Recommended reading on WW1 & WW2 militaria

Discussions on other First and Second World War militaria and collecting in general. Hosted by John G & William Kramer.
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Recommended reading on WW1 & WW2 militaria

Post by HPL2008 » 18 Jan 2004 21:18

Here are some suggestions for reference material on the subjects of Third Reich era uniforms and insignia.
Please note three things:
1. That the list is totally subjective and limited to books I have personally read and own; of course there will be many more books out there worth catching....
3. That, while I am heavily interested in uniforms and insignia, am not a militaria collector; thus, my choice of books purchased is not primarily made from a collector's point of view.
2. That many of these books may be out of print; still they could probably obtained as used copies from diverese sources.

For general reference:

- "Badges And Insignia Of The Third Reich 1933 - 1945" by Brian Leigh Davis. Richly illustrated with color drawings and carefully selected period b & w photographs.
- "German Uniforms Of The Third Reich 1933 - 1945", also by Brian Leigh Davis, a companion book to the one above, has many plates of full color artwork with accompanying text.
- "Third Reich Cloth Insignia" by Brian Leigh Davis and Ian Westwell. Has many excellent color photographs of original insignia and b & w period photographs, many of them very rare.

All these books cover German Third Reich uniforms and insignia in general - Army, Navy, Air Force, SS, SA, NSKK, Reichs Labor Service, Hitler Youth, Police, Railway officials, Red Cross etc. etc.
Therefore, none of these organizations are dealt with in any real depth; but this would naturally be impossible for such studies and was never intended anyway. What Davis intended - and accomplished admirably well - was to provide a general overview of and introduction to the subject. What these books also do is to give the beginner a feeling for the general style of the uniforms and insignia worn by the individual organization.

- "Belt Buckles And Brocades Of The Third Reich" by John R. Angolia. Covers every uniformed organization.

Then, there are of course many, many specialized books focusing on individual organizations. Some recommendations:

For the armed forces:

- The "Uniforms And Traditions..." series by John R. Angolia and Adolf Schlicht. I have the German three-volume edition "Die Deutsche Wehrmacht - Uniformierung und Ausrüstung 1933 - 1945"; vol. 1 covers the Heer, vol. 2 the Marine and vol. 3 the Luftwaffe. Detailed info on every type of uniform and insignia used by all branches of the Wehrmacht, richly illustrated with b & w photographs and drawings.
- "German Military Cuffbands 1784 - Present" by Gordon Williamson & Thomas Mc Guirl. As the title says, specificially about cuffbands; covers all branches of the Armed Forces, including the Waffen-SS.
- "Deutsche Uniformen 1939 - 1945" by Jean de Lagarde; this is the German edition of a French Book. Full color photos throughout of men "modeling" original uniforms and gear, with many full-body and detail shots and well-written text.
- There are, of course, also many, many "Osprey Military" titles on the subject, covering subjects from mountain and ski troops to the military police units and from tank crews to paratroops.

For the SS:

- "Uniforms Of The SS" by Andrew Mollo. Originally released in 7 volumes; vol. 1 - 6 were later re-published as a collected edition. (I bought the collected edition new and vol. 7 as a used copy.) Covers all branches of the SS.
- "Cloth Insignia Of The SS" by John R. Angolia. Still a standard work on the subject.
- "Uniforms Of The Waffen-SS" by Michael Beaver (3 volumes) Expensive, but worth every penny; doesn't get any better than the photographs in these books.
- "Waffen-SS Uniforms And Insignia" by Wade Krawczyk & Peter v. Lukacs. Full color pics of original uniforms and insignia throughout.
- "Collecting Third Reich SS & Political Cuffbands" from Ulric Of England. Includes - as the title says - info on political cuffbands, but the main focus is on SS cuffbands.
- "Himmler's Black Order 1923 - 45" by Robin Lumsden.
- "A Collector's Guide To: The Allgemeine SS" and "A Collector's Guide To: The Waffen-SS", also by Robin Lumsden. Text is mostly identical with that of "Himmler's Black Order", but there is some additional material as well.
- "SS Uniforms; Insignia & Accoutrements" by Arthur Hayes. Beautiful color photographs of a broad spectrum of SS items.

