Colonel J's - Pickelhaube and Imperial German Musings
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Imperial Colors

Brown, Benjamin , Caltrop Press, Millington, MD, 2000(German, French and English)


My first descriptor of this book is a leatherman's tool.  Not a screwdriver but an all around tool to use for about anything. For those of us who are language challenged this book can be the key.  What Brown does is use English to explain a dictionary of terms in German, French and British army terms. (He also does a lot of Austro Hungarian stuff so not just "Prussian".) The introduction calls it a "glossary of military terms with their English, French and German equivalents". True. But this is not just a Pickelhaube book. It has a 62 page dictionary in English of Imperial military terms. Ever wonder what a frog was? How about an escutcheon? You can see below that in this section there is a Pickelhaube picture on page 30 with a trilingual explanation of what each part is.  Why is this important? Obviously spiked helmets were German and the sources are in German but also many of the top references are in French. Did you know a spike base was embase in French?



Many sites and books offer an English-German translation but this is trilingual in one place. The book then goes into a glossary by language. You have a French word look it up. It gives you the German and English equivalent. Throughout the book are a series of what I would call articles such as a comparison of special titles.  It goes beyond just Imperial German things having an article for instance on Indian Army Uniform terms. Loads of black and white illustrations, some color plates. available in soft (card) cover and hardcover (costs a whole lot more).




108 pages with broad margins and loads of excess space. This is not a primary reference just a very useful tool. Nice to have handy. I actually wish it was smaller (seems to be like A4 paper size) and be more "pocket" like. This is an elegant and handsome volume that is well produced.  I would go for more down and dirty and cheaper but Janet wouldn't. The title has nothing to do with the use of this book. Don't let it throw you off. If you are language challenged you should REALLY consider this.


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