I just finished Charles W. Sydnor's book Soldiers of Destruction. The Totenkopfs unit history was one of constant combat. As i read, the accounts of TK soldiers, whom were often outnumbered, held their ground till death. The battle account of SS Sturmann Fritz Christen, who knocked out countless tanks and over 100 Russian Inf with his Anti-Tank gun, typifies the fighting nature of the unit. Surrendering was not a word in their active vocabulary. Their intensive training and loyalty to the Third Reich proved without any doubt the fanatical drive this division took into combat.
The author portrays the Totenkopf with an unbiased view of this controversial division. He stuck to the facts. I did not know that the TK was bled dry more than once. The 1st destruction of the TK was in the Demyank Pocket. It was here that the TK took on multiple Russian Divisions and essentially destroyed them. However, the SSTK's fighting style, brutal and hardcore, cost the division dearly. When the SSTK's casualty rate soared to 80%, they were pulled back to rebuild in France. From this point onward the SSTK would be thrown into battle where ever the German High Command needed to check the Russians. Likewise, as time went on, the SSTK's constant combat checked many Russian offensive measures. At the second battle of Kharkov, the SSTK lived up to its brutal nature when the division routed multiple Russian Armies.
The author also points out that most all in the SSTK assuredly knew of the war crimes that were happening all over. He brought up the subject of the arguement that many Waffen SS soldiers didn't know of the multiple war crimes, because they were only "soldiers". However, the author points out that many people, both civilian and military, knew of these crimes. How could not the regular SS man not know of these crimes? Especially SSTK soldiers! This is his argument for the ordinary SS soldier.
Soldiers of Destruction is a must read for the organization and combat effectiveness of the SSTK. The author goes into great detail that are backed up by hundreds of references. I would say this is certainly a scholarly book covering a division who fought to the death.