Sorry it's taken so long, but here's my review of the magazine:
Review: German War Machine Magazine Vol. 1, No. 1
Edited by Peter Darman
Website and Forum: http://www.germanwarmachine.com
E-mail: [email protected]
This is a new magazine, focusing on the German military in World War II. It is most certainly not a tool of revisionists or apologists. As a matter of fact, there is a disclaimer on the front of the magazine that states that the publishers “recognize that the Wehrmacht was guilty of committing war crimes…as was the SS itself. The magazine in no way seeks to glorify and/or whitewash this aspect of the German Army’s behavior. Instead, e offer the magazine…as a contribution to historical knowledge and understanding.”
That contribution to knowledge and understanding has certainly been met. The magazine itself is written on good quality heavy paper. Its presentation is broken up into eleven major sections. In the first issue, the “On Campaign” presentation deals with the Battle of Sedan. “Weapons and Equipment” focuses on the Flak 18. Gordon Williamson wrote both the “Uniforms and Equipment” article on Panzer uniforms and the “Awards” piece on the Panzer Assault Badge. The “Sinews of War” section had an interesting article on the logistics involved in keeping a Panzer Division moving.
The “Small Unit Actions” article dealt with a company commander at Stalingrad. Generalfeldmarschall von Rundstedt was the focus of the “Commanders” section. A discussion on Blitzkrieg was this month’s “Strategy and Tactics” topic, while “Fighting the German Army” dealt with the experiences of a Soviet infantry tank rider. Our own Jason Pipes contributed the “Unit History” article on the 7th Panzer Division. Feldgrau was also the topic for the initial “Book Review/Website Review” section.
The contributing writers should sound familiar to many of us. The consulting editor is Professor Robert M. Citino, Professor of European History at Eastern Michigan University. Two of the contributors have been mentioned above. Steve Crawford is the author of several books on differing aspects of the war, as are Chris McNab and Tim Ripley. Nik Cornish’s focus is on the Ostfront, which reflects in his books, as well as the interviewing he has done.
The magazine is well illustrated, with photographs, diagrams, and maps. Maps are presented in both 2D and 3D. I cannot say for certain that it is permanent, but the inside back cover of the magazine has a key to the maps, showing all the symbols and the color codes for the different nations.
Because it is new, we cannot expect that it will be perfect. We must expect certain “teething problems.” Our own Generalderpanzertruppen, aka Troy, pointed out on the magazine’s forum the technically improper use of the term Wehrmacht in places where Heer should have been used. He also pointed out a disconnect in the comparisons of general officer ranks, between the Heer/Waffen-SS, and the UK/US equivalents. These are things that are easily fixed, however.
There were two big points that struck me, however. One of them is that unlike many magazines, the articles aren’t split up. I personally find it very frustrating to read an article, only to find out that it is “continued on page 87,” hidden somewhere among pages of advertisements. Not here! When you start an article, it is all together, with no flipping through looking for the last few paragraphs.
I was actually surprised at the lack of advertising. I expect that there will be more as the magazine grows, as that is one of the most common ways to pay the bills. I find myself hoping, though, that the advertising can be limited to products and services relating to military history and World War II, though that may well be wishful thinking.
I wholeheartedly recommend this magazine. It is easy to read, and informative. This opinion has nothing to do with the fact that they are site sponsors for Feldgrau, but I will say that we should all be happy that our Forum is associated with this group.