Nazi Germany attracted tens of thousands of volunteer soldiers from all across Europe, many joining the Waffen-SS, perhaps the first international army. Fighting against Bolshevism of Soviet Russia was a major reason, and volunteers from the Netherlands were one of the most numerous. This book tells their story.
IntroductionDutch Waffen-SS Legion & Brigade 1941–44
, from Osprey Publishing LTD
, is the 531st title in the series Men-at-Arms
. The book is 48 pages and available in three formats: softcover; PDF; ePUB. It is catalogued with Osprey's
short code MAA 531
, and as ISBN: 9781472840325
for the paperback. The illustrator is Ramiro Bujeiro and the author is Massimiliano Afiero, who
...specializes in the history of Axis units during the Second World War and particularly in the Waffen-SS. He is one of the few Italian historical researchers to have personally interviewed many veterans of the Waffen-SS and he has published numerous books dealing with foreign volunteers in the German armed forces during World War II.*
writes about this book:
Goebbels' 1941 propaganda campaign to present Germany's invasion of the USSR as a battle for European civilization against Asian barbarism convinced many men in occupied 'Germanic' European countries, such as Scandinavia and the Low Countries, to volunteer to fight on the Russian Front. One of the strongest national legions of such a kind was raised in the Netherlands, where it was supported by a large pro-Nazi movement led by Anton Mussert. The 3,000-man Netherlands Volunteer Legion fought on the Leningrad front in regimental strength, from the Red Army's winter 1941/42 counter-offensive until April 1943. The survivors were then reinforced to form a 5,500-strong Panzergrenadier Brigade, and after anti-partisan service in Croatia, they returned to Army Group North as part of Steiner's III SS Panzer Korps, fighting in the most arduous battles of 1943-44 until driven back into Pomerania. In the final months of the war the division formed the nucleus of the new 23rd SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division 'Nederland'.
In this illustrated study of the Dutch Waffen-SS Legion and Brigade, specialist Massimiliano Afiero explores the full history of this important formation from its establishment in 1941 until it was incorporated into the ‘Nederland' Division in 1944. Contemporary photographs and full-colour illustrations support the text and reveal key details including aspects of uniform and insignia.
The Netherlands Volunteer Legion will be easy to model as their uniforms and equipment was almost entirely standard German kit, affording modelers to easily model these formations with stock German figures, needing only to reproduce special insignia.
ContentsDutch Waffen-SS Legion & Brigade 1941–44
is presented through 64 pages of 10 topics and sections:
• Fascism in the Netherlands: the NSB and WA
• Dutch volunteers for the SS: the 'Westland' Regiment - the
'Nordwest' Regiment - the Germanic SS
• The Volunteer Netherlands Legion - Legion order of battle,
EASTERN FRONT, 1942-1943
• Volkhov front, February-June 1942 - first battle of Lake
Ladoga, September-December 1942 - second battle of Lake
FROM LEGION TO BRIGADE
• Formation, summer 1943 - Croatia, September 1943-January
1944 - Brigade order of battle, January 1944
RETURN TO THE EASTERN FRONT, 1944
• Oranienbaum front - the Soviet January offensive - retreat
to the Luga
• Armee-Abteilung Narwa - operations, February-July 1944
• Dutch withdrawal- destruction of Regiment 'General
• The Tannenbergstellung- Kampfgruppe Wagner at Tartu - retreat from Estonia: Pamu
• Operations, October 1944-January 1945
• Retreat from Kurland, and aftermath
There really is no gunsight-view description of battles, 48 pages affording only an overview of the topics listed above. Yet, much information is presented for such a concise book, certain to inspire modeling beyond the typical German subjects. Figures in these uniforms with special insignia can shake up judging at upcoming model shows, too.
The book also explains the 'Germanic' legions from Denmark, Flanders, Netherlands, and Norway.
