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German Assault Troops of World War I: Organization Tactics Weapons Equipment Orders of Battle Uniforms [Hardcover]

Thomas Wictor


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Book Description

May 1 2012
This book covers the organization, tactics, weapons, equipment, orders of battle, and uniforms of official and unofficial units, from early raiding parties to formal assault battalions. Rare photos depict badges and insignia not previously known, while primary documents describing regulations and training are provided in their entirety. New information on the origin of shock tactics is presented, gleaned from German archives and not previously published in English. Specific operations on all fronts are included, along with extracts from German army manuals for shock-troop arms such as flamethrowers, mortars, machine guns, grenade launchers, assault artillery, and tanks.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Schiffer Publishing (May 1 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764340360
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764340369
  • Product Dimensions: 28.6 x 22.6 x 3.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 2 Kg
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,234,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Geneses of the STORMTROOPER June 25 2012
By T.A.L. Dozer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Geneses of the STORMTROOPER

"German Assaualt Troops of World War I" by Thomas Wictor is a magnificent book and subject that has had limited detailed study with supporting documentation and photography. As stated in the description this mammoth book covers in extreme and concise detail the organization, tactics, weapons, equipment, order of battle, uniforms and insignia. As well this book briefly delves into some of the famous battles such as Verdun, Riga, Cambrai, but as the author states in the book that a certain level military and historical knowledge of the period is expected of the reader. However, this does not distract from this book at all and reader can find countless volumes about the period and the stated battles for further study or reference. Overall, this is by far one of the best books on the subject I have read to date and as a bonus this just a beautifully formatted and high quality publication.

CONTENTS:

-Introduction
Chapters;
1. early assault troops
2. the first official assault units
3. the further development of assault tactics
4. assault Battalion Rohr, Mountain Troops, and Jager
5. Verdun and the Somme
6. the eastern and Balkan fronts
7. official Army assault battalions; elastic defense
8. mortars, grenade launchers, assault artillery, and machine guns
9. short training courses in assaults tactics
10. instructions for shock troops
11. large-scale attacks by assault troops
12. infantryman transformed into assault troops
13. the spring offensives
14. tanks and antitank warfare
15. expeditionary forces and the final assaults
-Conclusion
Appendix 1: instructions for the employment of flame projectors
Appendix 2: badges of assault units
-bibliography
-glossary
-index

(Hardcover, 9"x11", 339 pages, profusely illustrated with line drawings and period photography)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PEERLESS May 8 2014
By Mr. D. J. Filsell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Published in 2012, German Assault Troops of World War is far from the only book on Germany Great War assault troops published, but it is certainly the impressive which I have read. The book’s production quality – large format, coated paper, high definition picture reproduction - is peerless. It is magnificently illustrated, offering at least one reproduction - and frequently two or three rare German photographs (officers, men, equipment and troops in action) on each text page.

Author Thomas Wictor - who has also written two works on German flame troops in the Great War - deploys a highly impressive grasp of his complicated subject, of source material and understanding. As he (perhaps too courteously) notes:
“Several outstanding books have been produced on the history of German
Assault troops of World War 1. This work is more a study of the organisation, tactics weapons, orders of battle and uniforms of assault units”.

Anorak heaven then? No. Far more. This is a study of the topics written and presented with clarity which, quite apart from all else, shows the massive ‘length and breadth’ of German assault troops role and numbers in the German army. The fearsome German ‘Storm troops’, as they have been generically branded, have been judged a force which, while epitomising the abilities of such specialist troops, created an army of expensive and specialist over confidence and left a supporting rump of an army capable of only of defensive duties and lacking overall competence.

Whilst the author stays clear of such arguments, he explains the training, development and role of the various assault specialists and the doctrines under which they operated - underlining they were not merely the booted, putteed leather knee patched infantrymen armed with camouflaged helmets and sharpened trench spaded Western Front soldiers of common belief. Not least they included artillerists, machine gun companies and grenade launchers and integrated flame thrower units. They served in mountains, on the Eastern Front, in Italy and the Balkans. Whilst ‘war writing’ is limited the author explains the role of assault troops in actions at Verdun, the Somme, at Caporetto – inevitably staring one Erwin Rommel, at Cambrai and in the German Spring Offensives.- in antitank and defensive actions.

