Casemate's The German Infantryman on the Eastern Front

Author/Artists: Simon Forty and Richard Charlton-Taylor




$28.95 MSRP from Casemate


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 128 pages,  softcover, over 150 photos and illustrations. 8x 10 inches.
ISBN: 978-1-63624-361-0

When the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, it was anticipated that the entire campaign would be over in a fairly short time. However, things did not go as expected. For instance, the German Army wasn't prepared for the muddy season that significantly slowed things down. Add to it an early and particular severe winter and plans simply went out the window.

German troops were not prepared for these and a huge number succumbed in some form or another to the Russian winter. Forces did not plan on a winter campaign and the weather significantly slowed the arrival of supplies, including winter clothing. While the Germans eventually learned how to fight during the muddy and winter seasons, by then, the Soviets had grown stronger and had also learned how to fight the Heer.  

In this book, the author covers a variety of subject relating to the German infantryman. This includes a look at what sort of person was the typical infantryman and the type and amount of training they got. This changed as the war progressed from quite a bit to very little especially as veterans died during the various campaigns either from enemy action or the weather. Next is a section on transportation and other services provided to the soldiers. These included things like the railways to haul both replacement troops and supplies and the engineers who spent much of their efforts building or repairing bridges and roads. The Germans also had a much better grasp of air transportation, though they were always short on aircraft. Then a section on strategy and tactics along with how this changed over time.

Probably my favorite part of the book is on the life in the field, which was by all accounts fairly harsh compared to other allied armies. This is followed by a conclusion section that wraps everything up. As with all books in this series there are a lot of photographs and charts along with a fair number of patriotic posters. Within the book are small vignette sections on things like Soviet medals, Hitler's directive on the treatment of commissars, and so on. These add quite a bit of spice to the read. In addition there are some color photos of modern re-enactors in typical kit as you can see in some of the cover photos. In all, it is a great book not only for the information it provides, but the sort of inspiration that it gives to modelers. In all, it is one that I very much enjoyed reading and makes a great companion to the other release on Soviet infantrymen. 

January 2024

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