Brandenburger

...Wartime Photographs of Wilhelm Walther, from Greenhill Books

Title: Brandenburger
Author: Anthony Rogers
Publisher: Greenhill Books
ISBN: 978-1-78438-715-0

Another new addition to the Images of War book series, this one is just a little bit different to usual. A 159-page soft-cover book, this one features over 200 images all taken from the personal album of a veteran of the Brandenburg unit career of one man, Wilhelm Walther.
There is an introduction from author Anthony Rogers, followed by 6-pages explaining the life story/military career of Wilhelm Walther. In 1940, Oberstleutnant Walther transferred from an armoured reconnaissance unit to a battalion of what would eventually become the Brandenburger Division. The unit was intended to perform special missions, a similar idea to what the Commandoes did for the Allied forces. The remainder of the book is just the collection of archive images, some with the original captions translated and others still without captions. They are arranged into sections which follow his career, starting the pre-war period 1931-1939, and then 1940. Now part of the Battalion, they were in the Balkans in 1941, Russia 1941-42, Russia again from 1942-43, then Greece 1943-44 and Albania & Yugoslavia in 1944. Finally there are some photos of some of his comrades in arms along with a closing Appendix which lists his service record. Lots of the photos show details of uniforms and insignia as well as a good mix of AFVs, Aircraft and even an S-Boat at one point.
This is a marvellous set of archive images charting one man's life during WW2. He did survive the war, living to the great age of 100 when he passed away in 2010. It's rare we get to see a collection from one man that illustrate his WW2 story so this makes for a rare and fascinating collection of wartime photos. This one deserves to be popular I think.
Thanks to Greenhill Books, an imprint of Pen & Sword, for our review copy.

Robin