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Polish State Publishing House

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The Bellona-Verlag, former Polish State Publishing House, publishes the successful title by Michael Schade was “Between Knight’s Cross and gallows” as the license issue for the Polish market this year. The author manages to present the background of the secret operation in 1944 during the Ardennes offensive “Greif” on the basis of new materials. What did not on the author, add the many publications about the bulge just another book. On the contrary, emphasis of this work is not the comprehensive overview of the history of the fighting around the turn of the year 1944/45, but it shows some striking things in the planning, preparation and execution of the offensive, why not a success from the outset this last great battle even command of Hitler in the West could be granted. In addition to the representation of ‘some aspects’ to the failure of the Ardennes offensive, the author deals in-depth with the ‘secret corporate gripping’ under the leadership of the SS – Obersturmbannfuhrer Skorzeny. In this case is documented exactly and with the aid of many previously unknown source material for the first time of the veil of mystery of Hitler of by conceived company in its entirety revealed that in previous descriptions only in snippets, it often also tendentious and incorrect has been reported.

Company Griffin, German soldiers, when Americans dressed and equipped with loot vehicles, should coup-like take bridges over the Maas River and keep open for the following armoured divisions, the 6th Panzer army. In many details – starting from the idea of Hitler and his personal order to Skorzeny, about the difficulties in setting up and training the ‘Panzerbrigade 150’ to the unsuccessful use of forces of this troop formation from Malmedy on 20 / 21.12.1944 – is reported on the events in this book. Devotes considerable space is devoted to the activities also by Skorzenys command company, because in previous releases, just this special unit often gave rise to speculation and Misrepresentations. The depiction of the events at the end of the part of the 1947 held war crimes trial of Skorzeny and nine other defendants of the ‘command company Griffin’ can be seen. The statements made in the book are examined on the basis of unpublished almost 800 pages of process documents again, it will be analysed and assess.

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