Pen and Sword Publishing
Review by Martin Koenigsberg
Just finished my 86th Book Review of the Year!!
In 1935, the Wehrmacht brought back the Mountain Regiments, the specially trained Nordic and mountain troops that had been features of both the Imperial German and Austrian armies of WWI and the previous centuries. Jean-Denis Lepage, French writer on WWII and fortification topics, takes the reader on an extended introduction to these soldiers of the Thousand Year Reich. making sure to discuss several Collaborator/Puppet Regime units that often worked with these Nazi units when fighting local partisans/resistance forces I have taken a whole star off the rating for the lack of color plates, but the book is filled with drawings of uniforms, equipment, and weapons used by this corps. The story is interesting, and Lepage warms to his subject as the book proceeds.
Many of the Divisions raised early in the Nazi era and WWII was used in their intended role as line troops for special environments so they went to Norway, Crete, Italy, and of course the Eastern Front. Later, lesser trained units tended to be used in the counter-insurgency/antipartisan role – often working with local Fascist/Collaborator/PuppetRegime formations. Lepage discusses this role- often accompanied by war crimes and atrocities as it was honestly. His drawings of so many often forgotten European participants in Nazi actions and often the Holocaust as well, really make this a complete book on this topic. I learned a lot and think both Military History Buffs and the general reader will benefit from this read.
There are adult themes, mostly political and war crimes, so this book is best for the Junior Readers over 12/13 years. For the Gamer/Modeler/Military Enthusiast, I think this book will help some folks. With the growing popularity of these units for FOW/BA players, and other rules getting around to these regiments, this book will help with development, although I do mourn the decision not to include more color. Modelers will get ideas for Builds and Dioramas, but again will need help elsewhere with color, no matter how good the b/w drawings and descriptions are. The Military Enthusiast seeking a good solid introduction to this troop type will certainly benefit. However, it will probably have them heading for more information in full division and corps histories. A good book, but missing that color that would have made it a bigger win.
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