Die Armee der Geächteten

Publié le par Félix Steiner

Die Armee der Geächteten Those of us who are Americans grew up watching World War II movies showing how the Americans always beat the Germans. Amazing that we always win considering the fact that our side nearly lost the war. Since there is a shortage of true stories about the war, we get to watch the purely fictional accounts such as “The Dirty Dozen” and “The Guns of Navarone” or the accounts that at least might be somewhat true such as “Stalag 17”, “Darbys Rangers”, and so many others I could not begin to list them all. A few even have a factual basis, such as “The Longest Day”.

I have often wondered how the Germans feel watching these Hollywood movies where they always lose. In this book, Felix Steiner provides one of the very few books that tells the German side of the war. The title, “The Army of the Outlaws”, is based on the fact that he commanded an army made up of Non-German volunteers, consisting mostly of Dutch, Walloons, and Scandinavians including the Danish regiment Frikorps Danmark. In other words, the men he commanded were, from the point of view of history as we now know it, fighting against their own countries. Had the side they were on won the war, they would have been regarded as heroes, but since they lost they would be forgotten were it not for this book.

Felix Steiner has great praise for the one million men fighting under him, saying repeatedly that they were superior in every way to the Russians and others they were fighting against. As to the reason they lost, we all know the real reason. They were outnumbered ten to one. This book has not been translated into English although it should be. Since it will probably never be translated, I am reprinting it in German. We Americans never even heard of Felix Steiner, mainly because he never fought against us, until a few months ago when youtube.com suddenly got filled up with videos about Felix Steiner. We find out that in the very concluding days of the war, during the last days of the Battle for Berlin, when German soldiers, knowing that the war was lost, were surrendering en mass, Adolf Hitler ordered Steiner to attack in what would have been a suicide mission.

Steiner was unable to attack and thus saved the lives of his troops. Felix Steiner was a German Reichswehr and Waffen-SS officer who served in both World War I and World War II. On 1 December 1940, SS-Brigadeführer Felix Steiner was appointed to command the new Wiking Division of the Waffen-SS. This unit was mainly manned by non-German volunteers, primarily from Holland, Denmark and Sweden, motivated by a desire to fight the Bolsheviks. Steiner proved to be a skilful divisional commander and was popular with his men. Steiner commanded this division during the first two years of the fighting in the Soviet Union and was awarded the Oakleaves to the Knight's Cross on 23 December 1942.

Until recently, the name of Felix Steiner has been largely unknown among English language speakers, mainly because he never faced an English speaking army. Most of his World War II years were spent fighting the Russians and, earlier, the French. However, the name of Felix Steiner has suddenly become well-known to millions of youtube.com viewers on the Internet because of videos taken from the movie “DOWNFALL : Hitler and the End of the Third Reich” which have now been added with English language sub-titles. The original title of the movie was Der Untergang. The section most watched on Youtube is based in the last meeting Der Führer had with his top commanders on April 22, 1945. When his top generals, including Krebs and Jodl, first inform Hitler that Berlin is surrounded by Russian troops, Hitler brushes them off, saying that Steiner is about to attack and will clear the area of Russians.

ISBN-13: 9784871879224
Author : Félix Steiner
Publisher: Ishi Press
Publication date: 11/11/2011

Editorial Reviews - About the Author

Felix Martin Julius Steiner was born on 23 May 1896. He was a German Reichswehr and Waffen-SS officer who served in both World War I and World War II. He was commander of the Waffen-SS. He was then chosen by Himmler to oversee the creation of, and then command the volunteer SS Division, SS-Division Wiking. In 1943, he was promoted to the command of III (Germanic) SS Panzer Corps. On 28 January 1945, Steiner was placed in command of the 11th SS Panzer-Army. His army was part of Army Group Vistula. On 21 April, during the Battle for Berlin, Steiner was placed in command of Army Detachment Steiner.

On 22 April, the Russians outnumbered Steiner's worn out and exhausted unit by ten to one. Hitler gave orders for Steiner's forces through a pincer attack to envelop 1st Belorussian Front, advancing from north of Berlin. However, he was not able to attack because he did not have enough men. After the surrender, Steiner was incarcerated until 1948. He faced charges at the Nuremberg Trials, but they were all dropped and he was released. He dedicated the last decades of his life to writing his memoirs and several books about the war, the most important of which was Die Armee der Geächteten published in 1963. He died on 12 May 1966.

Publié dans Bibliothèque

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