Book Review
German Soldiers of World War Two

by: Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]

The book.

German Soldiers of World War Two is a large format, 135 page, hardcover book which is written by Jean de Legarde. The book is published by Histoire & Collections Website (Link). The title says it all really, HOWEVER, there is just a little bit more to the book than it first appears... The format of the book follows a tried and tested formula. A total of 55 German subjects comprise the book. Subjects, NOT soldiers. Amongst the areas covered, are a large number of Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine uniforms. All the uniforms are presented in large full-color photos with front and rear views. All the typical equipment and typical insignia is also present along with their appropriate weaponry.

The only real structure to the book is the separation of the uniforms into chronological periods of WW2. Each subject however, does effectively become a chapter in its own right. The general layout of each uniform is presented along with large (modern) photos of 'models' wearing the uniforms. This is particularly good in respect of the positioning of equipment along with some additional gear - not always presented in reference works of this type.

The quality of the images in the book is excellent. All of the photos are of a 'workable' size and reproduction is good although not too brilliant with some of the white uniforms.The subjects have been well well-chosen and according to the acknowledgemnts at the end of the book, all originate from private collections. The book seems to be aimed more at the 'Militaria' end of the book-buying public than the modeller.

The text is brief but concise. The author has concentrated on additional information on the equipment and uniforms with good detail given on color and the materials used in an item's fabrication.There are (very) brief historical references which help to put the uniform into context.

Camouflage Uniforms - this was one of my principal reasons for purchasing the book as I was previously rather short of reference material on anything rather than 'Field-Grey'. There are a good number of representative camouflage uniforms in the book covering a variety of the more-used schemes. There are a few subjects in the book which are a little outside the 'run-of-the-mill' such as the Field-Grey parka, the Gebirgsjäger 'Windjacke' or the 1943 Camouflaged suit..

What is also interesting, (conditioned, no doubt by what was available in the sources) is the coverage given to some lesser known Regiments (and their cuff-titles) such as 199th Infantry Regiment 'List' or divisions such as 'Wallonie'...

Equipment. There are some very useful references for equipment not always seen in books of this type. All the 'usual' gear is documented (bread-bags, gas-mask canisters etc.) along with some interesing equipment such as Engineer's gear, and in particular, the chest-mounted telephone cabl reel - just asking to be reproduced in a diorama with a 251 communications vehicle!

Weaponry - again, all the principal types are covered including types such as the Gewehr 43. As this is best in a 'dedicated' book, the coverage is adequate but not spectacular.

This is much better than the usual 'general' book. It does cover a good, representative sample of WW2 uniforms at a good price. Production is excellent and although some areas could be more detailed (particularly when talking about uniform models) it does, on the whole, leave one fairly satisfied. It would have been perhaps more useful fo rthe publishers to have commissioned a series of more specific books on areas such as early-war uniforms, late-war camouflaged uniforms etc. It does serve its purpose as a good introduction - the more demanding modeller has a plethora of books to choose from on whatever subject they choose. The book is well thought out, visually very good and contains an impressive amount of material. The figure painter will certainly find many projects suggesting themselves in this book although the real 'specialist' will seek other sources.

Highly Recommended

My copy of German Soldiers of World War Two was purchased (at a discounted price) from Amazon (UK) who provided their usual fast and efficient service.

For this, and many other interesting titles, the Histoire & Collections' website, can be seen: HERE!!

The French publisher 'Histoire & Collections' is unfortunately, not as well-known as it should be. This publishing house has a huge catalogue of many military-related subjects dealing with uniforms, AFVs and military history. Virtually all it's catalogue is published in English as well - making it a bit more attractive for the English-speaker. This book definitely comes into the cotegory of a 'general' work, however, saying that, there are few figure modellers who wouldn't get some benefit from it...
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: ISBN: 2- 915239-35-5
  Suggested Retail: £17.12
  PUBLISHED: Mar 16, 2006

About Jim Rae (jimbrae)

Self-employed English teacher living in NW Spain. Been modelling off and on since the sixties. Came back into the hobby around ten years ago. First love is Soviet Armor with German subjects running a close second. Currently exploring ways of getting cloned to allow time for modelling, working and wr...

Copyright ©2021 text by Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]. All rights reserved.


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