03 September 2012

Germany's First Ally (book review)

A couple of weeks back  when I was still working on the early stages of The September Campaign v.2 I got into a discussion with Andreas at our club who's our resident Mid-War Slovak player. He asked if I was going to write in the Slovaks, which had been my plan from the start, and after some more talking about Slovak contributions to the invasion of Poland in 1939 Andreas started to talk about a book he had somewhere at home.

Little did I know then, but research on Early War Slovaks proved to be the hardest thing during the entire project, and while Andreas was looking for his book I scavenged the internet for information on units, weapons, army composition and battles. Ridiculously difficult task but puzzling together information like Dr. Frankenstein puzzled together his monster, I was able to work out 3 Slovak lists based upon what I could find. Just as I had finished the Slovak section, Andreas found his book.

"Germany's first ally" is the title of this book on the Slovak army during WW2, and it's an amazing resource for anyone interested in the Slovak army in Early, Mid and Late War. There are tons of pictures, maps, and
information on Slovak contributions and operative status throughout the years.

Also a rich amount of background describing the Slovak independence just prior to the outbreak of the war. I was mostly interested in the Slovaks after their independence and their part in the invasion of Poland so I did not really read the rest of the book in detail. but it has a ton of detailed information and technical data about all the vehicles and weapons the Slovak army used during the war. It also includes a ton of pictures, most of which I had already seen or found on obscure WW2 sites and forums while working on the Slovak section for my campaign book.

The amount of time I spent looking for scraps of information during my research could have been cut down in half as this book included much of the information I had found myself. Though I was a bit disappointed that it did not include the composition of companies and platoons when it had information about other things such as the artillery and tanks. I mainly used it to double check what I had researched and already written. In any case, this book is a must have, and from what I gather - this seem to be the only book of its kind on this particular subject.

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