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The Order of the Death's Head: The Story of Hitler's SS

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  416 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
The SS was the terror of Europe. Swearing eternal allegiance to Adolf Hitler, it infiltrated every aspect of German life and was responsible for the deaths of millions. This gripping history recounts the strange and, at times, absurd true story of Hitler's SS. It exposes an organization that was not directed by some devilishly efficient system but was the product of accide ...more
Paperback, Classic military history, 704 pages
Published September 1st 2001 by Penguin Books (first published 1966)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,297)
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Jun 02, 2013 Michael rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: WWII buffs, popular history fans, Military history buffs
Recommended to Michael by: Serendipity
This hefty book remains one of the more popular items in mainstream bookstores “German History” sections, suggesting that it continues to inform history buffs about its subject almost fifty years after its publication. I’m not sure how many amateur historians actually trouble to read all 750+ pages of text, but many (like myself not so long ago) probably refer to it for the table of SS ranks converted to standard military (US and British) ranks and may occasionally use the glossary to look up so ...more
This is a honkingly huge history of the SS packed with detail. Indeed, as it contains so much detail and follows for the most part a chronological approach, it pretty much serves as a history of the whole Third Reich through the prism of the SS.
Aug 17, 2011 Jake rated it it was amazing
Good heavens, I don't know where to begin here. I ordered this book to supplement by curiousity about German history. I did not expect this to be as vast and as expansive as it turned out to be. Forget what you think you know about the SS, all of its history begins and ends here.

This is a book that did not cause me to be enraged by what the SS were, so much as to calmly analyze its structure, its beginnings, its rationale for what it did, and how it proceeded to do this. Personally, I believe th
May 25, 2015 Will rated it it was ok
Shelves: gave-up
I enjoy dense books: War and Peace was light reading, and I got through Ulysses with some supplemental material. I also enjoy World War II books: William Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany is my top pick for thorough, fascinating analysis of Nazi lore.

This dense, World War II book got the best of me. There's no doubt it is well-researched, has a solid thesis, and achieves it. However, its excessive, droll attention to detail made it ultimately unreadable. My
Jan 23, 2016 Lee rated it it was amazing
Shelves: third-reich
To my mind one of the best books ever written on the topic of the SS.It may appear to be a dense read for the casual reader but to anybody with a good interest in the Third Reich I think they will find it a very enjoyable and rewarding book.Published nearly 50 years ago and still stands up to some of the more recent SS histories.
A must have for anybody interested in the nazi regime and this odious organisation
Christopher Saunders
Jun 05, 2014 Christopher Saunders rated it it was amazing
Fascinatingly detailed account of Nazi Germany, focusing (as the title suggestions) on Heinrich Himmler and the SS. In many ways the anti-William Shirer: Hohne shows the Third Reich as not a monolithic war machine but a disorganized regime with different factions at each other's throats. On top of his detailed yet extremely readable narrative, Hohne provides unique interpretations of key events. On the Night of the Long Knives, Hohne depicts the SS manipulating Hitler into offing Ernst Rohm and ...more
Nick Wallace
Dec 04, 2009 Nick Wallace rated it really liked it
After all the movies over all the years, you would think that the SS and it's various arms were a monolith. This book sets about displaying the inner workings of this organization, showing the various divisions to be private fiefdoms of their respective heads, all vying for ultimate control.
Daniel Mcclain
Apr 14, 2014 Daniel Mcclain rated it it was amazing
Heinz Hohne's "The Order of the Death's Head" is a pretty dense read. That being said, it is impeccably researched, and offers what I consider the definitive look at one of the most macabre and fascinating groups ever created.
Randolph Carter
Jan 18, 2013 Randolph Carter rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, non-fiction
Riveting subject matter (5-star) but the book is either very poorly written (2-star) in a disjointed journalistic style or poorly translated or both.

See what happens when an entire civilized country goes berserk and the wildest conspiracy theory you could ever come up with turns out to be true.

What could be more interesting than Nazi death squads, storm troopers, death camps, medical experiments, entire Death's Head army divisions not even under the control of the military? How could they avoid
Katherine Addison
History of the SS. Höhne's explanation of the Night of the Long Knives is the best I've read.
Feb 04, 2016 Drake rated it liked it
Very good and informative ; with lots of names ,dates and very specific information.
Mar 25, 2008 Seth rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Serious military academics
Shelves: military-history
Holy shit, this is a ridiculously interesting and excruciatingly detailed history of the SS. Seriously, absorbing, but on a meticulously completist level I've rarely seen before or since. Excellent, but very serious reading at 600 pages, not for the faint of heart or easily distracted.
Mar 07, 2012 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, history
Excellent book, but for me the structure (thematic rather than chronological) made it somewhat confusing. Halfway through, I started to feel like I needed to draw a timeline to keep track of who was feuding with who/made which powerplay when.
Ray Schneider
Dec 03, 2013 Ray Schneider rated it it was ok
A very long book with some boring chapters about the inner rivalries within the SS and with the Nazi party and the Wehrmacht.

The last two chapters were the most interesting - the SS and the Resistance and the End days of the SS and the Reich.
Dec 13, 2010 Kafkasfriend rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: miscellaneous, items
Excellent author dedicated detailed research with a sure precision for detail and accuracy. Not sentimental brutally true to the historical imperative. We owe him and his colleagues a huge debt of gratitude.
Steve Herreid
May 30, 2016 Steve Herreid rated it really liked it
I loved this book. Definitive account of the SS. Very detailed, perhaps too much for the casual reader.
Feb 21, 2009 Charles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfic-history
An excellent book on the history of the German SS. Fascinating and terrifying.
Jun 23, 2009 Thomas rated it really liked it
informative, but hard to keep track of the names and dates
May 09, 2013 Michael rated it it was amazing
Epic. Heavy going at times but full of astonishing detail.
Geoff W
Dec 08, 2008 Geoff W rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Andy
outstanding... unbelieveable
Andrea Miller
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get rated it really liked it
Jun 26, 2016
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Axel Colin Allanby rated it it was amazing
Jun 26, 2016
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Jun 18, 2016
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Jun 16, 2016
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