Kleinfeld: Hitler's Spanish Legion. The Blue Division in Russia in WWII. Paperback

  • Hitler's Spanish Legion : The Blue Division in Russia in WWII.
  • Kleinfeld, Gerald R.; Tambs, Lewis A.
  • Paperback, 432 pages, 229 x 152 mm.
For nearly three years, August 1941 to March 1944, 47,000 Spanish soldiers served under German command on the Russian front, two of those years con-tinuously in the line in the siege of Leningrad. There were 22,000 casu-alties, of which 4,500 were killed in ac-tion or died of wounds, disease, or frost-bite. Fewer than 300 prisoners of war finally were repatriated in 1954.

The story of these Spanish volunteers told here, largely from original Spanish and German archival sources, in the graphic detail of a military history cover-ing the major battles of the Russo-German war, gives an entirely different perspective to the siege of Leningrad which is neither Communist nor Nazi but Mediterranean. Thinking of themselves as warriors, as opposed to soldiers, the Spaniards fought with great courage and dash. Masters of improvisation, they lived off the countryside, regarded the Russians as human beings, and often formed strong bonds with the peasants--so strong that the Russian population often protected the Spaniards from both the Red Army and the partisans.