Although many of of us are always on the look out for books on very specific subjects (and in particular unit histories), it would seem at first that this book has gone a little far in the specifics, by concentrating on a particular artillery regiment. After all, an artillery regiment may have had an interesting history but would be unlikely to have had such a 'chequered' career as one of the Heavy Tank Battalions such as the 502nd. So why publish a book on this unit? The answer lies in two parts. Firstly that the author was able to get both good quantitative and qualitative images along with historical documentation. Secondly, that SS Artillerie-Regiment 4 was typical of many such units within both the SS Divisions but also in the Wermacht. In other words - a case study
of a not untypical unit. Herein, I believe, lies the reason for the choice....
Concord Publications # 6516: SS-Artillerie-Regiment 4, SS-Polizei-Division: A Study of German Artillery (Warrior # 6516)
. Written by Gordon Rottman
and illustrated by Stephen Andrew
. Books in this series are edited by Frank De Sisto
. The book follows the usual Concord
format in it's 52 pages. The first five pages serve as a written introduction with the following sub-chapters:
Divisional Artillery - Equipment and Organization.
Uniforms and Insignia
Two specific units are highlighted in the introduction, SS Polizei-Artillerie-Regiment 4 and SS-FlakAbteilung 4 (Flak Battalion) - the subject of the books' photographic compilation.
The remainder of the book is the photographic section.The photos follow chronologically from the Regiment being stationed in France (in 1940), operation Barbarossa the following year. The majority of the documentation covers the early-war period to the mid-war.
Obviously, the book was produced with the modeller in mind. Several areas are of obvious interest to the modeller in the photos:
1) Deployment of artillery in the field
2) Artillery 'in-transit' many of the photos show the artillery pieces limbered (both horse-drawn and motorized)
3) Some of the deployed artillery in concealment
(foliage in temperate periods, white sheeting in snow)
4) The Prime-movers, in particular the Sd Kfz 7
5) Transport of artillery units by train.
6) The evolution of uniforms and the wide-variety of ubiforms worn during the war by artillery crews.
There are a wide variety of artillery pieces featured. The most prolific is the 10.5cm le FH18 (and later variants), the Flak 18, the Flak 28, the 15cm howitzer, the 21cm Mrs18 (heavy mortar), the 10cm long-range gun and various captured weapons including French and Yugoslavian pieces.
The Color Plates
. Four very-well executed color plates are featured in the book. Two are the more 'conventional' field-grey uniforms, the others feature, repectively, the M40 (Camouflaged) Field blouse and the fourth, the reversible winter suit issued from 1942.
Obviously, with a book of this type, some explanation of the photographs is necessary. The author has given a clear and detailed explanation of each image. Although many of the photos will (inevitably) have been taken 'after the battle' as the majority of wartime photos were, this in no way diminishes their value to the modeller.
The image quality is good, but not, it has to be said, spectacular. The demands on a book of this type are to present useable and coherent images. The quality varies from the excellent to the reasonable. There are some images which have been well-scanned with incredibly sharp definition, others, it has to be said are lacking in definition.
Very much in the Concord
'line'. Well edited, simple and a wealth of (visual) information. Few modellers could fail to find some inspiration in its pages. Once again, not a definitive work, however it is considerably more than an overly-simplistic 'entry-level' book, but rather a a good, concise introduction to the complexity of the German Artillery Regiment structure. On reflection, this is a VERY worthwhile book to have on the shelves. Unfortunately, no matter how good the reference material is becoming, there still remains a shortage of good kits for both artillery and prime movers in 1/35th scale. The Flak weapons have all been well done and in the case of the 10.5cm Howitzer, there are some superb kits available. Nothing however exists (in plastic) for the 15cm and there are few models of the multitude of captured weapons in the German inventory. Neither have we been given a MODERN kit of the ubiquitious Sd Kfz 7. The situation in 1/72nd is, however, far more positive. The Ukrainian manufacturer, ACE Model
, have been releasing a good number of German artillery pieces in the last few months, with more on the way. We are also needing more artillery crew figures in a variety of uniforms and time periods...
My thanks to Concord Publications
for the review sample...