The following 5 books do not exclusively deal with uniforms and insignia, but still have quite a good deal of information on these subjects and are nicely illustrated with good period photographs and nice plates of color artwork:
- "The Allgemeine SS" by Robin Lumsden & Paul Hannon (illustrator) from Osprey Military (MAA series # 266)
- "The Waffen-SS" by Martin Windrow & Jeffrey Burn (illustrator) from Osprey Military (MAA series # 34)
- "The Waffen-SS (1) 1. to 5. Divisions" by Gordon Williamson & Stephen Andrew (illustrator) from Osprey Military (MAA series # 401)
- "Ardennes 1944 - Peiper & Skorzeny" by Jean-Paul Pallud & David Parker and Ron Volstad (illustrators) from Osprey Military (Elite series # 11)
- "Waffen-SS Soldier 1940 - 1945" by Bruce Quarrie & Jeffrey Burn (illustrator) from Osprey Military (Warrior Series # 2)

For the SA:
- "The SA - A Historical Perspective" by Jill Halcomb
- "The SA 1921 - 45 - Hitler's Stormtroopers" from Osprey Military (MAA series # 220), by David Littlejohn

For the youth organizations:

- "The Hitler Youth" by David Littlejohn

For the RAD* and the other labor organizations:

- "Labor Organizations Of The Third Reich" by John R. Angolia and David Littlejohn

For NSKK* and NSFK:

- "NSKK - NSFK - Uniforms, Organisation & History", also by John R. Angolia and David Littlejohn

For The German Red Cross and Diplomatic Corps and Government:

- "In the Service Of The Reich - Diplomatic & Government Officials/German Red Cross" by John R. Angolia

* Some info on the RAD and the NSKK is also contained in "Wehrmacht Auxiliary Forces" by Nigel Thomas and Carlos Caballero Jurado from Osprey Military (MAA series # 254)


If you buy through the below links you not only get the books you want but you also support the forum while shopping!
* AHF Bookstore
* (UK, Germany)

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Daniel L
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Post by Daniel L » 18 Jan 2004 22:58

Good idea! I've made this thread a sticky. Please post additions in the same way that HPL2008 has posted his.

Best regards/ Daniel

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Post by DrG » 19 Jan 2004 00:21

For the Kingdom of Italy:

- "Medaglie a croce FF.AA. 1900/1989 - Italian Cross Medals 1900/1989", by A. Brambilla and I. Fossati, EMI Serie "Militaria". Italian and English text.

For the RSI (Repubblica Sociale Italiana - Italian Social Republic):

- "Distintivi e Medaglie della RSI - RSI Badges and Medals - 1943/45" 1st volume, by Fausto Sparacino, EMI Serie "Militaria". Italian and English text.
- "Distintivi e Medaglie della RSI 1943/45, della Legione SS Italiana, dei Veterani della RSI - RSI Badges and Medals 1943/45, Italian SS Legion, RSI Veterans" 2nd volume, by Fausto Sparacino, EMI Serie "Militaria". Italian and English text.

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Post by Alex Dekker » 01 Mar 2004 20:16

Osprey Military has got a nice serie: Men at Arms. Lot of pics, lot of information. The books contain full colour plates of uniforms, but also the order of battle and a short history. I love them.


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John Doe
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Post by John Doe » 01 Mar 2004 21:33

lexiebabe wrote:Osprey Military has got a nice serie: Men at Arms. Lot of pics, lot of information. The books contain full colour plates of uniforms, but also the order of battle and a short history. I love them.

