From the Publisher
This three-volume set provides
the reader with an insight into the wide range of
uniforms, weapons and field equipment used by the
Imperial German Army during the First World War. The
devastating and dramatic character of the war required
many innovations in military clothing and equipment.
New uniforms and adequate protection was a must, and
steel helmets appeared on the battlefield, replacing
the outdated spiked helmets. Even medieval-looking
items, like steel breastplates and trench clubs, were
produced, giving the soldiers a fearful appearance.
The threat of poison gas caused the immediate development
of gas masks. It was also the time of the tank, observation
balloons, mine warfare, the Zeppelin, airplanes, flame-throwers,
deadly machine guns, and other war machinery that
saw service, sometimes for the first time. Using over
1,000 color and period photographs from private collections
and museums, the author succeeds in showing a broad
range of artifacts, together with full and to the
point descriptions. This series is aimed towards the
novice or advanced German World War I collector and
enthusiast, military history student, modeller, researcher
This is a very hard call.
I like or maybe even love these books but I also have
problems with them. Sommers tries to paint a huge
canvas. with these volumes. He does things no one else does. I mean no
one. His opening of Volume 1 is the best simply the
best but it leaves you hungry for more. His is the
only reference that ties age and service. He is the
only author I know who runs errata on line.
He has about 500 pages and 1000 pictures
in three huge heavy volumes. He covers everything. Perhaps
he is too ambitious? While I can only address helmets
it appears to be much 'showing examples'. There are lots of
almost ramdom photos that I cannot determine the organization
of. Simply great content but lacking Kraus' organization.
The publisher could have cut this down to one volume
had they better prrinting sense. I am always amazed
at what I find in this work but nothing jumps at you
from the organization. Just as you are about to despair
Sommers' errata site enters to add more great info.
Glad I bought them but you have to work for it.
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.Perhaps the great lesson is this group suffered from the publisher.