In Good Faith vol. 2
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In Good Faith vol. 2
The History of the 4.SS-Polizei-Panzer-Grenadier-Division Volume 2 1943-1945
The second volume of this set on the Polizei-Division takes up the divisional history at the beginning of 1943, and the story of 2 battalions that were sent to the Don Front at the end of 1942. The division fought in Russia through 1943 near Leningrad, participating in the Second and Third Ladoga Battles. It also was at the Oranienbaum Pocket, at the Wolchow, near Nowgorod and then retreated to the Narwa. In April 1943 it began converting into a Panzergrenadier-Division and some of its elements were sent west to training grounds in Poland and Czechoslovakia. As 1943 wore on, the division was shifted around Leningrad to meet Soviet incursions.
In the fall, more units were withdrawn for conversion, and then some of them were sent to Greece for garrison duties. At one point in time, the division was in three places; most of it in northern Russia near Leningrad, a part in southern Russia near Tscherkassy, and the converting elements in Greece. Eventually, the division was united in Greece in April 1944. There, it welcomed its Sturmgeschutz battalion. The division trained and carried out anti-partisan operations until the end of August 1944. When Romania defected to the Soviets in late August, the division retreated from Greece through Serbia and Rumania into Hungary. There it fought in the defense of eastern Hungary and later participated in the attempted relief of Budapest. After Budapest fell, the Polizei Division was transferred in January 1945 through Slovakia to eastern Pommerania (Stettin). When Pommerania was cut off by the Russians, the division fought defensively and retreated east toward the Gotenhafen-Danzig area. It was evacuated to Hela by ferry and then from Hela to Swinemunde on ships. It defended western Pommerania, and then northwest of Berlin. It retreated west toward Hamburg (Ludwiglust) at the end of April and surrendered on May 2, 1945 to the British.
Friedrich Husemann, a former member of the division provides a fascinating description of the many varied battles fought by the 4.SS-Polizei-Panzer-Grenadier-Division. From the merciless forests and swamps of northern Russia, to the partisan-filled mountainous terrain of Greece, through Serbia and Romania to Hungary, in desperate defensive battles in Hungary, Poland and Germany, to the final hopeless battles near Berlin and the bitter surrender, the reader witnesses the life and death of a division. The author weaves information from unit diaries and after-action reports with many first-hand accounts from former soldiers of the division, making the 2-volume set a living history, not just a dry account. The various accounts add more fascinating and crucial detail to some of the better-known battles of WW II.