Concord Publishing Company's book German Invasion of Yugoslavia # 6526 is now
available. The book was printed in Hong Kong with text by Gordon Rottman and artist plates by Dmitriy Zgonnik. The ISBN # is 962-361-155-2 and more information on Concord Publications can be found on their website at www.concord-publications.com.
The invasion started April 6, 1941 and the Yugoslavian government capitulated April 17th, 1941. The German operation could have been faster except for the weather and the primitive road network. The spring of 1941 was wet, and the melting snow created one giant mud hole. On top of that, the primitive bridges could not withstand the onslaught of motorized German units.
This book, consisting of 52 pages, 132 photos and 4 color plates, is divided into sections as follows:
There are 37 photos of infantry in the first section. These troops are regular infantry units and Gebirgsjager advancing, and includes some action photos. The most interesting show the variety of arms used in the early war stages. Many of the troops look as if they are newly raised units with old equipment.
The artillery section shows a variety of guns in the 27 pictures. A variety of towing vehicles are shown which include an SdKfz 8, SdKfz 6, and horse drawn guns. Most of the guns are of the 10.5 caliber up to 21 cmK 39 cannons. Of special interest is the obsolescent 10.5 IFH 16 field howitzer fitted on a Sd Ah3 light weapons trailer so it could be towed by mechanized transport. One photo shows a 15 cm SFH 18 howitzer broken down because of strain on the long road march over poor roads.
There are 9 photo's of small and large air defense weapons set up to repel aircraft calibers, and include 2cm, 3.7 cm and 8.8 cm flak 36.
Armor and Reconnaissance:
The 7 pictures in this section show motorcycles, armored cars (Sd Kfz 222), tanks and mounted SS troops.
The pioneers are shown in 14 pictures, with the majority of the shots covering bridge building and river crossings. These images show the efforts that had to be made to keep the advance moving along. These are some of the most interesting shots of the engineer's at work building bridges and ferrying troops across rivers.
The 8 pictures of signals units show a variety of equipment and transport.
This section includes 10 pictures of transport vehicles, showing a variety of equipment. These pictures also show the sad state of the road net over which the German advance had to move. Muddy roads and bad bridges helped to slow down the advance. Special authorization for the bad roads allotted extra Sd Kfz 7's to tow other vehicles through muddy areas. A variety of heavy trucks, busses and cars were used in the advance.
There are 5 pictures of staff vehicles including Army and Air Force vehicles in the advance.
The interesting pictures of camp life is covered by 9 pictures which show troops in various
situations on stops during the advance.
Six pictures show the various service units, such as transport and supply, in the process of moving forward. Most deal with vehicle repair or recovery of stuck equipment.
There are 4 well executed colored prints showing a panzer crewman, rifleman, mountain infantry and waffen ss squad leader. All the prints show uniforms and equipment associated with each man.
Awaiting the book to arrive, I wondered if it would be close to the Vanguard or Osprey series of books. Much to my surprise the book was more of a photo essay. I don't think I saw a picture in these pages that I had seen before. Look for these books as there is probably one you may need for reference for future projects.
Highs: Pictures are clear and not posed. The variety of equipment shown is good. Anyone can see by the pictures that it is early in the war. Most of the pictures must be from individuals involved in the invasion. Lows: Not enough information about the make up of Yugoslavian forces. No information about the daring capture of Belgrade by a small SS detachment. Verdict: I regard this as a good photo essay for the invasion of Yugoslavia, well worth the money to buy this one.