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Budapest: The Stalingrad of the Waffen-SS
  • by Richard Landwehr
    • Merriam Press Siegrunen Monograph Series
      • Fifth Edition 2012
      • 186 6×9-inch pages
      • 101 photos
      • 6 illustrations
      • 4 maps
The battle for Budapest was the culmination of three and a half years of bitter, unequal struggle against Soviet Bolshevism and its capitalist allies.
The Waffen-SS troops involved constituted the backbone of the defensive effort and took the severest losses.
For IX SS Corps and the "Florian Geyer" and "Maria Theresia" Cavalry Divisions, Budapest was another Stalingrad. "Maria Theresia" in particular had the unfortunate distinction of being the only large formation of the Waffen-SS to be almost totally obliterated.
This work details the vicious struggle from beginning to end, a struggle in which 40,000 defenders tied up almost half a million Soviet combat and support troops, buying the Germans much needed time.
  • Foreword
  • Budapest: The City of the Unvanquished Heroes
  • The Retreat from Eastern Hungary
  • Development of the Budapest Defense Ring
  • The SS Cavalry Division in the Karola Positions: November 1944
  • The Budapest Bridgehead Takes Shape
  • Budapest is Surrounded
  • A Fight to the Finish: Budapest Will Not Surrender
  • January 1945: The Hardest Month Imaginable
  • The Final Struggle Begins
  • Endkampf
  • Breakout from Budapest
  • The Formation of the SS-Totenkopf Reiterstandarten, 1939-1940
  • Death of the Soviet Budapest Emissaries: Follow-up
  • The Budapest Relief Attacks: Excerpts from the Diary of the 5th SS-Panzer Division “Wiking”, 2-12 January 1945
  • Bibliography

I have just been for a week in Budapest (lovely city, lovely people including some of the most gorgeous women I've ever met) and it was very interesting to check out the streets that Richard Landwehr mentions in Budapest. The information he provides [in all his works] is simply exceptional, often covering subjects that other authors do not even mention!
Julian E. M. Jones, Great Britain

WWII from the SS Point of View: Budapest the Stalingrad of the Waffen-SS is a book by Richard Landwehr and it describes the siege of Budapest, where a small garrison of mostly Hungarian and German soldiers hold out against a larger Soviet force. This book is unique in that it is from the point of view of the SS men. As far as this reviewer can tell, Richard Landwehr is a pen name. [The author's name is not a pen name. —Ray Merriam, Publisher] There isn't a biography about the author in the book. The bibliography mostly sites German books as well as some magazines and private archives. It is written in a clear, 10th grade level reading style and can be read cover to cover in a single sitting. The book itself is an on-demand printing from Merriam Press and the text is clear and readable and there are good pictures of the SS men involved in the fighting. There is very little from the Soviet point of view. The defense of Budapest is built around several Waffen SS divisions and the story of their stand is movingly told. Included are the stories of the wounded, who ironically are many of the only survivors as they are evacuated by air before the end. Included is the all important logistics actions as well as a war diary for the German force attempting to reach Budapest and lift the siege. The final struggle is a breakout by the defenders-few survive, most of the men are killed by Soviet artillery fire or are taken prisoner. Many of the SS men are murdered out-right or are taken into Soviet captivity for many years. While many pious, politically correct readers might find a book about the Waffen SS' struggle against Bolshevikism distasteful. One should keep in mind that this was the darkest part of a ferocious struggle by Hungarians in their resistance to Communism. Indeed, Budapest was on the front lines against Communism for decades, first in 1919, and again in World War II. After the war, while under Red Occupation and Tyranny the Hungarians nearly overthrew their captors in 1956 and 1968. Their final victory came in 1989, when the Iron Curtain at last fell.
Carl Robinson

I found the subject matter very interesting. My only complaint was that it had too many pictures and not enough text. There's not a lot out there about the battle for Budapest, especially from the German side, as so few of them survived the battle or Soviet captivity to give us their stories. Though I am not a Nazi, my admiration for the tenacious fighting qualities of the two SS cavalry divisions that fought there remains high. Both divisional commanders chose to die fighting, rather than surrender, as Wehrmact Field Marshal Paulus & General Seydlitz-Kurzbach did at Stalingrad.
—Lyn G.

Product Reviews

(3 Ratings, 2 Reviews) Average Rating:
Budapest - the Stalingrad of the Waffen - SS
GARY BOATRIGHT (Epsom, Surrey) 11/18/2009 8:33 AM
Factual and an interesting read which provides information not seen elsewhere in other history books.
Landwehr at his best
Scott Shuford (Monrovia, MD) 11/10/2008 7:14 PM
Outstanding account of Waffen-SS operations in the siege of Budapest. A worthy addition to the library of anyone with an interest in Waffen-SS combat performance in one of the war's less well known battles.