by: Brian Culbertson [ ]
Weapons of World War II by Alexander Ludeke, is published by Parragon Book Ltd. I happened upon this very interesting book quite by chance: it was sitting on a table in my local Costco store! For those that don't know Costco, it's a “big box store” that sells bulk food items, household goods and big items. Books aren’t something they’re know for. But when I opened the book up to take a look inside, I was quite surprised. And for the price of $5.99 USD, I could not pass it up.
The book is a soft-cover, 320 pages, semi-gloss reference book that covers varying armaments used by both the Axis and Allied powers during WWII. The areas covered in this book, which some may call a "Coffee Table" book, range from Pistols to the 75 tonne battle tanks, single engine fighters, bombers, to the heaviest battleships ever to have sailed the seas.
Here are the areas that are covered in this book:
1. Infantry Weapons— This section covers pistols, rifles, light and heavy MGs, mortars, bazookas, and flamethrowers: everything the foot soldier needed.
2. Unarmored Vehicles— This covers Jeeps, trucks, DUKWs, and artillery tractors.
3. Armored Vehicles— Light, medium, and heavy tanks, SP guns, half-tracks, armored cars, and a section on Hobert's Funnies, the specially-modified British tanks intended for amphibious landings. Not surprisingly, it’s the second-largest section in the book.
4. Artillery— AT guns, cannons, howitzers, AAA weapons, and rail guns.
5. SPECIAL WEAPONS— A very interesting period during WWII in weapons development. The A-bomb, Ohka, V-1 and V-2 are contained in this section, along with other "Wonder weapons."
6. Aircraft— The largest section of the book: it covers everything from scout, fighters, fighter-bombers, medium/heavy bombers, the ME-262, Comet, and Salamander.
7. Ships— Battleships, destroyers, PT boats, subs, aircraft carriers, and everything else to start your own navy.
All the information you might want to know about the development and deployment of each type of weapon can be found here, along with the relevant technical specifications. The historically- and technically-precise profiles are brought to life by over 500 photographs and technical drawings.
It must be noted that very little is known about the author of this book. It seems to me that he has done a very outstanding job in compiling all this information into one place. It’s a fine quick reference guide that would make a very good addition to anyone’s library.