In World War II a number of German Army units and divisions were classed as élites, and were distinguished by special insignia of various kinds. For some this status was simply a matter of lineage e.g. the Infantry Regiment 'List', which traced its identity to the Bavarian unit with which Hitler had served in World War I. Some, like the 'Grossdeutschland' and Panzer-Lehr divisions, were raised from particularly high grade personnel. Other titles honoured extraordinary battlefield exploits or heroic sacrifice, like the 'Brandenburg' and 'Hoch und Deutschmeister' divisions. This fact-packed introduction to these famous units is illustrated with rare photographs and detailed colour plates.
Read an extract of German Army Elite Units 1939–45