In "Totenkopf" volume II Mark C. Yerger begins with a detailed overview of the officer and combat arms schools related to the Waffen-SS. The topic is especially relevant to the earliest Waffen-SS divisions with "Totenkopf"personnel being trained by this system while many school instructors also served with the division. Starting with the prewar Junkerschulen and their expansion, the extensive primary arms schools that produced SS officers are detailed that also held a diversity of other training programs from mid-1942 to nearly the end of hostilities, replacing the temporary training units created by the formation for its 1942 divisional rebuild. Topics detailed include SS-Truppenübungsplatz "Beneschau,"SS-Pionierschule "Hradsichko",SS-Panzergrenadierschule "Kienschlag,"and the SS-Artillerieschule II. Along with the final two SS officer academies created, other schools covered include the SS-Nachrichtenschule and the assault gun school in Bukowan that became the SS-anzerjäger(Sturmgeschütz)Schule "Janowitz." Details are provided on courses, commandants, and examples of "Totenkopf" personnel involved. The final 53 German Cross in Gold recipients are examined next with unpublished details for all ranks. Among them are men also awarded the Knight's Cross, material being included from the personal photo albums of two such officer recipients with dozens of other new images along with over 30 proposal texts relating the combats resulting in these decorations. Chapters on the Roll of Honor Clasp and 33 Close Combat Clasp in Gold holders that follow includes engagement narratives for four Honor Clasp awards. A chapter on the formation preparing for Russia opens with text deta ils on divisional support units. The March-April 1941 transfers and final component are added to show all divisional command and staff personnel. Men found elsewhere are noted, with priority service specifics given for nearly 250 more officers of the formation that includes officer school graduates reflecting on the opening chapter to allow better insight on the heavy losses taken by "Totenkopf" in the first Russian campaign. Order of Battle charts are compared to actual composition of the division. An addendum adds to volume I with an index for the nearly 650 personnel in this volume. Lavishly illustrated with primarily unpublished images in larger size, other images that have been seen were traced to original prints and negatives for previously unseen reproductive clarity. Glossary and bibliography. 340 pages, 200 illustrations. Volume III primarily focuses on the Totenkopfstandarten and Totenkopfreiterstandarten. The final volume of the trilogy includes their superior command authorities, development, and commanders of each unit. A section is devoted to those who served in these units before being decorated at later commands along with rare period images of insignia being included throughout the volume. Also included is an addendum for images that could not be included with the design of the first two volumes as well as significant unpublished appendix data.
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