Himmler's Cavalry: The Equestrian SS 1930-1945
Paul J. Wilson

This book, Himmler's Cavalry: The Equestrian SS 1930-1945, covers a part of the SS that is little known and is generally ignored, the SS-Reiterei.

It begins with an introduction providing a brief history of the SS and background to the history of the Equestrian SS. This is followed by a chapter on the formation and structure, before moving on to training, the SS Riding Schools and leadership in the next cuple of chapters.

I found the next chapter in the book to be particulary interesting as it deals with the cooperation and conflicts between the Equestrian SS and other such organisations, such as the ones in the SA and Heer.

The next chapter is also of particular interest as it provides a more in-depth look at one of the units, SS-Reiterstandarte 10. The two following chapters deals with how the Equestrian SS was portraied in the SS journal Das Schwarze Korps and the social profile of the leadership respectively.

The activities of the mounted SS units during the war until the formation of the cavalry divisions of the Waffen-SS are covered in the next chapter. The focus are on the warcrimes committed by these units and other actions are only covered very briefly. The second part of this chapter describes the career of Hermann Fegelein, who played an important part in the Equestrian SS and later in the SS cavalry during the war.

The final chapter deals with the judgement at the Nuremberg Trials that excluded the Equestrian SS from the verdict that declared the SS a criminal organisation. This is followed by the endnotes and eight pages with photos.

You may find the authors desire to prove the non-guilty verdict from Nuremberg wrong sometimes prevents him from being totally objective, that said this is an excellent book and if you are interested in the Equestrian SS this book is a must have.

(Reviewed by Marcus Wendel)

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