From the Realm of a Dying Sun. Volume 2

IV. SS-Panzerkorps from Budapest to Vienna, December 1944–May 1945

Douglas E. Nash

The second part of a new history of IV. SS-Panzerkorps, which fought on the Eastern Front in the last months of World War II.
Date Published :
September 2020
Publisher :
Illustration :
30 images
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781612008738
Pages : 624
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


On Christmas Eve 1944, the men of the IV SS-Panzerkorps were preparing to celebrate the occasion as best they could. Taking advantage of the pause in the fighting around Warsaw, they looked forward to partaking in that most German of holidays, including the finest Christmas dinner their field kitchens could still prepare in this fifth year of the war. They had earned it too – after five months of unrelenting combat and the loss of many of their friends, troops from the corps headquarters and its two divisions – the 3rd SS Panzer Division “Totenkopf” and the 5th SS Panzer Division “Wiking” – were eagerly anticipating what the holiday would bring, including presents from home and perhaps sharing a bottle of schnapps or wine with their comrades.

This was not to be, for that very evening, the corps commander, SS-Obergruppenführer Herbert Otto Gille, received a telephone call notifying him that the 35,000 men of his corps would begin boarding express trains the following day that would take them from the relative quiet of the Vistula Front to the front lines in Hungary, hundreds of kilometers away. Their mission: Relieve Budapest! Thus would begin the final round in the saga of the IV SS-Panzerkorps. In Hungary, it would play a key role in the three attempts to raise the siege of that fateful city. Threatened as much by their high command as by the forces of the Soviet Union, Gille and his troops overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles in their attempts to rescue the city’s garrison, only to have their final attack called off at the last minute. At that moment, they were only a few kilometers away from the objective towards which they had striven for nearly a month. After the relief attempt’s failure sealed the fate of hundreds of thousands of Hungarians and Germans, the only course of action remaining was to retreat, followed by the looming threat of impending defeat and the end of Hitler’s dying realm.

This is the concluding volume of the history of the IV SS-Panzerkorps, a relatively unknown organization that was born in battle during the last year of the war and fought exclusively on the Eastern Front. After their successful defense of Warsaw and the Vistula Front during the fall of 1944, the corps and its two famous Waffen-SS divisions, the Totenkopf and Wiking as well as several divisions of the German Army, were sent south to reverse the military situation on the Hungarian Front. Follow General Gille and his divisions as they try to relieve Budapest against impossible odds, defend the tactically important town of Stuhlweissenburg, and fight in Germany’s last major offensive, Operation Frühlingserwachsen. Learn how this SS tank corps, during the closing days of the war in Europe, fought massive tank battles, conducted grim rear-guard actions, and carried out night assaults against a numerically superior enemy who was determined to crush the Third Reich no matter the cost. After its failure to defend Vienna, the only course remaining for Gille and his men was a long and costly retreat, ending only with capitulation to the U.S. Army and an uncertain future.

About The Author

Doug Nash is a West Point Class of 1980 graduate and a retired U.S. Army Colonel with 32 years of active duty service in places like Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, Cuba, and Uzbekistan. His many works include Hell's Gate: The Battle of the Cherkassy Pocket January to February 1944 and Victory Was Beyond Their Grasp: with the 272nd Volks-Grenadier Division from the Huertgen Forest to the Heart of the Reich (which was nominated for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction).


1. The Relief of Budapest – Operation Konrad I
2. The Relief of Budapest – Operation Konrad II
3. The Relief of Budapest – Operation Konrad III
4. Defense of Stuhlweissenburg
5. Last Gasp: The Frühlingserwachsen Offensive
6. Withdrawal to the Reichsschutzstellung
7. Defense of Vienna
8. Retreat and Surrender
9. Aftermath

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