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Book Review
World War One Series Number 1002 –Sturmtruppen -The Kaiser’s Elite Stormtroopers
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by: Randy L Harvey [ HARV ]


Stormtroopers were specialist soldiers of the German Army in World War I. In the last years of the war, they were trained in "infiltration tactics", part of Germanys new method of attack on enemy trenches. Men trained in these methods were known as Sturmmann, which literally means, "assault man". The stormtroopers employed a short barrel K98 carbine for better mobility in the close quarters of the trenches. They were trained on the operation and repair of German, French, and English machine guns. The stormtroopers also carried light machine guns, trench knives, and iron wrapped clubs with spikes. The men became experts with grenades, using them singly or in bunches, in order to clear minor trouble spots and to drive the enemy out of their positions.

The stormtrooper tactics focused on bypassing strongly held positions. Regular German infantry and pioneers would follow in the wake of the stormtroopers, eliminating the bypassed strong-points and consolidating the taken ground. The stormtroopers followed a short but violent artillery barrage which stunned the defenders and allowed the stormtroopers to overwhelm the disorientated enemy. The stormtroopers would then follow communications and reserve trenches into rear areas to seek out and destroy command posts, communications centers, reserves, and supplies. The infiltration tactics developed by the stormtroopers in WWI are still in use today, in one form or another, by many of the world's militaries.

the book

Tankograd Publications -World War One Series Number 1002 –Imperial German Army Weapons and Soldiers of the Great War 1914-1918 - Sturmtruppen -The Kaiser’s Elite Stormtroopers is by Oliver Richter with the Verlag Jochen Vollert collection. The book is a 96 page soft cover book and contains 165 black & white photographs and 48 color photographs. The ISBN is 978-3-936519-23-5 and it has a 2010 copyright.

The contents:
• Chapter 1 – The Kaiser's Elite Stormtroopers in Action
• Chapter 2 – Marine Corps Flanders
• Chapter 3 – Stormtrooper's Training
• Chapter 4 – Stormtrooper's Uniform and Equipment
• Chapter 5 – Flame Throwers
• Chapter 6 – Machine Guns
• Chapter 7 – Mine Launchers
• Chapter 8 – Assault Accompanying Gun
• Chapter 9 – Support Weapons
• Chapter 10 – Stormtrooper in Colour
• Chapter 11 - Summary

The Photographs:
Shown throughout the book are a wide variety of photographs of the German WWI Stormtroopers as well as weapons, vehicles, tanks and aircraft. The photographs range from action scenes to casual scenes to scenes that were staged. The photographs show the Stormtroopers during various times of the year, such as summer and winter, and different types of settings such as trenches and No Man’s Land. Several, if not most, of the photographs were new to me so that was a definite plus. Most of the photographs are nice and clear, although there are some that have an out of focus look to them or appear to be too dark. However it needs to be taken into consideration that most of the photographs are approaching being 100 years old and are excellent for their age. The quality of the photographs is of no fault of the author and takes nothing away from the book. It is obvious that the author took the time to research and arrange the photographs in a well thought out chronological manner and separate them as to the subject matter of the individual chapters.

The Captions:
All of the photographs are accompanied by captions that are in English text. The captions are well written and go into great detail in regards to the scene that is shown. It is obvious that the author has taken the time to study the photographs and research them so that the captions are well detailed and point out several items of interest. They go into great detail mentioning items of interest shown such as the uniform, weapons, actions and the individual military units.

Points of Interest:
As with my other book reviews I like to mention certain things shown in the book that I hope will provide additional information and will be of interest to others.

