Knights Cross Winners of the Waffen-SS
...more Images of War from Pen & Sword
Title: Knights Cross Winners of the Waffen SS
Author: Marc Rikmenspoel
Publisher: Pen & Sword
This recent addition to the Images of War series is a little bit different to what we usually expect from this series, and, I have to admit, one I hesitated in reviewing.
The pictures are all WW2 archive images, the majority of which are more formal portraits, while others have been taken in the field. Each one is identified with captions telling us about each individual, and what they were awarded their Knights Cross for. They often include mention of the acts which equally earned many of these men their evil reputation. Some of them are well known, both for good and bad reasons, while many others will not be widely recognised. One which caught my attention in particular was Rudolf von Ribbentrop, the son of German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop. Rudolf was apparently the last surviving SS Knights Cross winner, who passed away in 2019. A significant point I think, that all of these men have now passed away. Many I had not heard of before. There are a few pages of text amidst the image collection, which provides more context for various stories.
The Waffen-SS have a reputation for some despicable acts and that is something to bear in mind. For anyone who studies history there are good and bad characters in every story over history however far you go back. The Waffen-SS have a bad reputation but I always remember my father's comments, who simply remembered them as always very tough opposition when he came up against them. So while there could be questions on any book taking on the subject, it is a fair one to tackle. Whether you like this or not must remain a very personal choice I think.
Thanks to Pen & Sword for the review copy.