Blutiges Edelweiß

by the British author Richard Hargreaves in

I shall start out by saying what Hermann Frank Meyer's Blutiges Edelweiß is not. It is not a combat history of 1 Gebirgsjäger Division. Indeed, it's not really a divisional history, but the history of a division. The bulk of the book is devoted to the division's time in Greece and
the Balkans from mid-1943 until the war's end. Above all it is a history of the division's role in occupational policy.
To that end, it succeeds magnificently. It is an outstanding piece of research and scholarship, drawing upon official papers, personal letters, memoirs and dozens of images and maps. Frank does not ignore the division's battles, but in many cases he focuses on the ideological aspects of them, such as Lemberg 1941.
This, of course, will not be to everyone tastes, but it's one of the most impressive books on World War II I've picked up. It's also one of the most comprehensive (just shy of 800 pages). If you want the battles of 1 Geb Division, read Kaltenegger's history. If you want the complete picture, read both books.

© H.F. Meyer 2007 |