Osprey Combat 34
Hitlerjugend Soldier vs. Canadian Soldier
Another in Osprey’s “Combat” series, this book is physically similar to most of the other Osprey series of books. The size and length are strictly to form as is the roughly 50/50 mix of text and images; images made up of period photos and some high quality graphics. Image size and quality is first rate and the text reads well and is well edited and proof read. The illustrations do a good job of providing background information for the text.
The subject of this book focuses on the interactions between Canadian infantry of 3 Cdn Inf Div and German infantry and armour of the 12 SS Panzer Div “Hitherjugend” in Normandy in the days immediately after the Normandy landings. This interaction gained infamy from the orders of the German divisional commander to take no prisoners and in the actions of several German units that executed captured Canadians both immediately after capture and after harsh interrogation.
The book follows the standard format for this series in introducing both forces, describing their equipment, leadership and training at the time. It provides a short precis of the state of training and make-up of the troops of both formations and then describes three small unit actions between the two formations. The descriptions of each small action are accompanied by excellent topographical maps and, where possible, photos that well illustrate not only the overall situation in each action, but some of the details of the locations where the actions took place. Each action is well described from beginning to end and explores, as best possible, what is happening on each side, essentially in parallel to see how the action develops. The book then provides a summary section that outlines what subsequently happens with each unit and some of the more notable participants.
These books provide an interestingly focused approach to warfare and allow the reader to see how the differences in training, equipment, attitudes and command affect things at the small-unit level. They are not terribly useful for vehicle modellers, although they do provide excellent information for figure modellers and those looking for diorama inspiration.
Highly Recommended for figure modellers and those interested in unit histories.
Thanks goes out to Osprey for this review kit.
Reviewed by Paul Roberts
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