Osprey's Candian Corps Soldier vs Royal Bavarian Soldier

Author:

Stephen Bull

Publisher

Osprey

Price

$20.00 MSRP

Reviewer:

Scott Van Aken

Notes: 80 pages, 7 x 9 inches, softbound
ISBN: 978-1-4728-1976-5

Osprey's Combat series is one that is particularly well thought out. It compares two different sides of a conflict. Often, as in this case, they are adversaries who faced each other in battle. It should come as no surprise to most that all soldiers are not trained the same. Their officers have learned different ways of handling similar situations and the tactics they use are often quite different.

A case in point are the two examples provided in this volume. During WWI, there was a considerable amount of regional cohesion in units of all sizes. For instance, the Canadians were gathered together from different areas of the country where they had trained with comrades from the same part of the nation or even the same city. In Germany, many soldiers yet considered themselves 'German' and were Bavarians or Prussians. A similar mind-set existed for the Canadians, though perhaps not on quite the same level.

For much of WWI, Germany fought a defensive war once the trench lines were established. As the war changed, so did the way they operated their defenses. Initially, like the British, French and others, they massed most of their troops in the first line of trenches, but losses following heavy bombardment taught them to only lightly man the forward trenches and to provide additional trench lines father back. It was in the farthest trenches, outside the range of most enemy guns that these troops spent much of their time.

There was no lack of bravery on either side, but the Germans simply did not have the manpower to put into play as did the Entente, so they fought the war differently.

In this book, the author covers the beginnings of both groups of soldiers and how their differences in combat tactics affected the outcome. It concentrates on the last two years of the war and provides examples where both sides were able to gain success, though inevitably it was the German side who had to call it quits, and not because of failure on the front lines, but other aspects of the war that made things untenable.

Chock full of great photos, some excellent illustrations, a few nicely done tables and descriptions of three major battles, this book concisely demonstrates how the two sides fared against each other. It is a book that is both fascinating to read and provides a look at the two antagonists that I know you will find interesting. A superb read and highly recommended. 

August 2017

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