Waffen SS Armour on the Eastern Front 1941-1945
...Images of War from Pen & Sword
Title: Waffen SS Armour on the Eastern Front 1941-1945
Author: Ian Baxter
Publisher: Pen & Sword
A new addition to the ever popular Images of War series, and another from author Ian Baxter. A 144-page soft-cover book, packed with black & white archive images, by far the bulk of which I had not seen before.
Split over 6 main chapters, it follows the simple chronological sequence of the war from Barbarossa in 1941, through to the final days of the war in Eastern Europe. The battles featured cover the Eastern Front from North to South. One of the things I particularly liked was to see a number of sequential sets of pictures, where we see the same vehicle(s) with different angles, rather than just a single image. There are a few pages of text at the start of each chapter which provides the details of the units and the main events for each period. It also demonstrates the evolution of the equipment used by the SS as the war progressed, as these units did tend to be well equipped. Plenty of Pz IIIs and Stugs, as well as Tigers and Panthers in the later years along with a lot of support equipment, such as half-tracks and guns. The Epilogue at the end makes it clear that despite offering stout resistance, these units were overwhelmed by the numerical superiority of the Soviet offensive in the end, and many of the personnel received no quarter from the Soviet victors. Rounded off by 3 Appendices which list the various Waffen SS units and their equipment.
The pictures are excellent references and show a great variety in their selection, and plenty of detail for modellers and inspiration for potential dioramas. The pictures all have detailed captions, though you do have to be aware of a number which have misidentified vehicles, which is a bit of a shame. An interesting challenge if you like but don't let it distract you from a fine collection of archive images.
Thanks to Pen & Sword for our review copy.