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German Infantryman vs Soviet Rifleman - Barbarossa 1941 (Combat 7) Paperback – 20 Jul 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (20 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1472803248
  • ISBN-13: 978-1472803245
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 0.6 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 97,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"German Infantryman Versus Soviet Rifleman uses first-hand accounts, color maps and artwork, and vintage black and white photos to capture the first three battles of the Barbarossa campaign of 1941, and is a recommended pick for any military history collection. It assesses combat performances, considers how the battles set the course of the Eastern Front's events, and creates a powerful survey key to any in-depth military analysis of the times." - James A. Cox, "Midwest Book Review "(October 2014)

About the Author

David Campbell has worked as a freelance new media producer and content specialist for many years, including roles at IBM, the BBC, various internet consultancies and the civil service. He has a broad range of interests in literature and history, including the Middle Ages, the Napoleonic era, naval warfare, and the genesis of the military revolution to name a few. He is the co-author of Men-at-Arms 476 Napoleons Swiss Troops.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ned Middleton HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 14 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback
There are a number of books within this excellent series from Osprey where one side of a particular force is compared to its opposite number (E-Boat vs. MTB and German Commerce Raider vs. British Cruiser to name two). They are not designed to reveal which side might have won in straightforward and equal combat (if ever there was such a thing!) but are, instead a comparison of whatever features, equipment, weapons, strengths and weaknesses existed at the time. Having studied the work, readers can then make up their own mind.

This particular work reveals every aspect of the German and Soviet infantry soldier at the time of Barbarossa and is particularly well detailed for a work of only 80 pages. After an informative introduction, we find 7 main Chapters as follows; (1) The Opposing Sides (Origins and combat role - Recruitment, morale and logistics - Leadership and communications - Armament, training and tactics), (2) Zhlobin 6 July 1941, (3) Smolensk 15-23 July 1941, (4) Vas’kovo-Voroshilovo 23-27 July 1941, (5) Analysis (Lessons learned by the Germans and by the Soviets), (6) Aftermath and (7) Unit Organisations. The work then concludes with Bibliography and Index.

With fully detailed military maps showing the opposing forces, the Introduction explains how the battles developed throughout July 1941. We then find the makeup of each side - right down to their background, morale, leadership, training and weapons. In the first of yet another excellent series of artwork, pages 20-21 show the fully equipped German soldier from front and rear with all his equipment, as carried, fully captioned. Four pages later we find exactly the same for the Soviet soldier which reveals considerable differences.
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By richard pugh on 31 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback
very interesting details and information
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Well worth adding to ones collection 25 July 2014
By Rick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Osprey Combat series does it again. The art work and pictures are excellent as always. The writing is informative, but because of the size always leaving you wanting for more. The best part of the whole (other then the illustrations) is that it debunks much of what the casual reader of the eastern front usually gleans from reading books that cover all of Barbarossa. The normal impression one gets is that the German Army carved through the Soviets like a hot knife thru butter. This book shows that on the small unit scale this was far from the truth. The Russian Soldier was a tough fighter poorly led who could not adjust to the quick changes that can occur in mobile warfare. The German victories were hard fought and sometimes a near run thing.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Well worth studying! 14 Aug. 2014
By Ned Middleton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
There are a number of books within this excellent series from Osprey where one side of a particular force is compared to its opposite number (E-Boat vs. MTB and German Commerce Raider vs. British Cruiser to name two). They are not designed to reveal which side might have won in straightforward and equal combat (if ever there was such a thing!) but are, instead a comparison of whatever features, equipment, weapons, strengths and weaknesses existed at the time. Having studied the work, readers can then make up their own mind.

This particular work reveals every aspect of the German and Soviet infantry soldier at the time of Barbarossa and is particularly well detailed for a work of only 80 pages. After an informative introduction, we find 7 main Chapters as follows; (1) The Opposing Sides (Origins and combat role - Recruitment, morale and logistics - Leadership and communications - Armament, training and tactics), (2) Zhlobin 6 July 1941, (3) Smolensk 15-23 July 1941, (4) Vas'kovo-Voroshilovo 23-27 July 1941, (5) Analysis (Lessons learned by the Germans and by the Soviets), (6) Aftermath and (7) Unit Organisations. The work then concludes with Bibliography and Index.

With fully detailed military maps showing the opposing forces, the Introduction explains how the battles developed throughout July 1941. We then find the makeup of each side - right down to their background, morale, leadership, training and weapons. In the first of yet another excellent series of artwork, pages 20-21 show the fully equipped German soldier from front and rear with all his equipment, as carried, fully captioned. Four pages later we find exactly the same for the Soviet soldier which reveals considerable differences. Zhlobin, Smolensk and Vas'kovo-Voroshilovo are explained in an insightful and factual manner with each battle once again accompanied by first class military-style maps. As one reads these accounts, however, what catches the imagination are the small snapshots of peripheral events and information such as a short bio of a particular commander or a German officer being decorated in the field - all improving the overall fascination factor.

