- Taschenbuch: 208 Seiten
- Verlag: Pen & Sword Books Ltd (19. Juli 2012)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1848848617
- ISBN-13: 978-1848848610
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,9 x 1,9 x 23,5 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 832.842 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
SS Peiper (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 19. Juli 2012
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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Born in the Bootham area of York, England, he was a pupil at the prestigious Nunthorpe Grammar School, leaving at the age of 16 to join the British Army by lying about his age. Keen to be in on the wartime action, Whiting was attached to the 52nd Reconnaissance Regiment and by the age of 18 saw duty as a sergeant in France, Holland, Belgium and Germany in the latter stages of World War II. While still a soldier, he observed conflicts between the highest-ranking British and American generals which he would write about extensively in later years. After the war, he stayed on in Germany completing his A-levels via correspondence course and teaching English before being enrolled at Leeds University reading History and German Language. As an undergraduate he was afforded opportunities for study at several European universities and, after gaining his degree, would go on to become an assistant professor of history. Elsewhere, Whiting held a variety of jobs which included working as a translator for a German chemical factory and spells as a publicist, a correspondent for The Times and feature writer for such diverse magazines as International Review of Linguistics, Soldier and Playboy. His first novel was written while still an undergraduate, was published in 1954 and by 1958 had been followed by three wartime thrillers. Between 1960 and 2007 Charles went on to write over 350 titles, including 70 non-fiction titles covering varied topics from the Nazi intelligence service to British Regiments during World War II. Charles Henry Whiting, author and military historian died on July 24 2007, leaving his wife and son.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com
There is no doubt that Peiper was both a natural born leader of men and also a hardened Nazi. His eventual death, however, raised more questions than answers and, for that reason, the definitive truth is unlikely ever to be known. In December 1944 he was some 12 miles away from his unit when the men under his command executed some 70 American soldiers at Malmedy. At the resultant war crimes trial after the war, Peiper stood up and accepted responsibility for those murders and was initially sentenced to death - even though many Americans believed him to be completely innocent. Was Peiper responsible for those American deaths or was he simply demonstrating that fine quality of leadership by accepting the actions of his men as being his own? One could argue they were either obeying his standing orders or doing what they believed he would have done - were he present!
Nobody was more surprised than Peiper himself to learn his sentence was commuted to a period of imprisonment and he was eventually released from incarceration in 1957. Seeking a quiet life under an assumed name in an obscure village in France, he lived quietly with his wife and translated accounts about the war until his past was revealed by a vengeful local inhabitant. On Bastille day 1976, his house caught fire and his charred body was found amongst the ashes.
Was this the long arm of those intent on seeking out and punishing all whom they perceived as former War Criminals - even if they had served their sentence? Or was it the drunken revelry of those who, celebrating France's most important day, had been reminded of her recent past and, knowing they had a convicted German war criminal in their midst, things simply got out of hand?
In this work, Charles Whiting does take a rather sympathetic view of Peiper and, whilst that might run against the natural perception that all Nazis were bad and, therefore, deserved everything they got (not a view to which I subscribe!), by taking this gentler approach, I believe Whiting presents a fair and balanced account of the life and death of someone who, in another army - serving a different cause, might have become one of the greatest leaders of all time. But then again, perhaps not. Peiper really was that enigmatic.
Altogether, an excellent account, produced in a most readable style, and one which will get the reader thinking about Peiper in a balanced light.