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The German Army in the First World War 1914-1918

Kraus Jürgen, Verlag Militaria , Austria , 2004 (English)

Massive and wonderful, this 640 page tome in English is not just a helmet book.  Everything from uniforms, hats, ammo pouches to mess tins are covered. The photographs are simply outstanding and the text goes where no text has gone before.  The sheer breadth of topics is overwhelming.  The approach is museum like and the proof is there. The English language version is just fine.  The translation works it is not like babelfish.

 Much of the photo lexicon is based around “Probe” tagged items. These were examples placed in the Army museum at Rastatt.  By having the example a standard could be made for that specific producer of that item. The pictures in the book mainly come from Rastatt and the Bavarian Army Museum. This is a look at the field uniform and equipment.  The author envisions several volumes to deal with other parts of the Imperial German army. There are tons of period photos backing up the artifacts.

 This is 1914-1918 so wartime. Ersatz and wartime helmets are shown in a detail offered no where else. There are 4 main sections to the book

  1. Development of the field gray uniform
  2. The basic items of uniform
  3. Uniforms and insignia of branches of service.  Biggest part not based on regiment but branch.
  4. Equipment.

There is never enough in the write ups but the author admits there is too much subject. I will continue to read but this is amazing.

There is a qualitative difference between the books published by Verlag Militaria and other publishers. Verlag Militaria books are so much higher quality. The books by Schiffers  are attractive but do not contain the quality in the narration, pictures, or research provided by Verlag Militaria.  This is wartime unlike some of the other books from by Verlag Militaria which cover the prewar only.


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