Osprey Publications Ltd has released World War II Soviet Armed Forces (2) 1942-43 (by Dr. Nigel Thomas and illustrator Darko Pavlovic) as Number 468 in their Men-At-Arms series. This is the second volume of a three-volume series of Soviet armed forces during World War II. It is a paperback with 48 pages; included with the text are black & white photographs, color illustrations, information charts (tables) and detailed captions.
- The Long Counter-Attack
- The Soviet High Command
o Stalin and Stavka –Zhukov as Deputy Supreme High Commander – General Staff: Shaposhnikov and Vasilevskiy
- Red Army Land Forces
o Personnel: conscription – NCO and officer training
o Branches of service
o Organization: military districts – ‘strategic directions’ – ‘fronts’
o Armies – corps – divisions – brigades – regiments – battalions
- Summary Of Land Forces Campaigns
o Northern theatre, Feb 1942 - Jan 1943
o Central theatre, Jan 1942 – Oct 1943
o Southern theatre, June 1942 – Dec 1943
o Caucasus theatre, July 1942 – Oct 1943
- Land Forces Uniforms
o Headgear – tunics and field shirts – overcoats – legwear and footwear – camouflage uniforms
o Branch – specific uniforms: armoured troops – mounted personnel – Cossacks – mountain detachments – female personnel
o Branch distinctions: facing colours – piping colours – badges
o Rank insignia, July 1940 and Jan 1941 regulations
- Red Army Air Force
o Air Force branches
o Operational assignments
o Uniforms, 13 July 1940 – 5 Jam 1943
o Airborne Forces
o Command – branches & organization – operational assignments
o Uniforms, 24 Jan 1941 – 15 Feb 1943: Officers – ranks – branch distinctions – rank insignia – proficiency shields – Guards insignia
o Naval Infantry
- NKVD Security Forces
o Organization, uniforms and insignia
- Plate Commentaries
The book is well-written and extremely detailed. I didn’t notice any spelling or grammar errors as I read through the book, which is a relief these days. Thomas covers the World War II Soviet armed forces during the timeframe of 1942-1943 very well. He discusses the different branches of the Soviet military, their areas of operations, the uniforms of the time, as well as specific individuals and their actions. It is obvious that the author has gone to great lengths to research all aspects of the Soviet armed forces during the period covered. Anyone interested in World War II Soviet Armed Forces, their areas of operation, and their uniforms and weapons will find this book very informative and interesting.
There are a total of 36 black & white photographs throughout the book. Most of them are nice and clear, however, there are some that have an out-of-focus look to them, while others are too dark. Some of them are taken from film stills, which will account for their lack of sharpness. With that said, the quality of the photographs does not take anything away from the book.
THE COLOR ILLUSTRATIONS:
The 24 color illustrations by Darko Pavlovic are very well-done, are nicely detailed and almost look like photographs as opposed to illustrations. They include:
- Armed Forces Commanders, 1942.
o General-Polkovnik I.S. Konev; Western Front, August 1942
o Vitse-Admirial V.F. Tributs; Red Banner Baltic Fleet, April 1942
o General’niy Komissar Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti L.P. Beriya
- Northern & Central Russia, 1942
o General-Leytenant A.A. Vlasov, 2nd Shock Army; Tikhvin, March 1942
o Infantry subaltern, 257th Rifle Div; Kholm, January 1942
o Krasnoarmeyets, 214th Airborne Bde; Vyazma, April 1942
- Caucasus & Crimea 1942
o Serzhant, 63rd Cavalry Division, August 1942
o Krasnoarmeyets, 1st Mtn Detachment, November 1942
o Michman, 9th Naval Infantry Bde; Sevastopol, June 1942
- Southern Russia, 1942
o Divizionniy Kommissar, 40th Army; Kastornoye, June 1942
o Voenfel’dsher 2-go range, 76th Rifle Div; Kharkov, May 1942
o Kapitan, 207th Fighter Air Div; Voronezh, May 1942
- Battle Of Stalingrad, 1942-43
o Gvardii Starshiy Leytenant, 16th Guards Tank Bde, December 1942
o Starshiy Serzhant, 112th Rifle Div, November 1942
o Inzhener-Podpolkovnik, 291st ‘Kiev” Ground-Attack Air Div, November 1942
- North & Central Russia, 1943
o Serzhant, 45th Guards Rifle Div; Krasny Bor, February 1943
o Partisan officer; Pripyat Marshes, Belarus, April 1943
o General-Mayor Tankovykh Voysk, 33rd Army; Smolensk, August 1943
- Kursk & Kharkov, 1943
o Krasnoarmeyets, Assualt Engineer-Sapper Brigade; Kursk, July 1943
o Yefreytor, 183rd Rifle Div; Kharkov, August 1943
- Ukraine & Caucasus, 1943
o Gvardii Starshina 2-y stat’l, Black Sea Fleet, June 1943
o Podpolkovnik, 290th NKVD Rifle Regt; Novorossiysk, October 1943
o Krasnoarmeyets, 3rd Penal Bn, 13th Army; Kiev, November 1943
There are five information charts (tables) provided. They detail information on:
- Red Army Fronts and Armies, 1 January 1942 to 31 December 1943
- Red Army Orders of Dress, 13 July 1940 to 6 January 1943
- Red Army Branch Distinctions, 13 July 1940 to 5 January 1943
- Red Army, NKVD, Air Force and Navy ranks and rank insignia, 13 July 1940 to 5 January 1943
- Red Navy Officers’ Branch Distinctions, 24 January 1942 to 15 February 1943
The captions are well-written, and are very detailed. They explain the accompanying photographs well, and cover things such as the individuals and their units shown, the equipment and weapons, and the uniform items. Thomas also corrects mistakes that have been mentioned by other individuals when discussing certain photographs.
All in all, I am very impressed with the book. It provides the kind of overview that all readers will find interesting, and I wouldn’t have any hesitation recommending it to others.
This book was provided to me by Osprey Publishing Ltd. Please be sure to mention that you saw the book reviewed here when you make your purchase.
Highs: Well researched, written, and detailed text and captions. Nice photographs. Very nice color illustrationsLows: Some of the photographs have a blurry look to them. Some of the photographs appear to be too dark.Verdict: This is a very nice reference book that is well researched and written and contains nice photographs with well detailed captions. The color illustrations are very nice and will be very valuable to the military figure modeler for reference.
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About Randy Harvey (HARV) FROM: WYOMING, UNITED STATES
I have been in the modeling hobby off and on since my youth.
I build mostly 1/35 scale. However I work in other scales for aircraft, ships and the occasional civilian car kit. I also kit bash and scratch-build when the mood strikes.
I mainly model WWI and WWII figures, armor, vehic...