12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend
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- Last updated: 09/07/2023
The unit on which this work concentrates was formed in June 1943, making it a relatively late-comer to the war. Many of the troops who made up the division were so young that many regular soldiers referred to them as ‘milk sops’. Exactly a year later, they were committed to their first combat experience when the Allies landed in Normandy on D-Day. Despite their youth, the men in this unit fought with a fanaticism which had been inculcated into them by the regime that had created them. They also committed atrocities, and the author mentions this and cites those commanders involved with the crimes. The author covers specific events during and after Normandy, by which time the division had sustained over 9,000 casualties. Reformed and sent to Hungary, the text charts the last months of the war, when 9,870 survivors (19,657 only four months earlier), surrendered to the American 65th Infantry Division on 8 May 1945.