Gordon Williamson (writer)

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Gordon Williamson (born 1951) is a popular history writer based in the United Kingdom. Williamson spent seven years with the Military Police in the British Territorial Army and, as of 2016, resides in Scotland. Williamson has written more than 40 books and other publications.[1] His works have focused on topics ranging from U boats,[2] military insignia,[3] flying aces, the Waffen-SS, and special forces. Williamson's works present an uncritical portrayal of the German war effort during the Second World War.

Reception

Williamson has authored over 20 books on the Waffen-SS and the Wehrmacht.[4] The military historian S.P. MacKenzie describes Williamson as a writer who attempts "to restore the tarnished reputation [of the Waffen-SS] and reiterate its superb fighting qualities" by relying on veterans' narratives, with "predictably positive results".[5]

MacKenzie includes Williamson's books among the works that perpetuate the myth-making, revisionist tendencies in the treatment of the Waffen-SS, first advocated by HIAG, a lobby group founded by former high-ranking Waffen-SS personnel in West Germany in 1951. MacKenzie notes that Williamson "at least approaches his subjects with a degree of skepticism", but is nonetheless an "admirer" whose works tend to romanticize the Waffen-SS. Commenting on this contemporary trend, Mackenzie writes: [5]

As the older generation of Waffen-SS scribes has died off, a new, post-war cadre of writers has done much to perpetuate the image of the force as a revolutionary European army. The degree of admiration and acceptance varies, but the overall tendency to accentuate the positive lives on, or has indeed grown stronger.

Selected works

  • E-BOAT vs. MTB: The English Channel 1941-45[6]
  • German Commanders of World War II (2): Waffen-SS, Luftwaffe and Navy
  • Knight's Cross with Diamonds Recipients: 1941-45
  • Grey Wolf: U-Boat Crewman of World War II
  • The Iron Cross [7]
  • Osprey Men-at-Arms 434, World War II German Police Units
  • Kriegsmarine U-boats 1939-45
  • Loyalty Is My Honor: Waffen-SS Soldiers Talking
  • The SS: Hitler's Instrument of Terror[8]
  • Waffen-SS Handbook
  • World War II German Battle Insignia
  • Torpedo Los!: The Fascinating World of U-boat Collectibles

References

  1. ^ WorldCat 2016.
  2. ^ Richard Snow (4 May 2010). A Measureless Peril: America in the Fight for the Atlantic, the Longest Battle of World War II. Simon and Schuster. pp. 328–. ISBN 978-1-4165-9507-6. 
  3. ^ Jak P. Mallmann Showell (2006). The U-boat Century: German Submarine Warfare, 1906-2006. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-59114-892-0. 
  4. ^ WorldCat2 2016.
  5. ^ a b MacKenzie 1997, pp. 139–140.
  6. ^ "Book review – E-Boat vs. MTB: The English Channel 1941-45". National Historical Foundation.
  7. ^ Dear, Paul. "Book Review : Salute to the Honored Military Decoration". Los Angeles Times, August 08, 1985.
  8. ^ Williamson, Gordon. The SS: Hitler's Instrument of Terror. Osceola, Wis: Motorbooks International, 1994. ISBN 0879389052

Sources

  • MacKenzie, S.P. (1997). Revolutionary Armies in the Modern Era: A Revisionist Approach. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-09690-4. 
  • "Waffen-SS titles published by Williamson". WorldCat. 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  • "Titles published by Williamson". WorldCat. 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
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