Reviewers take their lives in their hands when they describe books as ground braking. Someone always claims to know better. Nevertheless, Thomas Wicker’s work of the German Assault Troops broke much new ground, informed me massively and impressed me mightily for its research, production and presentation. I highly recommend it to those with a sincere interest in the Germany Armies of 1914 18.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GERMAN ASSAULT TROOPS OF WORLD WAR I-ORGANIZATION, TACTICS, WEAPONS, EQUIPMENT, ORDERS OF BATTLE, UNIIFORMS Oct. 23 2012
By Robert A. Lynn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
GERMAN ASSAULT TROOPS OF WORLD WAR I-ORGANIZATION, TACTICS, WEAPONS, EQUIPMENT, ORDERS OF BATTLE, UNIFORMS
THOMAS WICTOR
SCHIFFER PUBLISHING, LTD., 2012
HARDCOVER, 344 PAGES, $69.99, PHOTOGRAPHS, DIAGRAMS, ILLUSTRATIONS, APPENDICES, GLOSSARY, BIBLIOGRAPHY

Stormtroopers were elite attack units of the German Imperial Army created in response to the stalemate of trench warfare on the Western Front. Both sides in fact employed a number of techniques to break through the enemy lines and restore a war of movement, the most obvious being the use of ever larger artillery barrages combined with mass infantry attacks. The general result of these efforts was simply more elaborate defensive works and massive casualty rates. Stormtroopers were organized as an alternative way of overcoming the enemy defenses.

The first assault detachment (Sturmabteilung) was authorized in March, 1915 and consisted of two companies of Pioneer troops brought together from the Eighth Army Corps on the Western Front. In August, 1915, it was placed under the command of Captain Willy Rohr. Rohr began experimenting with a number of different weapons and techniques of attack. His basic idea was to create small units of highly motivated soldiers capable of fighting at close quarters in surprise attacks against enemy forces. They were trained to act independently with a minimum of supervision from the higher German command system so that they could maximize the advantages of speed and surprise at the local level. In addition to rifles, they were armed with flamethrowers, light trench mortars, and short-range field guns, to put as much firepower under their immediate control as possible. Grenades proved to be especially effective in securing enemy trenches and became a major staple of stormtrooper attacks.

As the tactics developed, stormtroopers were used to spearhead attacks, smashing holes in weak points of the Allied lines ahead of the main infantry advance. They attempted to avoid enemy strongpoints or to attack them from the flank and rear, reckoning their speed of advance and ability to disrupt the enemy defensive system as more important than maintaining unbroken contact with the units to either side of them. Those pockets of Allied soldiers who did continue to resist would be cut off and mopped up by the regular troops following in the wake of the stormtroopers.

GERMAN ASSAULT TROOPS OF WORLD WAR I-ORGANIZATION, TACTICS, WEAPONS, EQUIPMENT, ORDERS OF BATTLE, UNIFORMS is the first book that fully details these small and well-integrated units that were armed with a range of light and heavy weapons to exploit any opportunity to penetrate the Allied front lines and press ahead. The typical rigid Prussian discipline was transformed into a closer comradeship between officer and men based on mutual trust. Author Thomas Wiktor has assembled an unprecentented book that is loaded with rare photographs, documents, insignia, and badges of these shock troops. Also included are the weapons used by these soldiers as well as a listing of all the units and what campaigns and battles they participated in. This is the ultimate reference book on a subject that is often overlooked in the study of World War I.

Lt. Colonel Robert A. Lynn, Florida Guard
Orlando, Florida
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent June 2 2014
By J. Kindred - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Excellent book on a subject rarely touched on in the detail the author of this book has done. Detailed descriptions of the units, uniforms and equipment. The collection of photos in this volume is one of the finest I have ever seen, worth the price of the book alone. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in WWI uniforms and equipment.

Mr. Wictor, thank you for taking the time to document the history of these often overlooked WWI soldiers.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars German Assault Troops Book April 20 2014
By Emily Welch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a collector of photographs from the Great War, I am interested in as much information about the uniforms,equipment and strategy of these soldiers as I can gather. This book on German assault troops provides a tremendous amount of information on all aspects of these soldiers.

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