by: Randy L Harvey [ ]
This is a review of the Osprey Publishing LTD book World War II Soviet Armed Forces (3) 1944-45 by author Dr Nigel Thomas and illustrator Darko Pavlovic with series editor Martin Windrow.
body of the text
** During 1944 the vastly enlarged Red Army smashed the Wehrmacht in all sectors of Germany’s Eastern Front, and drove the remnants of Army Group Centre back into Poland. In early 1945 the Soviet forces advanced on all fronts; in May they occupied Berlin, and in August drove the Japanese out of Manchuria.**
** Quoted from the back cover of the book.
Osprey Publications Ltd has released World War II Soviet Armed Forces (3) 1944-45 as Number 469 in their Men-at-Arms series. It is a paperback book with 48 pages. Included with the text are black and white photographs, colour illustrations, informational charts and detailed captions. It has a 2012 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-84908-634-9. As the title states, the book covers the Soviet Armed Forces from 1944 to 1945 during World War II.
- Advance To Victory
- Red Army Land Forces
- Soviet high command – land forces personnel - branches
- Organization; military districts – ‘strategic directions’ – ‘fronts’ – operational theatres
-Armies and groups – foreign formations – corps – divisions – regiments – battalions
- Summary Of Land Forces Campaigns
- Land Forces Uniforms
- January 1943 regulations, and April 1945 general officers’ dress uniforms
- Headgear – tunics and field shirts – overcoats – legwear and footwear
- Branch-specific uniforms: armoured troops – mounted personnel – Cossacks – Military Transport Corps – female personnel – cadets and military school pupils
- Branch distinctions; caps – service and field shoulder boards – service and field collar patches – branch-colour piping
- Rank insignia, January 1943 regulations: combat arms – non-combat arms – cadets and military school pupils
- Red Army Air Force
- Organization of air units: commands – air armies – air corps – air divisions
- Uniforms, January 1943 regulations
- Airborne Forces
- Summary of naval operations
- Uniforms, January 1943 regulations: officers’ dress and service uniforms – enlisted ranks’ uniforms – branch distinctions – rank insignia – cadets and naval school pupils
- Naval Infantry
- NKVD And NKGB Forces
- February 1943 and July 1945 regulations
- Uniforms: NKGB State Security – NKVD Internal Troops – NKVD Border Troops
- Plate Commentaries
The text in the book is well written and extremely detailed. As I read through the text I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors. Grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings. I feel that if the text is well written then it shows that the author has taken the time to be a professional with their writing. Anyone wanting to add an excellent reference and history book on the Soviet Armed Forces from 1944 to 1945 during World War II to their personal library will be pleased with this book and will find this book very informative and interesting.
Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the text for yourself.
There are a total of 31 black and white photographs throughout the book. There are no colour photographs featured in this volume. Dr Nigel Thomas has stuck to the title of the book and chose photographs that are specific to the Soviet Armed Forces from 1944 to 1945 during World War II and did not include photographs that strayed from the main subject of the book. The photographs are typical for that period. They range from very nice and clear staged photographs to some that are not so well defined. Several of them are staged or posed for the photographer, as opposed to stills being made from films. Nonetheless the photographs accompany the volume nicely and help provide visual reference to the text. There are a few that have an out of focus look to them and some appear to be too dark. With that said the quality of the blurry photographs is of no fault of the author and do not take anything away from the book. I haven’t seen a majority of the featured photographs before, if not all of them, and I was pleased with this. Many of the photographs provide several close-up details on items such as uniforms and web equipment.
Some of the subjects shown in the photographs are:
- Soviet female sniper Roza Yegorovna Shanina
- Soviet General Armii Aleksei Innokentevich Antonov
- Soviet T-34 tanks
- Soviet Marshal Sovetskogo Soyuza Konstantin Konstantinovich Rokossovsky
- German prisoners paraded and guarded by Soviet NKVD Internal Troops
- Soviet ISU-152 self-propelled gun
- US Lend-Lease M2 half-tracks
- Soviet troops entering the Frankfurter Allee U-Bahn station in east-central Berlin
- Infantrymen of the Soviet 756th Rifle Regt, 150th Rifle Division
- PPS-43 and PPsh-41 sub-machine guns
- Members of a Soviet reconnaissance platoon from 27th Guards Rifle Division under 29th Guards Rifle Corps, 8th Guards Army, 1st Byelorussian Front
- Soviet Mosin-Nagant 7.62mm M1930 rifles
- Podpolkovnik P.G. Mzachih, officer commanding Soviet 88th Independent Guards Heavy Tank Regt.
