Available for the first time in English, a memoir of a member of the World War II Brandenburg German special forces unit.
The Brandenburgers were Hitler’s Special Forces, a band of mainly foreign German nationals who used disguise and fluency in other languages to complete daring missions into enemy territory. Overshadowed by stories of their Allied equivalents, their history has largely been ignored, making this memoir all the more extraordinary.
First published in German in 1984, de Giampietro's highly-personal and eloquent memoir is a vivid account of his experiences. He delves into the reality of life in the unit from everyday concerns and politics to training and involvement in Brandenburg missions. He details the often foolhardy missions undertaken under the command of Theodor von Hippel, including the June 1941 seizure of the Duna bridges in Dunaburg and the attempted capture of the bridge at Bataisk where half of his unit was killed.
Given the very perilous nature of their missions, very few of these specially-trained soldiers survived World War II. Much knowledge of the unit has been lost forever, making this is a unique insight into a slice of German wartime history.
Widely regarded as the predecessor of today’s special forces units, this fascinating account brings to life the Brandenburger Division and its part in history in vivid and compelling detail.