It’s that time of year when loved spouses, family members or close friends ask, “Whattya want for Christmas?” They have good intentions—so why not give them some ideas that you really want instead of just waiting to open another pair of socks with reindeer knitted on the sides or a tray of little sausages?
We want to help you with your list. JAG looked over his shelves to see what really neat books he acquired during the past months and selected a few that he thought other military collectors might like to find in their holiday gifts.
The GMC CCKW Truck in the U.S. Service: Historical Reference, by David Doyle. (ISBN 978-0-89747-724-6. Squadron Signal Publications, 1115 Crowley Drive, Carrollton, TX 75006-1312; phone: 1-800-896-4196; Website: www.sspbooks.com. Hardcover, 11.2” x 8.8”, 504 pages, more than 1,200 black-and-white and color illustrations, 2013, $74.95).
JAG says: David Doyle has tackled a topic that had only been superficially covered. The story of the GMC 2-1/2-ton CCKW had been told and retold through the years, but few of the storytellers had conducted any primary research. The stories grew, sometimes erroneously, to a point where many felt they understood the developmental and deployment history of the Jimmy, yet, no one could point to published sources to support their tales. Doyle’s monumental volume combines information from wartime GMC data with more than 1,200 period photographs to tell the complete story of the Jimmy from the inception of its predecessor, the ACKWX, through the end of its frontline vehicle status during the Korean War. David Doyle has resurrected the CCKW from the depths of history and placed it on the pedestal of iconic WWII vehicles where it belongs.
Allies in Battledress: From Normandy to the North Sea 1944-1945, by Jean Bouchery. (ISBN: 978-35250-191-6. Distributed by Casemate, 908 Darby Road, Haverton, PA 19083, phone: 610-853-9146; web site: www.casematepublishing.com. 9-1/4” x 12”, hardcover, 152 pages, fully illustrated, 2012, $55.00)
JAG says: This is the third volume of the trilogy devoted to the Allied troops of the 21st Army Group. It is a very welcome book, finally shedding light on the uniforms and equipment of smaller—though important—forces of Belgium, France, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland and Czechoslovakia. I bought my copy through Amazon for about $35.
Iraqi Militaria: Identification Guide with Translations, by Robert Missling (No ISBN, available directly from the author, Robert Missling, 501 N. Van Buren Ave., Springfield, MN 56087; phone: 507.723.9991, e-mail: email@example.com. Softcover, spiral-bound, 8-1/2” x 11”, 155 pages, hundreds of color photographs, 2011, $49.95)
JAG says: I have been overwhelmed by the amount of Iraqi militaria I have encountered this past year. Finding reliable reference material is very difficult. Though self-published, Missling has produced a good starting reference for anyone just getting into the realm of Iraqi insignia collecting. This book has provided me with much of the info I needed in the past year to buy and sell Iraqi insignia with confidence.
Kriegsmarine: History, Uniforms, Headgear, Insignia, Equipment, 1935-45, by Enzo Berrafato & Laurent Berrafato (ISBN 978-0764-4274-5, Schiffer Publishing, 4880 Lower Valley Rd., Atglen, PA 19310; website: www.schifferbooks.com. Hardcover, 9” x 12-1/2”, 254 pages, fully illustrated in color, 2012, $69.99.
JAG says: If I want to start collecting in a new arena after paging through a new book, then I have to say, “That book is pretty darn cool.” That is exactly what happened when I began to look through Kriegsmarine. Night after night, I found myself picking this book off the stack to continue the exploration of a topic I never really considered before. I have become a full-blown German Navy collector, but I have to say this book gave me all the information to begin a passionate exploration of the field! It is a great example of what Schiffer can produce: A gorgeous book with great photographs and scholarly research.
Insignia and Artifacts of the Waffen SS, Michael D. Beaver and Mark A. Bando, (ISBN 978-0-615-67502-2. Privately Published, Copyright Mark A. Bando. Hardcover, 8” x 12”, 338 pages, $128.00)
JAG says: I will admit, when it comes to Third Reich material (and SS stuff in particular), I have become jaded. “Fake until proven otherwise,” is my mantra. With that, all I can say about this book, is “Wow!” Mark Bando and the late Michael Beaver have put together a book of some of the strongest, original SS insignia—each piece supported with strong, veteran provenance. When I got my copy, it became my favorite nighttime reading for weeks—and when I was done, I had become much better at recognizing original SS insignia. Though pricey, I found my copy at the Ruptured Duck for $80. Log on to www.therupturedduck.com
Heroes in Our Midst, Volume 1: WWII American Airborne: Early Years, Training, Jump Wings, Parachutes, Jump Helmets, Paramarines, by LTC (Ret.) John R. Angolia, assisted by Jake Powers. (ISBN-13: 978-1932970234, R James Bender Publishing, R. James Bender Publishing, P.O. Box 23456, San Jose, CA 95153-3456; Phone: 408-225-5777; www.bender-publishing.com. Hardcover, 11.4” x 8.7”, 528 pages, more than 1,650 photos (most in color), 2013, $94.95).
