on 19 June 2010
This book is the second volume in a three part series reviewing the organisation, uniforms and insignia of the German Army during the Great War. In particular it covers the uniforms and organisation of German Army during the period between the introduction of the German M1915 uniform on 21 September 1915 and the day before the opening of the British offensive at Arras on 8 April 1917.
The book itself is very much a technical book dealing with both the broad strokes and the minutiae of the uniforms of the German Army of the period. Its printed text is both compact and dense and requires careful attention while reading.
The volume's content consists of 48 pages (including plates)and it is divided into 4 principal sections and an index.
Its first section deals with the German Empire and Army in 1915 and it covers the High Command and higher formations of the German Armies, Corps, Divisions and Divisional establishments. Its value is mostly historic.
The second section deals (briefly) with German strategy and tactics on the Western, Eastern,Italian, West Balkan, Rumanian and Middle Eastern Fronts, but as might be expected in a publication of this size,it really only touches on 'grand strategy' (eg Verdun) and it barely touches upon German military tactics between 1915 and 1917 if at all.
The third section covers the German uniforms of the period and here is where the true value of this publication lies. It overviews the uniforms of the Line infantry (Assault troops), second line infantry (Reserve, Landwehr and Landsturm), Light Infantry (Jagers, Rifles, Cyclists, Mountain Troops) Machine Gun units, General Officers and Staff, Cavalry (Cuirassiers, Dragoons, Hussars, Lancers and Light Horse) Technical troops (Engineers and Mortar troops) Communication troops, the Air Service, Supply troops, Medical and veterinary corps troops, Labour units, Military police and their insignia.
This section also contains 8 pages of coloured plates which may be of assistance to wargamers and modellers alike.
Section 4 contains the usual Osprey commentary on the booklet's central plates together with some addditional black and white photographs.
Overall it is a useful addition to the expanding number of Osprey publications dealing with the First World War and it is likely be of some use to wargamers or modellers who are interested in this period.