Casemate's German Mountain Troops 1939-1942

Author/Artists: Yves Beraud

Publisher/Distributor

Casemate

Price

$24.95 MSRP from Casemate

Reviewer:

Scott Van Aken

Notes: 128 pages,  softcover, over 150 photos and illustrations. 7 x 10 inches.
ISBN: 978-1-61200-910-0

Germany was one of several nations who realized that it might be a good thing to have troops who specialized in mountain warfare. Generally, this meant fighting in cold climates where using skis would be the major way to get around. So once the Nazis came into power and built up the German armed forces, they also built up mountain troops.

Interestingly, these troops did a lot of fighting in areas that did not really require their expertise, at least not in terms of cold and snow. For instance, they were used in the battle of France in 1940. Where they were particularly useful was during the Norway campaign of 1940 as well as operations in northern Finland in 1941/42. They were also used during the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941.

The book covers their operations during all the major European campaigns from 1939 until the end of  1942. It also goes into considerable depth regarding the formation and training of these units. To me, what is a real plus is that the vast majority of period images used in the book are in color. People do not realize that the Germans were in the forefront of color photography, and so it was not unusual for even hobbyist photographers who were in service to take a lot of photos when the opportunity presented itself.

In all, it makes for a fascinating look at this fairly unique part of the German Army in the first half of WWII. Well worth picking up and one that I can easily recommend to you as a great read and a great reference.

November 2020

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