Graphic Novel Tells The Forgotten Story Of Hitler's 'Devil's Children'

Devil's Children Graphic

Photo: via Normandy: A Graphic History Of D-Day

The allied forces called them “The Devil’s Children,” and they were one of the most feared Nazi units on the battlefield.That’s one of the things I learned reading “Normandy: A Graphic History Of D-Day”—a comic book, with American-style animations, that, in astounding detail, walks readers through the assault on Normandy and then, with less detail, the following European campaign. Wayne Vansant, the author and illustrator, has had a long career of producing historically accurate texts. His graphic novels can even be found in the historical sections of some collections.

You might know them as the “Hitler Youth,” but the program was more than just a summer camp: It was a Spartan Agoge like military training system that spit out men exceedingly proficient at combat.

From the book:

The training of the HitlerJugend (Hitler Youth) was different than any unit in the German Army. Marching and Drilling were dropped altogether. Everything was focused on preparing for battle using all the dirty tricks that the Liebstandarte (Hitler’s bodyguards) had learned in Russia. Their motto was, “Trained not as soldiers, but as fighters.”

The division stood at 22,000 strong, was feared on the battlefield, and had relaxed personal grooming standards and loose military customs and courtesies—much like today’s US special forces.

From the book: “Their hair was longer than is usually allowed … and they painted the names of their girlfriends on the sides of their tanks.”

The book is quite thorough, and even touches on Canadian forces and Scottish Bagpipes. 

And they are quite “graphic,” Vansant’s cartoon entrails are no less disturbing.

Normandy Omaha Graphic

Photo: via Normandy: A Graphic History Of D-Day

Normandy Comic Graphic

Photo: via Normandy: A Graphic History Of D-Day

Now: check out this giant World War II bomb found beneath an airport >

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