdeutsche, ethnic German volunteers and conscripts from Banat, the independent state of Croatia, Hungary, and Romania. The Division was ordered to fight the counter insurgency campaign against the communist led forces in occupied Serbia and Montenegro. This book details the recruitment and training leading to its fighting with the Chetniks in Serbia. While deployed in Yugoslavia, the Division fought alongside its Italian counterparts defeating anti-partisan operations. These campaigns normally ended with the Division murdering civilians and partisans either directly involved in the fighting or in the vicinity of the fighting. The 7th SS was notorious for its brutality and savage approach to eliminating any and all partisan guerilla activities.
In January 1944 the division was involved in anti-Partisan actions in Operation Waldrausch. In May the Division took part in the anti-Partisan Offensive (Operation Rösselsprung) which began on 25 May 1944. This operation had the task of killing or capturing Tito, and the operation was spearheaded by the 500th SS Fallschirmjäger-Batallion and supported by the Brandenburg Regiment.
A year later, In January 1945, the division was again in action against the Yugoslav army at Otok and Vukovar. In February it took part in Operation Wehrwolf against Yugoslav bridgehead in the Virovitica area.
The retreat from Bosnia continued and Prinz Eugen retreated through the NDH in April 1945. On 10 May, the division retreated towards Celje in Slovenia where it surrendered to Yugoslav forces on 11 May.
About the author. Ian Baxter has produced a fine selection of highly illustrated books in the Images of War Series mainly covering Axis Forces in WW2. He is a dedicated collector of rare images and an expert in his field. He lives near Chelmsford, Essex.