Some of the Sturmtruppen weapons shown and discussed are the:
▪ Gewehr 98 rifle
▪ Bergmann MP18 submachine gun
▪ Karabiner 98 Kurz rifle
▪ Mauser-Pistole C96 (Mauser Broomhandle)
▪ Lange Pistole 08 long version (Luger)
▪ Hebel M1894 flare pistol
▪ M1917 Stielhandgranate (Stick grenade)
▪ M1913 Diskushandgranate (Turtle grenade)
▪ M1917 Eirehandgranate (Egg grenade)
▪ M1913 Kugelhandgranate (Power Ball grenade)
▪ Klief M1915 flamethrower
▪ Grof M1916 flamethrower
▪ Wechselapparat (Wex) M1917 flamethrower
▪ Maxim MG08 machine gun
▪ MG08/15 machine gun

Some of the military units shown and discussed are the:
▪ Sturmbataillon Nr. 10
▪ Jagerbataillon Nr. 3
▪ MG – Scharfschutzen – Trupp Nr. 15
▪ Garde-Reserve-Pionier-Regiment
▪ Sturm-Panzerkraftwagen-Abteilung 3
▪ Bayrisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 5

Also covered in the book are support weapons used in support of the stormtroopers. Some of these shown and discussed are the:
▪ Junkers J9 airplane
▪ Junkers J10 or CL.I airplane
▪ Junkers J4 airplane
▪ Hannover CL.III airplane
▪ Fokker airplane
▪ German observation "sausage" balloon
▪ Sturmpanzerwagen A7V tank
▪ Geschutzwagen 14 (truck) with a 7,7cm Ballon-Abwehr-Kanoe
▪ 25cm Schwere Minenwerfer
▪ 7,7cm Feldkanonen 16 n/A
▪ 21cm Morser M10
▪ 17cm Schellladekanone SK L/40

Another subject that is covered is captured/commandeered equipment and weapons. This has been a long time favorite subject of mine so I was very pleased to see that is was covered in this book.

Some of the captured/commandeered items shown and discussed are the:
▪ British Mark IV tank
▪ French Chauchat M1915 Light Machine Gun
▪ British Lewis Gun
▪ Danish Madsen Machine Gun
▪ French MG M1907 St. Etienne
▪ French Mecanicarm M1917 Flare Pistol
▪ Also shown are stormtroopers with British gas mask bags and one wearing a British helmet.


All in all I am very impressed with the book. The Sturmtruppen are shown and discussed very well. With its wealth of detailed photographs and captions this book will appeal to the World War One historian and enthusiast, the military diorama and figure modeler, and the military enthusiast and will be a welcome addition to one’s personal reference library. I would have no hesitation to add other Tankograd Publishing World War One Series titles, or any of the other Tankograd titles, to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others. This is an excellent title from Tankograd Publishing.


History Through Sources, The Western Front
Rosemary Rees
Rigby Interactive Library

The Usborne Introduction to the First World War
Ruth Brocklehurst & Henry Brook
Scholastic Inc.

The American Heritage History of World War I
Brigadier General S.L.A. Marshall
American Heritage/Bonanza Books
New York

The World War One Source Book
Philip J. Haythornthwaite
Arms and Armor Press

Arms and Uniforms, The First World War Part 1
Liliane and Fred Funcken
Ward Lock Limited

German Soldier on the Western Front 1914-1918
Robert Kirchubel & Ramiro Bujeiro
Concord Publications Company

To order Tankograd Publications worldwide:
and please mention that you saw this on Armorama.

Highs: Several unique and excellent photographs that cover the World War One Sturmtruppen very well. Well written, researched, and detailed captions and text.
Lows: Some of the photographs are dark and not very clear.
Verdict: This is an excellent reference book that is well written and contains many interesting photographs and well detailed captions. This will make a nice addition to anyone’s personal reference library and will also be a benefit to the World War One historian.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: 1002
  Suggested Retail: $35.00 MSRP
  PUBLISHED: Nov 16, 2010

Our Thanks to Tankograd Publishing!
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About Randy L Harvey (HARV)

I have been in the modeling hobby off and on since my youth. I build mostly 1/35 scale. However I work in other scales for aircraft, ships and the occasional civilian car kit. I also kit bash and scratch-build when the mood strikes. I mainly model WWI and WWII figures, armor, vehic...

Copyright ©2021 text by Randy L Harvey [ HARV ]. All rights reserved.


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