From the Realm of a Dying Sun. Volume 1

IV. SS-Panzerkorps and the Battles for Warsaw, July–November 1944

Douglas E. Nash Sr.

An account of the IV SS-Panzerkorps, an SS corps that participated in many of the key battles fought on the Eastern Front during the last year of the war.
Date Published :
January 2020
Publisher :
Casemate
Language:
English
Illustration :
maps and 24pp black and white photos
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781612006352
Pages : 541
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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$37.95
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Overview
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During World War Two, the armed or Waffen-SS branch of the Third Reich’s dreaded security service expanded from two divisions in 1940 to 38 divisions by the end of the war, eventually growing to a force of over 900,000 men until Germany’s defeat in May 1945. Not satisfied with allowing his nascent force to be commanded in combat by army headquarters of the Wehrmacht, Heinrich Himmler, chief of the SS, began to create his own SS corps and army headquarters beginning with the SS-Panzerkorps in July 1942. As the number of Waffen-SS divisions increased, so did the number of corps headquarters, with 18 corps and two armies being planned or activated by the war’s end.

The histories of the first three SS corps are well known – the actions of I, II, and III (Germanic) SS-Panzerkorps and their subordinate divisions, including the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, Das Reich, Hitlerjugend, Hohenstaufen, Frundsberg and Nordland divisions, have been thoroughly documented and publicized. Overlooked in this pantheon is another SS corps that never fought in the west or in Berlin but one that participated in many of the key battles fought on the Eastern Front during the last year of the war – the IV SS-Panzerkorps. Activated during the initial stages of the defense of Warsaw in late July 1944, the corps, consisting of both the 3. and 5. SS-Panzer Divisions (Totenkopf and Wiking, respectively) was born in battle and spent the last ten months of the war in combat, figuring prominently in the battles of Warsaw, the attempted Relief of Budapest, Operation Spring Awakening, the defense of Vienna, and the withdrawal into Austria where it finally surrendered to U.S. forces in May 1945.

Herbert Otto Gille’s IV SS-Panzerkorps was renowned for its tenacity, high morale and, above all, its lethality, whether conducting a hard-hitting counterattack or a stubborn defense in situations where its divisions were hopelessly outnumbered. Often embroiled in heated disputes with its immediate Wehrmacht higher headquarters over his seemingly cavalier conduct of operations, Gille’s corps remained to the bitter end one of the Third Reich’s most reliable and formidable field formations.

About The Author
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Douglas E. Nash Sr. is a West Point Class of 1980 graduate and a retired U.S. Army colonel with 32 years of service with various assignments including Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, Cuba, and Uzbekistan. He served in a variety of units, specializing in Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations. He recently retired after serving as the Senior Historian of Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia. His works include Hell’s Gate: The Battle of the Cherkassy Pocket January to February 1944, Victory Was Beyond Their Grasp: with the 272nd Volks-Grenadier Division from the Hürtgen Forest to the Heart of the Reich, Kampfgruppe Mühlenkamp, and Unternehmen Ilse.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Contents

Forward
Illustrations
Maps
I: Early Formation 1943 – 44
II. Role of a corps headquarters
III: Command and Staff
IV: The Divisions: Wiking and Totenkopf
V: Activation 19 - 28 July 1944
VI: Initial Commitment to Battle 28 July 1944
VII: The Defense of Warsaw
VIII: Relief of Budapest
IX: Operation Spring Awakening
X: Retreat and Defense of Vienna
XI: Withdrawal and Surrender
XII: Appendices:
Command and Staff
Organization
Battle Calendar
Subordinated Divisions
XIII: Bibliography
XIV: Index

REVIEWS
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"This book is definitely written for grognards, with a level of detail and trivia that would make David Glantz, the dean of Eastern Front operational history, proud."

- New York Journal of Books

"The detailed coverage of the IV-SS Panzerkorp's actions during this phase of the war also adds much in the way of context to the massive tank battles that occured south, east, and northeast of Warsaw's suburb of Praga east of the Vistula River...I very much recommend this book to my readers."

- Globe at War

"This is an amazing book from cover to cover...From the decisions taken at the highest levels to the actual stories of the men in the tanks and on the ground, it is an unparalleled work of military history."

- A Wargamers Needful Things

“From the Realm of a Dying Sun, by Colonel Douglas Nash, is quite simply the most comprehensive, detailed book on the tactical and operational levels of the WaffenSS that I have ever read. First the bad news: if you are a historian contemplating researching and writing about the IV. SS-Panzerkorps (composed of volunteers from 11 different European nations) from Warsaw to Vienna in 1944–45, stop what you are doing as you are wasting your time. Doug Nash has written the final word on the subject. Now the great news: if you ever wanted to get inside a Waffen-SS unit on the Eastern Front and know everything about it—personnel, organization and combat operations—this is exactly the book for you.”

- Colonel French MacLean, author of Quiet Flows the Rhine: German General Officer Casualties in World War II

“This is a major addition to the corpus of works on the major (if also lesser known) fighting units of the Waffen-SS. Nash displays an excellent and detailed knowledge of how units were organized and operated, aided by his own extensive military experience. Students of the Eastern Front in the latter stages of the war will find this an indispensable resource.”

- Richard L. DiNardo, author of Germany and the Axis Powers: From Coalition to Collapse

“Scholars and general readers alike will treasure this hard-hitting and detailed book… Most authors only tell us what happened during mankind’s greatest conflict. Nash’s expertise allows him to go much further. Using the story of the IV. SS-Panzerkorps he tells us how Germany, even late in WWII, organized, trained, supplied and transported a corps HQ to the combat zone and how the corps leadership employed its subordinate units in battle… This is a provocative and fresh interpretation of how Germany fought the war and it is sure to become an enduring contribution to the combat history of WWII.”

- Lieutenant Colonel Edward G. Miller, author of A Dark and Bloody Ground: The Hürtgen Forest and the Roer River Dams, 1944–1945

“From the Realm of a Dying Sun is compiled with the same incredible thoroughness and attention to detail as the author’s previous works on the Cherkassy Pocket and the fate of a late-war German division on the Western Front… This is a seminal addition to an already impressive canon of work by Col Nash, accompanied by comprehensive maps and an excellent collection of images (many from private archives). It plugs a gap in Eastern Front literature and deserves to be on the shelf of any serious military historian interested in the subject.”

- Richard Hargreaves, author of The Germans in Normandy

‘’The author…brings a wealth of personal experience and knowledge to his narrative which reflects within this highly researched and readable history. This is a great book with the ‘nitty gritty’ detail that wargamers tend to like and from which they can construct scenarios. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book which gives a fascinating account of the battles which the IV. SS-Panzer Corps fought between the end of July and November 1944. I strongly recommend it to any interested reader who wants to get into the detail of how the Germans fought.’’

- Miniature Wargames

‘’This is in my honest opinion at the pinnacle of research and the author should be commended for his painstaking efforts and the easily readable format for such a challenging subject. The structure of the book follows a logical and easy to understand format that is lavishly illustrated with two photo sections and several relevant maps. It’s produced to the usual high Casemate standard and it is deserving of the high praise it has already received. I highly recommend this to anyone with an interest in World War Two Eastern Front battles, SS Panzer operations, and particularly anyone with an interest in Corps war-fighting theory and practice. I for one am eagerly awaiting volume two!’’

- Military History Enthusiast Book Club

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