- Captured German M39 ‘egg grenade’
- Captured German Panzerfaust 30
- US Lend-Lease M3 White scout car
- Soviet Petlyakov Pe-2 bomber
- US Lend-Lease Bell P-39 Airacobra aircraft
- Soviet Ilyushin DB-3 long-range bomber
- Soviet Naval Infantry armed with PPsh-41 sub-machine guns and RGD-33 stick grenades
- Marshall of the Soviet Union Semyon K. Timoshenko
Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the photographs for yourself.
the colour illustrations
There are eight pages with a total of 24 colour illustrations by illustrator Darko Pavlovic which cover the uniforms and various equipment of the Soviet Armed Forces from 1944 to 1945 during World War II and they are very well done. There are Plate Commentaries that begin on Page 45 that accompany the illustrations and provide details on the individual regiments, dates and locations shown, equipment, etc. The military scale figure modeller will find the illustrations very helpful for detailing purposes.
Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the illustrations for yourself.
The colour illustrations are of the following:
Armed Forces Commanders
- Marshal Sovetskogo Soyuza Iosif V. Stalin, May 1944
- Admiral Flota Nikolai G. Kuznetzov, June 1944
- Glavniy Marshal Aviatsii Alensander A. Novikov, April 1945
Northern Theatre, 1944
- Serzhant, 372nd Rifle Div; Vyborg, June 1944
- Polkovnik, Artillery, 115th Rifle Div; Novgorod, January 1944
- Starshiy Leytenant, Naval Infantry, Baltic Fleet; Estonia, September 1944
Central & Southern Theatres, 1944
- Gvardii Krasnoarmeyets, 25th Guards Tank Bde; Minsk, July 1944
- Kapitan, 211th Rifle Div; Dukla Pass, September 1944
- Leytenant, 224th Ground Attack Air Div; Brody, July 1944
Southern Theatre, 1944
- General-Mayor Meditsinskoy Sluzhby, 46th Army; Budapest, December 1944
- General-Mayor, 5th Air Army; Romania, August 1944
- Starshiy Leytenant, 62nd NKVD Rifle Div; Belgrade, December 1944
Central, Southern & Northern Theatres, 1945
- Gvardi Mladshiy Serzhant, 47th Guards Tank Bde; Warsaw, January 1945
- Yefreytor, Airfield Battalion; Vienna, April 1945
- Kapitan 3-go ranga Aleksandr I. Marinesko, Baltic Fleet, January 1945
Central Europe, 1945
- Gvardii Starshina, 10th Guards cavalry Div; Prague, May 1945
- Mladshiy Serzhant, 58th Guards Rifle Div; Torgau, 25 April 1945
- Yefreytor, 150th Rifle Div; Berlin, 30 April 1945
Moscow Victory Parade, 24 June 1945
- Marshal Sovetskogo Soyuza Georgiy K. Zhukov
- Gvardii Mayor, 2nd Guards Tanks Corps
- Komissar Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti 3-go ranga, NKGB
Manchuria, August 1945
- Starshiy Serzhant, NKVD Border Troops, Harbin
- Serzhant, 384th Rifle Div, Changchun
- Mladshiy Serzhant, naval Infantry, Pacific Fleet, Mukden
There are no maps included in this volume.
There are five informational charts provided which are well done, nicely detailed and cover:
- Red Army Fronts and Armies 1 January 1944-9 May 1945
- Red Army Orders of Dress 15 January 1943-2September 1945
- Red Army Branch Distinctions 15 January 1943-2 September 1945
- Red Army, NKVD, Air Force and Navy ranks and rank insignia 15 January 1943-2 September 1945
- Navy Officers’ Branch Distinctions 15 Jan 1943 – 2 Sept 1945
The captions that accompany the photographs are well written and are very detailed. They give very specific information as to individuals, uniform items, weapons, and vehicles shown. As with the text I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors I read through the captions. As I stated before, grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings.
Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the captions for yourself.
As with the second volume in this series I am equally impressed with this volume. It is a nice reference book that contains man excellent and subject specific photographs and illustrations and well detailed captions. It details the Soviet Armed Forces from 1944 to 1945 during World War II very well. This volume will be of interest and also beneficial to the military uniform and equipment collector, military re-enactor, weapon and military vehicle enthusiast and anyone interested in World War II as a whole. I would have no hesitation to add other Osprey titles to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others as it will be a welcome addition to one’s personal military reference library.
This book was provided by Osprey Publishing Ltd. Please be sure to mention that you saw the book reviewed here when you make your purchase.
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