HISTORY‘The stalemate in the trenches is for many the definition of warfare in World War One. Only months after the hostilities had started the opposing armies began to dig in along the Western Front. Thus began a type of warfare completely unexpected by those in command.
The war in the trenches demanded the development of new skills for the infantry and artillery and the development of new weapons capable of blocking the enemy’s advance over no mans land. Medieval tactics and equipment such as mining warfare and body armour would soon meet with most modern formations and tactics such as the assault forces and combined forces operations. Consequently, more than anything else World War One is the benchmark of modern warfare.’
** Author’s words quoted from the back cover of the book.
THE BOOKGrabenkrieg – German Trench Warfare Vol.2
by Oliver Richter (with the Verlag Jochen Vollert collection) is number 1006 in the ‘Imperial German Army Weapons and Soldiers of the Great War 1914-1918’ section of the World War One series by Tankograd Publications. (See Randy’s review of Vol 1 here
This second volume is a 103 page soft cover book and contains 171 black & white photographs, 71 color photographs and 2 black and white illustrations. The book has a 2012 copyright and the ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is 978-3-936519-27-6.
CONTENTS of vol.2
- German Trench Warfare – Introduction
- Close Combat Weapons
- Pistols and Revolvers
- Snipers and Sniper Rifles
- Rifle Grenades
- Bergmann Submachine Gun
- Machine Guns
- Mine Launchers
- Infantry Guns / Assault Accompanying Guns
- Flame Throwers
- Gas Warfare
- Mining Warfare
- Anti-Tank Weapons
- Trench Warfare in Colour
Shown throughout the book are a wide variety of photographs of World War One German trench warfare. German Trench Warfare volume 1 focused mainly on the trenches from construction to use. German Trench Warfare volume 2 focuses more on the weaponry used by the German forces in trench warfare. The photographs range from action scenes to casual scenes to scenes that were staged. The photographs show various times of the year such as summer and winter and different types of settings in and around the trenches. Most of the photographs are nice and clear; however some have an unfocused look to them and some appear too dark. The reader should take into consideration that most of the photographs are approaching 100 years old and are excellent for their age. The quality of the photographs is of no fault of the author and takes nothing away from the book. It is obvious that the author took the time to research and arrange the photographs in a well thought out chronological manner and separate them as to the subject matter of the individual chapters. As well as being a valuable resource to the military historian and World War One enthusiasts, the wealth of photographs will be a valuable resource to the military modeler. There are many excellent photographs of German soldiers in several variations of the German uniform and are also shown with a wide variety of weaponry. The development of military weaponry is shown well - it covers weapons that were developed and in use before the start of World War One as well as weapons that were developed as the war progressed. Also shown and covered are captured weapons that were placed into the German arsenal and used against their former owners such as French machineguns. As with the other volume there are many close-up photographs of individual German soldier’s uniforms, weaponry, early camouflage techniques and other such details which will greatly assist not only the historian but the detail minded figure modeler as well. In addition to the numerous photographs of the soldiers and their uniforms and weaponry there are also photographs of early German mobile anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons mounted on the back of trucks, mobile armored pillboxes, small artillery pieces and early anti-tank pits. One subject that is covered, briefly, is one of particular interest to me which I was glad to see included in this volume and that is underground mining warfare. The included color photographs of several types of small arms and their related equipment are also a valuable asset to the modeler as they show the correct coloring of the weapons and other gear. As most modelers know there can be arguments with regard to correct colors of various items, and with the included color photographs this will help eliminate any uncertainty. The close up detailed color photographs will also be of use to the weapons enthusiast and collector. I have included scans of some of the photographs that I have mentioned to show how useful they can be to any individual that is interested in military history or military modeling. The book is filled with photographs that could be used as reference and ideas for many different dioramas and vignettes. I would also like to mention that individuals or companies that produce figures will find this book very useful in regards to ideas for making unique World War One figures and equipment.
All of the photographs are accompanied by captions that are in English text. The captions are well written and go into great detail regarding the scene that is shown. It is obvious that the author has taken the time to study the photographs and research them so that the captions are well detailed and point out several items of interest. They go into great detail mentioning items of interest shown such as uniforms, small arms, weapons, equipment, actions and the individual military units. Due to the fact that World War One is very close to reaching the 100 year old mark, the detailed captions help explain what is shown as much of the equipment hasn’t been seen for several years and the younger historians and military modelers may not know what they are looking at. The time spent by the author explaining the accompanying photographs is to be greatly appreciated.
I am just as impressed with this book as I was with volume 1. World War One German trench warfare is shown and discussed very well. With its wealth of detailed photographs and captions this book will appeal to the World War One historian and enthusiast, the military diorama and figure modeller, and the military enthusiast, and will be a welcome addition to one’s personal reference library. I would have no hesitation to add any of their other World War One Series titles, or indeed any of the other Tankograd titles, to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others. This is an excellent title from Tankograd Publishing.
STURMTRUPPEN -The Kaiser’s Elite Stormtroopers
Oliver Richter with Verlag Jochen Vollert collection
World War One Series Number 1002
Imperial German Army Weapons and Soldiers of the Great War 1914-1918
War Underground: The Tunnellers of The Great War
Tom Donovan Publishing
History Through Sources: The Western Front
Rigby Interactive Library
The Usborne Introduction to the First World War
Ruth Brocklehurst & Henry Brook
The American Heritage History of World War I
Brigadier General S.L.A. Marshall
American Heritage/Bonanza Books
The World War One Source Book
Philip J. Haythornthwaite
Arms and Armor Press
Arms and Uniforms: The First World War Part 1
Liliane and Fred Funcken
Ward Lock Limited
German Soldier on the Western Front 1914-1918
Robert Kirchubel & Ramiro Bujeiro
Concord Publications Company