The Polizei division first took shape in 1939, drawing manpower from the civilian police. In February 1942, the unit was transferred to the Waffen-SS and redesignated SS-Polizei-Division (4.SS). The former policemen appeared on the Western Front in 1940, before being shipped to the Leningrad sector in 1941. Polizei remained on the Eastern Front for the duration of the war, including deployments in Greece, the Banat (Romania), Hungary, and Pomerania, before finally surrendering just northwest of Berlin. The subject is examined through many personal recollections, hundreds of photos and maps from private collections, and period documents, including extracts from official bulletins and the division? war diary. A brief history of the Polizei II division is included as an appendix.
Massimiliano Afiero was born in Afragola (Naples Province) in 1964. An information technology teacher and programmer, he has been interested in military history since his youth, specializing in the history of Axis units during the Second World War and particularly in the Waffen-SS. He has published numerous articles in the principal Italian-language history magazines and has contributed to many military history web sites. He is one of the few Italian historical researchers to have personally interviewed many veterans of the Waffen-SS, publishing their previously unpublished stories. He has published numerous books dealing with foreign volunteers in the German armed forces during the Second World War. From November 2004 to December 2008, he was the historical consultant and Technical Director of the magazine?Volontari?(Marvia Edizioni). Since May 2008, he has been editor-in-chief of the bimonthly magazine?SGM?(Seconda Guerra Mondiale) published by Editoriale Lupo. In January 2009, he began publication of a new magazine,?Ritterkreuz, dedicated to the military history of Axis units during the Second World war. Since 2013, he has also managed the publication of the?Fronti di Guerra series, also dedicated to the Second World War.