Hitler's Bandit Hunters: The SS and the Nazi Occupation of Europe

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Potomac Books, Inc., Mar 1, 2011 - History - 424 pages
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In August 1942, Hitler directed all German state institutions to assist Heinrich Himmler, the chief of the SS and the German police, in eradicating armed resistance in the newly occupied territories of Eastern Europe and Russia. The directive for "combating banditry" (Bandenbekämpfung), became the third component of the Nazi regime's three-part strategy for German national security, with genocide (Endlösung der Judenfrage, or "the Final Solution of the Jewish Question") and slave labor (Erfassung, or "Registration of Persons to Hard Labor") being the better-known others. An original and thought-provoking work grounded in extensive research in German archives, Hitler's Bandit Hunters focuses on this counterinsurgency campaign, the anvil of Hitler's crusade for empire. Bandenbekämpfung portrayed insurgents as political and racial bandits, criminalized to a greater degree than enemies of the state; moreover, violence against them was not constrained by the prevailing laws of warfare. Philip Blood explains how German forces embraced the Bandenbekämpfung doctrine, demonstrating the equal culpability of both the SS police forces and the "heroic" Waffen-SS combat arm and shattering the contrived postwar distinctions between them. He challenges the traditional view of Himmler as an armchair general and bureaucrat, exposing him as the driving force behind one of the most successful security campaigns in history, and delves into the contentious issue of the complicity of ordinary German police, soldiers, and citizens, as well as the citizens of occupied territories, in these state-sponsored manhunts. This book provokes new debates on the Nazi terrorization of Europe, the blind acquiescence of many, and the courageous resistance of the few.
 

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Contents

FOREWORD
PREFACE
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
BIBLIOGRAPHICABBREVIATIONS
PART ONEORIGINS AND IMPLEMENTATION
1SECURITY WARFARE
Doctrine
The Institutions
6DASBANDENKAMPFGEBIET
Preventative Measures
The Utilization of Manpower
Operational Training
7DIEBANDENUNTERNEHMUNGEN
Operations
Victims and Violence
Body Counts and Baubles

Rehearsals for War
The First World War
Urban Warriors
2THE NEW ORDER
The Marriage of Militarism and Guardianship
Political Prominence
Conflicting Ideologies
Revenge Lebensraum and Mechanized Cannae
Himmlers Praetorian
3HITLERSBANDENBEKÄMPFUNGDIRECTIVE
Europe Ablaze
The Return of Erich von dem Bach
Planning Bandenbekämpfung
Directive 46
WehrmachtSS Initiatives
Results
PART TWOBANDENBEKÄMPFUNG
4BANDENBEKÄMPFUNGOPERATIONAL CONCEPT
Total War and Fortress Europe
Der Chef der Bandenkampfverbände
Reshuffles and Scandal
Bandenbekämpfung and Enemy Classification
5DIEBANDENKAMPFVERBÄNDE
Information Warfare in the Predigital Age
Headquarters and Senior Staff Functions
The Order of Battle
The Commanders Influence
Political Ramifications
PART THREECLIMATIC DECLINE
8POLAND
SSPolice in Poland
Lemberg and Warsaw
Collapse in the General Government
Warsaw Uprising
9WESTERN EUROPE
Praetorians in the South
Röseners Bandenstab
Tactical Ingenuity and Old Methods
Collapse
10DENIABILITY
Breaking with the Regime
Expert Witness
Foreign Military Whitewash
CONCLUSION
DIAGRAMS
GLOSSARY OF BANDENBEKÄMPFUNGAND RELATED TERMINOLOGY
GERMAN RANK STRUCTURES
THE PERPETRATORS
THE MIXED FORTUNES OF FORMERBANDENKAMPFVERBÄNDE IN 19651
NOTES
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
INDEX
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Philip W. Blood, formerly a senior lecturer at the University of Aachen, is now the general editor of the "Wehrmacht in War" series for the Association of the United States Army. A British citizen, he lives in Aachen, Germany.

Bibliographic information