I agree,

Regards, Javier

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Post by Porsche » 03 Apr 2004 18:26

Heres a few more useful references
"German Combat Equipments 1939-45" (ISBN 0 85045 952 4), number 234 in the Osprey 'Men-At-Arms' Series by Gordon Rottman & Ron Volstad is a gem.
"German Army Uniforms of WWII in colour photographs" (ISBN 1 85915 052 7) by Wade Krawczyk (published by Windrow and Green).
"Waffen-SS Its Uniforms, Insignia and Equipment 1938-1945" (ISBN 0 85524 030 X) by D.S.V. Fosten & R.J. Marrion (published by Almark) is an old but useful reference.
"Soldat" (various volumes) by Cyrus A. Lee, published by Pictorial Histories Publishing Co.

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Robin Lumsden
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Post by Robin Lumsden » 06 Apr 2004 14:10

Look no further than here! :D

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Post by John Doe » 11 Aug 2004 21:30

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Post by Wilibald » 29 Jul 2005 23:24

Ok... my three mos recent acquistions.. I believe they are worthed the $$$:

One of the most fascinating books about uniforms and equipment with hundreds of color pictures of the original stuff:

- GERMAN SOLDIERS OF WORLD WAR TWO by Jean de Lagarde, Histoire & Collections, ISBN: 2-915239-35-5 (136 pages)

About the Waffen SS:

- WAFFEN SS ENCYCLOPEDIA by Marc J. Rikmenspoel, The Aberjona press, ISBN:0-9717650-8-1 (285 pages)

- THE WAFFEN SS: AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY by Adrian Gilbert, Bison Group, ISBN: 0-86124-554-7 (190 pages)


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Re: Recommended reading on edged weapons

Post by 777 » 21 Jan 2010 00:08

Collecting The Edged Weapons of the Third Reich by T.Johnson (8 Volumes) - Deals with all kinds of Third Reich edged weapons
Exploring The Dress Daggers of the German Army/Luftwaffe/Kriegsmarine/SS by T.Wittmann - excellent source of information on the above daggers and also swords
The Service Daggers of the S.A. and the N.S.K.K. by Ralf Siegert - great reference, great photos, best available source of information for SA/NSKK daggers enthusiasts.
Waffenleite Presenting NPEA Daggers of the Third Reich by Ron Weinand - the best book on Napola daggers

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Re: Axis militaria reference books

Post by Grünherz » 06 May 2010 08:01

Re: the Luftwaffe...
A great reference book containing any amount of unit data, unit compositions, biographies, operations, available aircraft at different times in the war (blah, blah!) is "The Luftwaffe Data Book" by, of course, Alfred Price. 1977, 1997. ISBN 1-85367-293-9. (Greenhill Books, London; Stackpole Books, Pennsylvania).
An incredible amount of detailed Luftwaffe information in a relatively small book.

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Re: Recommended reading on edged weapons

Post by James Brown » 27 Jan 2011 23:37

Damascus Steel By Manfred Sachse.... The English version is always for sale on e-bay Great book!
Angola books are good
Kurt Glemser books are a must

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Re: Recommended reading on edged weapons

Post by 777 » 27 Jan 2011 23:51

Die Dienstdolche der Schutzstaffel SS by Ralf Siegert - brand new reference, contrary to his previous book on SA/NSKK unfortunately only German language version available. Still, highly recommended.

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Re: Axis militaria reference books

Post by bronk7 » 15 May 2013 17:58

good thread ...danke

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Siegfried B
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Re: Recommended reading on edged weapons

Post by Siegfried B » 23 Oct 2013 02:28

A Massive reference to acquire for the NPEA & HJ collector would be from the combined efforts of Ralf Siegert and Ron Weinand. The reference titled " Die dienst dolch und Blankwaffen der NPEA und der HitlerJugend"...this book is 552 pages..and may be obtainable through ebay or i belive this reference is now out of print. 1000 books were published and copyright date of 2012. entire book is in German..but the photos speak volumes on content and detail. Regards Larry

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