Hofenstaufen: 9th SS Panzer Division
Patrick Hook

This is the twentieth book in the “Spearhead” series from Ian Allan Publishing and it covers 9. SS-Panzer-Division Hohenstaufen.

The book, like all books in the “Spearhead” series, is divided into seven sections:
Origins & History
Ready for War
In Action
Insignia, Clothing & Equipment

The origins chapter very briefly covers the history of the Waffen-SS and the Hohenstaufen division.
Next the training, tactics and organization is discussed before moving on to the combat history of this unit, from the fighting in the east over the fighting in the west (including of course the famous fighting at Arnhem) and finally again in the east. This is of course by far the largest part of the book, some fifty of the ninety-six pages.
The equipment and uniforms are the focus on the next chapter, this chapter mostly consists of photos and only very little text.
The commanders of the unit and a few other notable members are the topic of short biographies in the “People” chapter and the book ends with a listing of books and websites with information on the unit.

This book includes many high quality black and white photos, maps to help the reader keep track of the movements of the formations involved and some orders of battle for different dates during its existence.
The book include a number of photos of Waffen-SS re-enactment, they are all clearly described as such but I would have preferred to not have any such photos included at all.

The book does contain some errors, for example the author repeats the old myth that the Waffen-SS was “heavily favoured with all the best troops and equipment”. He also confuses the ReichsArbeitsDienst (RAD) with the Deutsche Arbeitsfront (DAF) to a certain degree.
Despite these errors this book is a good introduction to the Hohenstaufen but if you are looking for more in-depth information you’ll need to look at one of the other titles on this unit. It would have been nice to have more details on the actions fought but these 96 page books can only serve as an overview of the unit covered.

(Reviewed by Marcus Wendel)
Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.

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