Within days of the D-Day landings, the 'Das Reich' 2nd SS Panzer Division marched north through France to reinforce the front-line defenders of Hitler's Fortress Europe.
Veterans of the bloodiest fighting of the Russian Front, 15,000 men with tanks and artillery, they were hounded for every mile of their march by saboteurs of the Resistance and agents of the Allied Special Forces. Along their route they took reprisals so savage they will live forever in the chronicles of the most appalling atrocities of war.
"My literary VC goes without doubt to Max Hastings for his Das Reich...the story of a march that left behind a trail of blood and death, torture and heroism...the slaughter and burning to death of 642 men, women and children of Oradour-sur-Glane...the hanging of 99 civilians from the lamp-posts of Tulle as a reprisal for Maquis action." - Sunday Telegraph