Fighting Men of World War II: Axis Forces is the first part of a two-volume set (Allied Forces is also available) which sets out to examine in detail the weapons and equipment of the average soldier of Germany, Japan, Italy, and the other nations like Finland, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania, comprised the Axis forces.
In these pages we examine a broad range of general equipment that was used every day, including binoculars, goggles, radios, water bottles, fuel cans, medical kits, skis, wire cutters and detonators.
We give detailed specifications of weapons such as pistols and revolvers, rifles, bayonets, fighting knives, hand grenades, landmines, flamethrowers, mortars and light artillery. The clothing sections include headgear, from the feathered hats of the Italian Bersaglieri sharpshooters to the redoubtable Stahlheim of the German troops. We examine footwear as diverse as polished officers’ shoes, cavalry boots, paratroopers’ jump boots and Japanese Tabi canvas shoes.
Uniform tunics, shirts, trousers and greatcoats all receive attention, as do all-weather gear, gloves, ponchos and shelter sections, such as the German Zeltbahn. Camouflage variations are shown, as are rank badges together with unit badges and medals.
Personal items too are included. We show cigarettes and lighters, letters and postcards home, campstools, fans, identity tags, mending kits and eating utensils.
Almost all the items shown have not been featured in book form before and have been specially chosen from museums and private collections to form a unique reference source for the general reader, budding collector, military enthusiast, re-enactor, and modeller.
The fighting man is placed within the context of his unit organization, while carefully researched archive photos show him with his weapons and equipment in action.
The text, by seasoned military expert David Miller, is the result of painstaking research, backed up by his own military experience in the British Army, which has given him the necessary credentials to understand what the average fighting man’s needs and day-to-day preoccupations actually were. David has been assisted by editor Graham Smith, and the two of them have pulled together all these diverse elements to form one of the most definitive works of its kind.