Hitler's Spanish Division...

 

... from Frontline Books

 

Title: Hitler's Spanish Division

Author: Pablo Sagarra, Oscar Gonzalez and Lucas Molina

Publisher: Frontline Books

ISBN: 978-1-47387-887-7

 

The Spanish Civil War of the 1930's saw opposing sides of Fascist against Communist, and the two sides each got outside assistance, one side from Russia and the other from Germany.
This new books tells the stories of selected individuals, giving us their individual stories and heavily illustrated with archive photos, many not published before, along with some super artwork by Ramiro Bueiro showing the individuals in the uniforms and equipment they wore at the time. Though Spain remained neutral during the war, though some 48,000 volunteers from Spain fought in Russia on the side of the Germans, between 1941 and 1944 when they returned home to Spain. The book is divided into sections, starting with the Generals. There were just 3, and all three are included, followed by three of the 16 Colonels. Then 3 of the 36 Lieutenant Colonels are followed by 6 of the 136 Majors. The 250th Division, the Spanish Blue Division, also had Liaison Staff, and 2 representatives of them are covered as well. Other selections are then included from Junior Officers, NCOs, NCOs and Men. Much of the Division returned home in 1943, and what remained fought on as the Blue Legion, just at Regimental strength. They also include the Last Volunteers before the units returned home to Spain in 1944. As well as the army, other Spanish volunteers fought for the Luftwaffe in their Blue Squadrons. The remaining sections cover the smaller numbers in the Navy & Todt Organisation; Services, such as a Priest, Nurse and Pharmacist; Diplomats and finally some with Post-War service.
The archive images, pictures of preserved equipment/militaria will please historians, modellers and reenactors alike. The many individual stories illustrate how many Spaniards played a part in the war on the Eastern Front and therefore commemorates them for their families. An interesting book tackling a relatively small (in comparison to the total numbers involved in Russia) combat force but nevertheless important contribution from Spain, a country still recovering from their own destructive civil war. Another useful reference for anyone studying WW2 on the Eastern Front.

Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.

Robin