JAG says: In the realm of US WWII collecting, material from the Airborne units, the First Special Service Force, Rangers, Marine Raiders and even the 10th Mountain Division and Kiska Task Force have quickly outpaced the material of the regular Army and Marine units in price. This is the first work to seriously examine items directly associated with America’s elite formations in WWII. The scholarship is solid and the artifacts illustrated make this a fun book to study... either as nighttime reading or in the depths of the collecting room. It holds up in either setting.
European Bayonets of the American Civil War, by David Noe and Joseph Serbaroli Jr. (ISBN 978-1-931464-59-8, Andrew Mowbray Inc., Woonsocket, Rhode Island 02895; Phone: 800.999.4697; website: www.manatarmsbooks.com. Soft cover, 216 pages, fully illustrated in black-and-white, 2013, $39.98).
JAG says: It is rare to call a book in our hobby a “game-changer,” but that is exactly what European Bayonets is. Once mistaken for valueless junk, the bayonets imported from Europe for the Union and Confederacy can now be recognized as historically significant items, thanks to authors David Noe and Joseph Serbaroli Jr. The writing is engaging, delving far deeper than a litany of specifications. It is an essential addition to any serious library focused on Civil War relics
Combat Infantryman Badge, 1943 to 1975, by Michael F. Tucker (ISBN 0-96858546-6-3, MilSpec Publishing, P.O. Box 881663, Port St. Lucie, FL 34988-1663; phone: 772.336.5265; website: www.authenticmilitaria.com. Soft cover, 10.2” x 7.5”, 133 pages, fully illustrated in color photos, 2012, $39.00).
JAG says: Combat Infantryman Badge is, without question, the most thorough book on the subject. Scholar Michael Tucker has written the best collector-inspired examinations of variations based on manufacturers, including bullion, cloth and miniature examples. A collector, himself, Tucker knows—and wrote—exactly what collectors need to make smart acquisitions. Not just for CIB collectors, anyone who collector U.S. awards and insignia will find this book is going to be an oft-consulted reference.
Deutsche Luftwaffe, 1935-1945. Uniforms and Equipment of the German Air Force (1935-1945), by Gustavo Cano & Santiago Guillen (ISBN 978-84-96658-39-4, published by Andrea Press and distributed in the U.S. by Casemate Publishers and Book Distributors, LL, 908 Darby Rd, Havertown, PA 19083; phone (610)-853-9131; website: www.casematepublishing.com. Hardcover, 8-1/2” x 12”, 360 pages, more than 1100 photographs, 2013, $74.95)
JAG says: In the spirit of the ground-breaking works, Deutsche Soldat and GI Collector, authors Cano and Guillen have produced a detailed study of Hitler’s air force. Unlike the aforementioned books, however, Deutsche Luftwaffe describes the organization and functions of the Germany’s Air Force. This is followed by a lavish photographic study of uniforms and gear specifically associated. Bear in mind, though, the book is specifically focused on flight personnel. There is very little coverage of Luftwaffe ground troops like Flak personnel, Ground Division soldier or paratroopers. That said, this book deserves a spot in any library that concentrates on WWII flight gear. It covers that topic with authority and precision.
The Complete DUKW: Historical Reference, by David Doyle. (ISBN: 978-0897477208, Squadron Signal Publications, 1115 Crowley Drive, Carrollton, TX 75006-1312; phone: 1-800-896-4196; Web site: www.sspbooks.com. Hardcover, 11.2” x 8.8”, 304 pages, more than 750 black-and-white and color photographs and detailed line drawings, 2013, $59.95).
JAG says: The Complete DUKW: Historical Reference is, by far, the most comprehensive study of GMC’s amphibious 2-1/2-ton truck ever to be published. Not only is the photo-album like presentation packed with more than 750 photographs and detailed drawings, author David Doyle has delved deep into primary research to uncover new information—and dispel many commonly held misconceptions.