- Taschenbuch: 48 Seiten
- Verlag: Osprey Publishing (21. Januar 2014)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1780960174
- ISBN-13: 978-1780960173
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 18,3 x 1 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 218.119 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
- Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen
42cm "Big Bertha" and German Siege Artillery of World War I (New Vanguard, Band 205) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 21. Januar 2014
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"This superb and long-needed book covers the siege that Germany used against fortresses in its World War I offensive campaigns ... This is a must-have book for anyone interested in this subject!" - Coast Defense Journal
"...a fascinating book on a subject few have written. It is quite well done and I'd have to add this to the growing list of books that any enthusiast needs to have on their shelves." - Scott Van Aken, www.modelingmadness.com
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Marc Romanych is a retired US Army combat arms officer. He has a BA in History from the University of Maryland and an MA in International Relations from St Mary's University. Interested in the Maginot Line since 1995, Marc has extensively explored its fortifications. He is a member of Association du P.O. de Sentzich, a Maginot Line preservation group. Marc lives near Baltimore, Maryland. The author lives in Severn, MD.
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The 42cm siege guns played a very prominent role in the initial months of the war--the whole initial advance would have been much less successful without them. Yet their importance faded very quickly and by the last phases of the war little was heard of them. This book explains this mystery very clearly. It's something of an object lesson in the importance and limitations of technological surprise in war.
The heavy siege artillery was developed as a secret weapon and it came a shock to the Allies at war's outset. As a result, a great deal of myth developed about it, traces of which are still to be found in English-language books about the war. This book tells the real story.
I found only a handful of very minor issues on peripheral points that don't affect the real subject--mistakes regarding the ranks of various chiefs of the General Staff, an erroneous identification of the owner of the Krupp empire (she was Bertha Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, never von Krupp), and a somewhat misleading reference to benzine motor fuel. All in all this is an excellent and unique book on an important aspect of World War I history.
The discussion and analysis contained in the book not only covers the physical characteristics of the weapons themselves but decent detail and analysis of transportation vehicles, transportation techniques (the guns had to be moved by rail to a very close position to their firing position and then moved to the final point by either short gauge rail or transport vehicle), what was involved in setting them up and how they were operationally used. In addition, all the guns and their transport vehicles are beautifully illustrated in color plates that not only show how these looked but detailed operational components (i.e., such as main elevation wheels as well as those used to fine tune aiming). These are definitely some of the best illustrations this author has seen in any Osprey book. For model and diorama builders, illustrators and the technically curious these are a God-send. The book also has many contemporaneous B&W photographs not only of the guns and transport vehicles and apparatus but also of the damage they caused, how they were transported and some interesting points such as the giant tell-tale plumes of smoke and circular shaped patterns, that resulted from firing, that so gave away the gun and its position to allied counter-battery guns.
As if all of the above was not enough, especially for a 48 page booklet, the history of the guns in combat and their contributions is examined in every year of the war. In short, the guns made a very impressive contribution to reducing allied forts in the opening of the war but, as the war progressed and fewer and fewer forts were available for targeting, the weapons lost their value. They were slowly utilized more and more as conventional artillery or targeting weapons that they could have little impact on (i.e., ports, etc.).
All and all an excellent introduction to German siege guns of WWI in general (not just the Bertha) in terms not only of physical characteristics but historical development, operational history and value to the German army. In addition it is beautifully illustrated. Five stars, especially considering its short length.
The book then moves – in typically concise New Vanguard series fashion – to discuss each of the types of heavy gun and mortar the Germans developed for and during the war. Given there were only a few types and only one variant there is more room than is often the case with a New Vanguard book to delve into the operations of these mighty weapons. Indeed this is one of the better New Vanguard books in this regard that I’ve thus far read and it is interesting to hear of some of these battles. In a number of these accounts it is even known how many shells were fired at the defending forts. Also of interest is that some of the forts bombarded by these pieces surrendered out of the noxious fumes they became full of or were catastrophically damaged by hits that set off ammunition stores or the like.
Modellers will particularly like the photographs – these weapons are only infrequently given space in other general war histories and the like and the compare these weapons with the size of the crew standing about them gives a good element of scale to things. The colour plates will also aid the modeller.
Bibliography is fairly small in this volume – it is a niche subject after all. The index is useful and it might be an idea to purchase this volume with the two volumes on British artillery available in the series. At the time of writing I am anticipating a great many more New Vanguards on the artillery arm. This one is worthwhile for its interesting subject.
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