Artist and now author, Stephen Andrew, kindly sent us his new book recently to review. Almost at once I thought it to be a beautifully illustrated and well researched reference item that I immediately wanted to have in my rather limited collection. Of course that means that I would have to review the book myself, and I am no expert on the German Wehrmacht. Conceding that I realized though that this book IS written by an expert, based on his experience as a military historian and artist, and that my review of his book might be exactly what it needs; the reaction of someone who enjoys WWII history and model making, and is not an expert
After all, I like probably many modelers out there, do not speak German fluently. Nor do we always know the difference between a Litzen (collar insignia) and a Rundbundhosen (pants). This book is just what we need to understand all the lingo and equipment, where it goes, and what is right for a specific time-period like late-war.
The book includes 15 original full-page illustrations of various German Army Grenadiers from 1944 through the end of the war. You can tell right away that a lot of thought and care went into producing this 33 page soft-cover book. Each plate illustration is flanked by a page of descriptive text. Each figure is described in detail as to what they are wearing, the equipment they are carrying, and any interesting details about their particular mode of dress. Numbered designations (like M44 field uniform, M39 egg grenade - which I hadn't even realized existed before now, and m31 field flask) are included much of the time as well.
Five pages/plates are delegated to typical 'field' uniforms. For example the first page depicts a Leutnant 1944
and a Unteroffizier 1944
. Two of their emblems, the Officers Machine Woven National Emblem and the M43 Officers Litzen Collar Patch
, are also shown with information on them as well.
In addition to the pages on field uniforms, there is:
- One page/plate on summer uniforms
- One page/plate on tropical uniforms
- Three pages/plates of camouflage uniforms
- Three pages/plates of winter uniforms
Lastly, there are two dedicated pages to field equipment with individual images or each item with numbers and corresponding descriptive text. These pages where of particular interest to me as someone who had seen this items many times before, but was unsure of what they were officially called or how to refer to them.
In short this book is a real eye-opener if you are interested in getting more information about German uniforms for Grenadiers during the late-war years. The illustrations are highly detailed and again you can tell a lot of thought went into their creation and depiction in the book. The only negative factor for this publication might be trying to acquire one. While for UK (and potentially European) buyers this won't really be an issue, the availability over here in the US is pretty slim. The book is stocked by Brookhurst Hobbies
in the U.S. And at a somewhat higher cost than some might expect due to, I am sure, currency conversion rates. You can get the book via the Brookhurst online store
for $29.98 (and from UK sellers for around £16.99). You can find a list of all the retailers and hobby shops selling the book on the Landser Books web site
All in all though I think many modelers and figure enthusiasts will see this book as a good investment. The original color plate illustrations and the information provided seem to me to be of the highest quality in terms of authenticity. Again I am no expert, but I am banking this claim on the experience that Mr. Andrew obviously has from doing many publications like this in the past (for Osprey). Likely many of you are already very familiar with his work.