Book Preview

Night of the Bayonets

The Texel Uprising and Hitler's Revenge, April–May 1945

(7 customer reviews)
History, WWII
153mm x 234mm

Buy E-books

In the final days of World War II in Europe, Georgians serving in the Wehrmacht on Texel island off the Dutch coast rose up and slaughtered their German masters. Hitler ordered the island to be retaken and fighting continued for weeks, well after the war’s end.

The uprising had it origins in the bloody history of Georgia in the twentieth century, a history that saw the country move from German occupation, to three short years of independence, to Soviet rule after it was conquered by the Red Army in 1921. A bloody rebellion against the Soviets took place in 1924, but it remained under Russian Soviet rule. Thousands of Georgians served in the Soviet forces during World War II and among those who were captured, given the choice of “starve or fight”, some took up the German offer to don Wehrmacht uniforms.

The loyalty of the Georgians was always in doubt, as Hitler himself suspected, and once deployed to the Netherlands, the Georgian soldiers made contact with the local Communist resistance. When the opportunity arose, the Georgians took the decision to rise up and slaughter the Germans, seizing control of the island. In just a few hours, they massacred some 400 German officers using knives and bayonets to avoid raising the alarm. An enraged Hitler learned about the mutiny and ordered the Germans to fight back, showing no mercy to either the Georgians or the Dutch civilians who hid them. It was not until 20 May, 12 days after the war had ended, that Canadian forces landed on the island and finally put an end to the slaughter.

Eric Lee explores this fascinating but little known last battle of the Second World War: its origins, the incredible details of the battle and its ongoing legacy.

7 reviews for Night of the Bayonets

  1. A fascinating account of the little-known final battle of World War II in Europe.

  2. A spellbinding tale of those who paid the ultimate price for freedom.

  3. A great book illustrated with good photos. Eric Lee tells the story of a gruesome, hitherto unknown rebellion in the last days of the war. This is an important, fascinating story.

  4. A fascinating read. This is a compelling story of the absurdity, the horror, the fragile loyalties and the fabrications of war. The author has managed to sift through outright lies, state propaganda, fuzzy memories, revisionist narratives and misguided interpretations to offer up a clear, gripping, coherent perspective of the last battle of the war. It’s a reasonably short, easy read that’s a concentration of insight and knowledge.

  5. Overall a fascinating piece of history. Recommended

  6. Brilliant! A fabulous story from WW2

  7. Gripping account of relatively unknown conflict. Really interesting and moving story of WW2 conflict that I had never heard of. Highly recommended

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • No products in cart.