Author(s): Angelos Mansolas
Goldfish Caterpillars & Guinea Pigs: Accounts of Pilots and Air Crews from World War II (paperback edition)
‘I know every single one of these grenadiers. The oldest is barely eighteen. These boys have not yet learned how to live, but by God they know how to die!’
These were the words of the division’s commanding officer, SS-Oberführer Kurt Meyer, for his own men: men admired even by their very opponents.
Established in 1943, the 12th SS-Panzer Division was designed to become an elite unit formed by ‘…a generation of future soldiers, tough as leather and hard as Krupp steel’ and commanded by a nucleus of hardened SS officers and NCOs.
This is the detailed history of the division from its formation all through the Normandy campaign where it received its baptism of fire. Although employed in the field for the first time, those young soldiers fought with a tenacity and ferocity unexcelled by any other unit Allied or German deployed on the invasion front, defending doggedly every single yard of ground from Caen to Falaise, a distance of just 25 miles, over which the Canadians and British fought, paying a high price in blood.
|FORMAT||234 x 156 mm|
|PUBLICATION DATE||25 March 2021
|ILLUSTRATIONS||96 black-and-white and 14 colour photographs|