By Bruce Quarrie

This sequel to "Hitler's Samurai" and "Hitler's Teutonic Knights" bargains with the guns utilized by the elite battling devices of the Waffen-SS. The insurance is especially photographic but in addition comprises technical descriptions and operational reviews. Quarrie has accrued the cloth from German files.

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Extra resources for Weapons of the Waffen-SS: From Small Arms to Tanks

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Along with Kaldrack’s remaining cadets, Battalion Enge and Replacement Staff for Artillery Regiment zV (“for retribution”), recently freed from their V-2 rocket-launching duties, provided 400 and 800 fighters, respectively, for Arnswalde’s defense. Possessing little more than small arms and a few machine guns these groups were bolstered by two Volkssturm battalions, a Landesschützen (Territorial Defense) battalion, and a detachment from 83rd Light Antiaircraft Battalion that provided two antiaircraft batteries, a 20mm battery, and a Even the 70-tonne Tiger II could be overturned by artillery or aerial bombing.

Preceding a Soviet armored breakthrough, sappers (engineers), worked in groups of twos or threes to clear paths through landmines or other obstructions, while aircraft, infantry, and armor attempted to neutralize enemy antitank positions. During a breakthrough attempt the lead battalion-sized group kept 40–50m intervals between vehicles in the lead, while 200–300m behind, the motorized infantry battalion provided a mix of specialized units such as mortars, antitank, engineer, and assault infantry.

Even as Steiner’s force accumulated reinforcements, many had to be quickly returned to combat to prevent Soviet penetrations of the front line and preserve his assembly positions. During a conference with Hitler on February 13, Guderian proposed that as Rokossovsky’s 2nd Belorussian Front was now threatening to cut off Danzig, Eleventh SS Panzer Army needed to go over to the offensive in two days to divert Soviet attention and resources. Hitler and Himmler were reluctant to start such an operation until sufficient supplies were gathered, but Guderian managed to secure approval for an amended start date.

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