I dropped by Tom Kratman’s web board the other day to find out what my favorite Baen author had been up to lately, and found this excerpt from an upcoming novel:
Thomas felt unwelcome tears. He forced them back only with difficulty. So gallant, so brave they were, those boys over there fighting and dying against such odds, and with so little hope.
Gribeauvil, seeing the boy’s emotions written upon his twisted face, said, “Yes, son; give them their due. They are a great people, a magnificent people. And we are damned lucky to have them, now.”
Thomas agreed. And more; he thought of himself, alone, trying to save his mother and little brother from the alien menace. He wished to be a man, was becoming one, he knew. But alone he could never have made the slightest difference for his family’s survival. That took an army, an army of brave men and boys, willing to give their all for the cause of their people.
Perhaps for the first time, Thomas began to feel a deep pride, not so much in himself, but in the men he served with, in the army they served, and even in the black-clad, lightning bolt-signified, corps that was a part of that army.
Thomas was learning.
“Those boys” would be SS soldiers. The black-clad lightning bolt-signified corps is the SS. And don’t forget the depersonalization — Thomas is nothing by himself. He can only matter as part of an army. In this case, he only matters because he’s part of the SS.
Someone asked Kratman why he chose the SS. He gave three reasons:
a) Good troops taking, in many cases, a bum rap. b) a way to further annoy the left, literarily. c) Moreover, though you doubtless have not been following the snippets, in the context of John Ringo’s Posverse ALL mankind are going to become something very like them…the few who survive anyway.
Yeah. The SS weren’t so bad, it’s fun using shock tactics to piss people off, and everyone’s going to wind up like the SS in that universe anyhow.
Just gotta clarify your history here. Tom Kratman dosen’t try to resurrect the Totenkampf-SS (Death’s Head SS) who ran the various camps and generally were the scum of the earth. He uses the Waffen-SS, a group of generally ‘elite’ (much as with the various Soviet Guards and Shock armies, or Canadian Corps in the First World War) soldiers, to tell a story. The destinction between the Waffen and Totenkampf is important, as the Waffen conducted the same sort of battlefield atrocities everybody did, and the Totenkampf were rotten bastards who are burning in hell right now.
I’m familiar with the revisionist history that claims the Waffen-SS wasn’t so bad just cause they weren’t running the camps. However, the Waffen-SS was a highly politicized unit that was culpable in plenty of unusual war crimes. (Interested parties might look up Oradour-sur-Glaine.) The SS was explicitly the military arm of the Nazi Party.
And, of course, despite the attempt to separate the Totenkampf-SS from the Waffen-SS, it’s a matter of historical fact that the Totenkampf-SS was a division of the Waffen-SS by 1942. It is also a matter of historical fact that SS members rotated into and out of the camps frequently.
Clearly not all Waffen-SS members were guilty of war crimes. The organization as a whole was. The leadership of the Waffen-SS was the leadership of the Totenkampf-SS.