Personally, I found this particular treatment of Barbarossa wholly captivating and made even more exciting by the artwork for which this series of books is renowned. That, coupled with an immensely readable style of writing and an equally excellent series of historic images, makes this book well worth studying.

NM
British army major (retired)
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Early Operation Barbarossa Infantry Combats! 5 Aug. 2014
By Michael OConnor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
David Campbell's GERMAN INFANTRYMAN VERSUS SOVIET RIFLEMAN, BARBAROSSA 1941 is one of the most enjoyable and informative title Osprey has published in their 'Combat' series. Well illustrated with photographs, maps and combat artwork, it provides an instructive 'mano a mano' comparison of German and Russian soldiers in the early stages of the 'Great Patriotic War.'

The fighting on the Russian Front was gigantic in scale. Campbell's book provides a grunt-level look at the fighting, specifically the strengths and weaknesses of the Russian and German troops. The Germans were skilled, experienced veterans boasting a series of breathtaking victories. Russian troops, by contrast, were poorly trained, poorly-led, under-strength and inadequately-equipped. Yet, as revealed in Campbell's book, despite appalling losses, the Soviet troops denied Hitler a typically quick Blitzkrieg victory in June 1941, trading blood for time. After summarizing the opposing forces, Campbell details three early-Barbarossa battles -: Zhlobin (6 July), Smolensk (15-23 July) and Vas'kovo-Voroshilovo (23-27 July) that illustrate the ultimate success of such bloody tactics.

In short, Campbell's book is an insightful overview of German and Russian infantrymen at war in the early stages of Operation Barbarossa and the lessons learned from those combats. Recommended..
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Nice Glossy, Interesting Read 29 Sept. 2014
By R. A Forczyk - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
German Infantryman versus Soviet Rifleman: Barbarossa 1941 by David Campbell is the seventh volume in Osprey’s new Combat series. This series is set up to compare two sets of human antagonists, as opposed to the Duel series, which compares rival weapons. In this volume, the author compares the capabilities and performance of opposing German and Soviet infantry units in the opening stages of Operation Barbarossa in July 1941. The emphasis here is tactical action, at regiment-level or below, but there is a good amount of background material that gets the reader into the proper operational/strategic context. Overall, this is a colorful and well put-together volume, but it is essentially based on secondary sources. It does fit its purposes admirably for a general audience, although readers familiar with Eastern Front historiography are not likely to find any revelations herein.

In the introduction, the author provides a quick overview of the strategic situation with Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. I particularly liked the overview map on pp. 6-7, which clearly depicted where all three actions occurred and the basic flow of the campaign between Brest-Litovsk and Smolensk. The next section is 19 pages and covers the opposing sides, including combat roles, recruitment, morale, logistics, leadership, communications, weapons, training and tactics. This section includes a full-page color back/front plate of both German and Soviet infantrymen and their equipment. This section combines stylistic elements from the Warrior series and a bit from the Men-at-Arms series, boiling essential elements of information down into a digestible pate.

The author then moves into the three battles, which are Zhlobin (6 July 1941), Smolensk (15-23 July) and Vaskovo-Voroshilovo (23-27 July). Zhlobin was a 1-day meeting engagement between a German motorized infantry division against a reinforced Soviet rifle regiment. This is an interesting engagement, well supported by its accompanying map, but it doesn’t serve well to demonstrate the relative capabilities of each side’s infantrymen, since armor and artillery played significant roles in the battle. Indeed, the selection of German motorized infantry divisions for all three actions, combined with the general chaos in the Red Army in 1941, really skews the comparison against the Soviet leg infantry units. To some extent, this is comparing apples and oranges. A more positional setting, like along the Luga River line or near Kiev would have shown German and Russian infantry engaged under much more balanced conditions. The second action, in Smolensk covers the German break-in into the city, followed by Soviet counterattacks south of the city. The author has made good use of Russian secondary sources and David Glantz’s voluminous research on the Battle of Smolensk, but the level of real tactical detail is only evident in a few sections.

In the final section, the author conducts analysis on lessons learned by each side, but this covers primarily broad-brush observations. Soviet attacks were often conducted without proper training, equipment, logistics or leadership – and usually failed. I’m not sure there’s much of a lesson in that, other than that was no way to run a railroad. It took the Soviets 16 more months to correct many of this elementary mistakes. On the other hand, the Germans went into Barbarossa cocky and by the end of July 1941 were beginning to realize that the Red Army could be a tough opponent. None of this really says much about the relative ability of the opposing infantry units, other than the blatantly obvious that the German infantry enjoyed a qualitative edge in mid-1941, which was gradually undermined by Soviet quantitative superiority. I did find many of the photos selected for this
volume to be from much later periods in the war and there were relatively few that really showed infantry units in field conditions.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Ivan versus Fritz, Pt. One 16 Sept. 2014
By R. A. Petro - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the usual, thorough Osprey product one expects from this publisher. In addition to copious photos, excellent maps and great artwork, the written content of the book offers both the strategy and tactics of the first months of Operation Barbarossa.Included are accounts from both sides and vivid descriptions of the actions that took place in those fateful days. An excellent read and a very good reference source.
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