US Infantryman vs German Infantryman: European Theater of Operations 1944 by Steven J. Zaloga
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Full disclosure: I have written seven books for Osprey Publishing so I can't really be called an unbiased reviewer. On the other hand, I don't know the author or artist and WW2 is a bit out of my specialty. I read this as research for a novel I'm ghostwriting for a client.
This is part of Osprey's Combat series, a grunt's eye view of the fight between two opposing sides. Each book looks at the training, equipment, and motivation of a regular soldier on both sides of the battle, with three small-scale fights to illustrate what their experience was like.
I found the detail in this book quite good, and especially appreciated the information on radio communications, something that many authors overlook. The text gives the reader a brief but detailed look at how units were trained, organized, and deployed. The three combat situations were well chosen and clearly illustrate the German army's deteriorating situation in the last half of 1944, as well as the US Army's steep learning curve.
The art is up to Osprey's usual high standard and the maps were clear and easy to read.
My only quibbles were that the text was a bit dry at times and that we never get a good description of a pole charge, even though it is mentioned as an important weapon for taking out German bunkers. Of course I can imagine what a pole charge was, but a photo and some specs would seem appropriate here, especially considering the detailed coverage other weapons get.
All in all, a solid addition to the Combat series.
View all my reviews