If the name of the book is not long enough, you can add “Army Service Forces Catalog” since it is printed in the upper left corner of the book and you can choose between “COLLECTOR’S GUIDE” on the front cover or “Collector Guide” on the inside cover. Other than this measly typo, this book must rate a perfect “10” for your reference library.
Weighing in at about four pounds and about $30 (Amazon.com) this is easily the heavyweight champion of reference books for anyone interested in modeling the World War II G.I.’s and their equipment. It’s full-color, coffee table sized, hard covered, and 272 pages of information “to assist the enthusiast in his quest for authentic items”. But, what Mr. Enjames also compiled for us modelers is one resource book that can just about do it all.
Grouped by logical categories like “Insignia”, “Individual Equipment” and “Small Arms”, it is easy to find what you are looking for. In addition, subsequent chapters specialize in military sectors such as “Armored Troops”, “Airborne Troops” and “Military Police” with all their specialized paraphernalia. There are chapters for “Female Personnel”, “The Corps of Engineers”, “The Signal Corps” and more. Even printed material from magazines to Army pubs and sports and rec items are in the book, well photographed and well documented.
The Guide opens with the organization of the army and a typical ETO infantry division. Brassards, decorations, medals, badges and insignia follow (including phantom groups) with a diagram showing specific locations on the sleeve for stripes, bars, chevrons and insignia. There’s even a photo of a WWII “Marking of Equipment” instruction page. Uniforms from piping to mittens, drawers to helmet liners are shown in large, clear photos. There are eleven canteen covers, virtually every small weapon up to the 81-millimeter mortar and even a choice of two foil-wrapped personal safety devices whose application was demonstrated to the troops using broom handles.
Shaving cream? Tooth powder? Snowshoes? All present and accounted for. The same goes for rations, cigarettes, radios galore and even the official container for carrier pigeons. This treasure book even concludes with a selection of some trophies “liberated” from the other side.
If you can only buy one book for your WWII G.I. references, buy Government Issue and see where the term “G.I.” came from. Thank you, Mr. Enjames.
This is easily the heavyweight champion of reference books for anyone interested in modeling the World War II G.I.’s and their equipment.
About Jeffrey Winkel (Sealhead) FROM: KANSAS, UNITED STATES
I am a middle-age newbie that bit off more than I can chew by working on my second diorama. It is a TRIORAMA or, in other words, three scenes from the movie Kelly's Heroes (on a turntable). I've been ten years on it. Putting it down, restarting, changing things as my knowledge and skills improve...