Photographs, Artwork, GraphicsOsprey
and their contributors often present great galleries of impressive photographs to support the text. This book is approximately half portraits and half field scenes, some of which scream to be reproduced in a diorama or at least a vignette. For uniform and equipment studies there are "studio shot" photos with clear, well focused and composed exposures.
Several maps - some by the author - orient the reader.
Outstanding color artwork by Ramiro Bujeiro populates the book. Each piece is accompanied with commentary, including sleeve patches, cuffbands
, and other unique insignia.
A. National Socialistische Beweging
1. Anton Mussert, NSB Lieder
2. NSB Districts-Leider, 1941
3. Hopman, Liifwacht v.d. Leider; Amersterdam, 1942
B. Weer Afdeelingen & Nederlandsche-SS
1. Arie Zondervan, WA Commandant, 1943
2. WA Opperwachtmeister, Utrecht, 1942
3. Hendrik Feldmeijer, Nederlandsche-SS Voorman, 1940
C. Dutch Volunteers, 1941
1. LtGen Hendrik Seyffardt; The Hague, October 1941
2. Legions-Schütze, Frw Legion Niederlande, Octber 1941
3. SS-Schütze, SS-Frw Standarte 'Westland', spring 1941
D. Freiwilligen Legion Niederlande, Russia, 1942
1. Legions-Sturmann, Stabskompanie
; Selo Gora, summer
; Volkhov front, Feb.
; Leningrad front, JuneE. Insignia
from plate commentaries
1. Collar patch: Dutch-made, metal
2. Collar patch: Dutch-made, embroidered
3. Collar patch: German-made, embroidered
4. Collar patch: SS-Freiwilligen Statdarte 'Nordwest' prior to Sept. 1941
5. Legions-Schütze, Frw Legion Niederlande, summer 1941
6. Small shield in Dutch national colors, with rank badge
7. Large shield in Dutch national colors, with rank badge
8. Variation of shield in Dutch national colors, with rank badge
9. German-made shield in Dutch national colors, with rank badge
10. Cuffband 'Frw. Legion Niederlande'
11. Cuffband 'Frw. Legion Niederlande', third iteration
F. SS-Frw PzGren Bde 'Nederland'; Estonia, 1944
1. SS-Schütze, SS-Regt 48 'General Seyffardt'; January
2. SS-Uscha, SS-Regt 49 'De Ruiter'; March
3. SS-Ustuf, SS-Art Regt 54; August
1. SS-Brigaf u. Genmaj der Waffen-SS Jurgen Wagner, summer 1943
2. SS-Oscha Derk Elsko Bruins, 1. /SS-PzJäg Abt 54; Feb. 1945
3. SS-Oscha Gerardus Mooyman, SS-PzJäg Abt 54; Mar. 1944
H. Insignia & Flags
1. Personal standard of LtGen Seyffardt
2. German-made sleeve shield, final design
3. Pennant presented to NSB-WA volunteers
4. Volunteer Netherlands Legion postage stamp
5. Cuffband 'General Seyffardt'
6. Cuffband 'De Ruiter', SS-Frw PzGren Regt 49
1. Wartime German magazine
map showing almost all the areas of combat for the Dutch Waffen-SS Legion & Brigade.
2. 18. Armee, south-west of Leningrad, Jan. 1944.
3. Narva city and bridgehead, Feb.-July 1944.
4. Narva city center.
5. Tannenbergstellung, July-Sept. 1944.
6. Kampfgruppe Wagner, Ema River-Tartu
7. Disposition of German Army Grp North
, Kurland Pocket
The artwork is excellent and should leave no doubt as to colors and designs.
ConclusionDutch Waffen-SS Legion & Brigade 1941–44
, like other recent Osprey
titles about foreign units in Axis militaries, should be an excellent reference for modelers and students of The Netherlands, Germanic Legions, and the Nazi-Soviet war. It features a wealth of some of the top color artwork illustrating the unique uniforms and kit of the legion. The concise text flows easily.
This book is interesting, informative, and inspirational for modeling subjects, and I recommend it.
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