The SS: A New History by Adrian Weale - review by Guy Walters

Guy Walters

Sinister Chances

The SS: A New History


Little, Brown 496pp £20

Of all the aspects of the Third Reich, it is perhaps the SS that attracts the most junk history. Observed through the prisms of Hollywood and various war mags such as Commando and War Picture Library, the popular image of the SS man is of a schlock figure, the stuff of fancy dress parties and fetishists’ conventions. And as an institution, the SS is regarded as the embodiment of military prowess. For some, SS men were the meanest and best soldiers.

Adrian Weale has no time for such dross. He rightly focuses on the SS not just as an armed body but also as a state-within-a-state, complete with its infuriating bureaucracies that give the lie to the notion of supposed German efficiency. The author gives a meticulous account of

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