Darren Baker takes a look at one of the latest offerings in the Images of War series 'The Nazi’s Winter Warfare on the Eastern Front - 1941-1945'.


The following introduction is taken from the Pen and Sword website:

Hitler’s shock decision to launch the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941 was arguably the turning point of the Second World War. Spectacular early victories saw the Nazis close in on Moscow but the Soviet 1941/42 winter counter offensive changed the odds entirely.

Without doubt Russian winter conditions were a major factor compounded by the Germans’ woeful lack of preparedness.

As this fascinating book reveals, Wehrmacht and SS units only began to be issued with winter clothing in late 1941 and many had to improvise well into 1942.

In an attempt to restore morale adversely affected by the harsh conditions and military reversals ‘The Winter Warfare Handbook’ (Winter Buch) was produced in 1942 and extracts are quoted in this work.

Commanders had to adapt to the snow, freezing conditions and, almost worse, the impassable roads during the melt. With customary thoroughness and drastic measures the Germans largely mastered the climatic challenges but nothing could mask the reality of the ruthless and numerically superior enemy that they faced.


Pen and Sword have a series of books, that come under the Images of War series. These titles tell the story of elements of warfare, from WWI through to the modern age with WWII being a particularly popular time period for the series. The author of this offering is Ian Baxter, who has authored 40 books within the Images of War series. All of these concentrate on German forces during WWII. This book provides 157 pages, covering the winter war on the Eastern Front, which come under the following chapters:

The First Winter, 1941/42

Second Winter, 1942/43

Third Winter, 1943/44

Fourth Winter, 1944/45

Dedicated text is very limited in this title as it is within the series as a whole. But the chapters do have a short introduction at the beginning, which gives a general outline of the context for the period. So if you want to read about the Winter war on the Eastern Front, then this book is not for you. However, if you want to look at what the war in the East was like during the winters of WW2, then this book can give it to you in spades. 

This book excels in providing period photographs, showing German troops fighting on the Eastern Front during the winters they were there. Each photograph is accompanied by a very well written caption, which can be considered to be the icing on the cake when it comes to adding the extra touches that cannot be ascertained from the photographs. Unusually for an Images of War book, there are a large number of drawn images that provide you with information, covering everything from preventing frostbite to your feet, to hiding a tank from the enemy and at the same time protecting it from the Winter conditions. The additions of this information will I feel go down well with modellers.


This offering from Pen and Sword, rates very highly with me due to the period photographs with well written captions, which along with the drawn images provide the modeller with information I was not expecting to find in this title. So along with the photographs showing the conditions faced by troops in the field, in the harsh Winters on the Eastern Front. You also get these drawn images, that can spark your imagination for displaying your latest masterpiece. I also like that there is some blank pages at the end of the book for making some notes on images and drawings that really appeal to you, and making them easy to find. 



You may also like