Osprey- French Soldier vs German Soldier: Verdun 1916
Author: David Campbell
Illustrator: Adam Hook
Paperback, 80 pages with nearly 50 black & white and color archival and artifact photos, color artwork, and clear strategic and tactical maps
With the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI occurring in 2018, there has seemed to be an influx of WWI-related materials, including excellent tank models by Takom and Meng, truck and figure sets by ICM, Miniart and others, and movies such as 1917 honoring that fact. Osprey has just released a new volume in their Combat series that focuses on the opposing soldiers from France and Germany in Verdun in 1916. This volume sheds light on the doctrine, training, equipment, and combat record of French and German troops centered on three key battles set in the Verdun sector.
After a brief Introduction, the book centers as per usual in the Combat series on Opposing Sides. For each of the following subjects, we get a look at both sides characteristics:
- Recruitment and Training
- Morale and Logistics
- Tactics and Weapons
The chapters include commissioned artwork and rarely seen period photographs, accompanied by full-color maps. I say rarely seen...but while I am no expert, I have been reading about WWI for a few years now and have not seen many of these photos that I can recall anyway.
The book then breaks down three engagements that took place in the Verdun sector over the course of 1916. They are as follows:
- Bois Des Caures: 21-22 February 1916
- Mort-Homme- 9 April, 1916
- Fort VauxL 2-7 June, 1916
Each of these chapters provide a Background to the Battle explaining the setting, the battlefield environment, a detailed map of the engagement with attached timeline, and a detailed description of the combat, including fascinating first hand accounts. In one or two instances, the reader gets a look at the area in present-day setting.
Following these highly descriptive accounts, the book concludes on a chapter analyzing each of the engagements and a brief section explaining the Aftermath. A brief description of Unit Organizations for each side and a Bibliography conclude the book. Osprey has hit another one out of the park with this series-- and I sincerely hope they continue releasing titles centered on WWI battles as fascination continues with popular media and model releases to continue long after the century mark has passed.
Highly Recommended for those interested in WWI and gathering ideas for dioramas or vignettes set in the period.
Thanks goes out to Osprey Publishing for this review sample.
Reviewed by Michael Reeves, AMPS Albany
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