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Reference Book Help

Article about: Hello all, I recently have been informed as to how important reference books are. First i was going to buy, Orders, Decorations, Medals and Badges of the Third Reich, and Insignia, Decoratio

  1. #1

    Default Reference Book Help

    Hello all, I recently have been informed as to how important reference books are. First i was going to buy, Orders, Decorations, Medals and Badges of the Third Reich, and Insignia, Decorations and Badges of the Third Reich and Occupied Countries. I was informed that these may be a little too old. Now that I can't run away from the prices I am looking at the two books, The Awards of the Heer- Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.

    I would love any help or advice as to what books would be good for awards and Field Gear of the german army, as that's what I am most interested in.

    Thanks in advance,
    Bodhi

  2. #2
    MAP
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    The Awards of Heer Vol 1 and 2 are fantastic books. Written and published by some of the best in the field.

    But as with any book, they have their strengths and limitations. The great thing about these are also their biggest weakness.

    These books give an "overview" of each award. They speak to the history, show some of the award documents and period photos in wear, list out the makers (mostly/partially), show some examples and accoutrements such as boxes, packets, stick pins, etc.

    Pro's
    - handy "quick" reference materials with factual information
    - Great for beginner collectors that are still trying to understand what each award is
    - Well laid out with nice color photos, charts, tables. etc
    - Include a few awards that have no other available reference books (that I'm aware of)

    Con's
    - There really is only one negative but it is a big one. These books (actually no single book) can adequately cover in the details needed what you need to put you on the "path" to master a particular type of award. There are just too many awards and too many manufactures and too many variants made by each manufacture. Plain and simple. If this book was to do that it would be 7,000 to 10,000 pages long.

    The best reference books focus on a single award. For example, the best reference book for the Panzer Assault Badges is two large volumes at close to 1,000 pages. And the best book on Paratrooper badges is 600 pages (in large table top sized format!)

    I own the first volume of the Awards of Heer. I like it, refer to it occasionally but not very often.

    Quality reference books are like collecting militaria. Quality costs a lot of $. So if I were you, I would pick a particular award you are interested in collecting more than one example and buy a book focused on that award. Then slowly build up your library as you pick up different types of awards.

    Lastly, reference books are important but they are not the only pillar. Not every book is perfect. They all have errors or omissions and they are written at a point in time and new information is always being uncovered. So combine your library with constant study (i.e. forum research, consulting with experts, etc) and as much hands on experience.
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  3. #3
    MAP
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    You noted also that you would like a book on German field equipment.

    Many of us have JP's (Jean-Philippe Borg - and a Moderator on this forum) "German Combat Equipment 1939-45". It's a nice handy soft cover book. I throw it in my pack when I go to local shows!
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the reply, I don’t really have a specific award I am interested in but I do own a few Wound badges Two black, Two silver and one gold that may be a good book to get. I also am interested in purchasing a panzer assault badge so maybe that would also be a good book to have.

  5. #5
    MAP
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    Quote by BodhiEtheridge View Post
    Thanks for the reply, I don’t really have a specific award I am interested in but I do own a few Wound badges Two black, Two silver and one gold that may be a good book to get. I also am interested in purchasing a panzer assault badge so maybe that would also be a good book to have.
    I don't know of any wound badge books. Maybe others can opine (I would like to know myself)

    As far at the PAB? There is really only one I would recommend. "The German Panzer Assault Badge of WWII" by Philippe De Bock.

    The problem is that unless you are collecting more than one, it is too pricey. It is out of print by readily available. Prices typically go from $300 to $500. About the cost of one or two awards....I might know of one for sale. But not sure of the asking price.

    Here are some examples....

    The Panzer Assault Badge of World War Two by Philippe De Bock

    https://www.amazon.com/GERMAN-PANZER.../dp/9081420208

    The German Panzer Assault badge of World War II by Philippe De Bock

    9789081420204: THE GERMAN PANZER ASSAULT BADGE OF WORLD WAR II: A Collector's Guide To The German Panzer Assault Badge Of World War II - AbeBooks - Phillipe De Brock: 9081420208
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  6. #6

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    I agree that that's too much for me as my goal is only for a Bronze and Silver grade PAB just to complete the look for a future display. Unless of course I win the lottery and buy some numbered PABs. I am also interested about the wound badges as I haven't seen any books on them.

  7. #7

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    Bodhi,

    I can only echo what MAP has said about reference material,, everyone has pros and cons.. You have to take the good with the bad.. If there was one all inclusive reference book it would be 100,000 pages, (well maybe not that big) but you get the idea.. Some of the earlier reference books were some of the best at the time and as more information became available, those books still served as a cornerstone to the hobby but they were added to and more informative books were published,, but even with the most advanced most recent books out there, give it time and they too will be replaced when more information becomes available..

    Here are a few other books that I have that have been helpful..

    German Combat Badges of the Third Reich, Volume 1 Heer and Kriegsmarine by Michael F. Tucker
    German Combat Badges of the Third Reich, Volume 2 Luftwaffe by Stephen Thomas Previtera
    War Badges of the Kriegsmarine by Gordon Williamson

    An fairly inexpensive book that I think would be good for you to have since you are just starting on your way with German Equipment and things is this book:

    Deutsche Soldaten, Uniforms, Equipment & Personal Items of the German Soldier 1939-45. by Agustin Saiz.

    Some pretty decent color photos of the various gear used and lots of smaller items like the type of things that went into map cases and personal items carried.. I had an extra copy of this book but I have since given it to another forum member but this book is reasonably priced and will not break your bank..

    Here are some books that cover one specific award.

    The Medal For the Winter War in the East 1941/42 (Eastern Front Medal) By Sascha Weber.. A good book that discusses the Medal and its variations.. (Eastern Front Medals are still readily available and not too expensive)

    Cuff Titles of the Wehrmacht, Kreta, Afrika, Metz 1944, Kurland by Sascha Weber.. Again a book that covers the different Cuff titles worn..

    The War Merit Cross by Gordon Williamson and Josef Charita

    The German Close Combat Clasp of World War Two by Thomas M. Durante

    One of the many reasons why I have so many reference books is because of many of the members here who recommended specific books to me based on their collections and information.. I have for example several books on daggers and bayonets.. None of the book that I had specifically mentioned or detailed a blade that I had,, not until I reached out to the members of the forum who pointed me in the right direction and I found the reference book I was looking for.. SO I added another book to the collection and if it weren't for another member I would have not found the information I was looking for...

    One reason why I rely on the members here because we can't always have every single reference book that we desire,, but after nearly 50 years of collecting my library has grown and it will continue to grow as I try to gain more knowledge..

    When I was looking for more information about a specific award or item I would reach out to the community and they most often recommend the books mentioned. I have also reached out to many of the Authors and have established a good relationship with them..

    You will gather a large reference library over the years if you are very serious about collecting and knowing more in depth about the items in your collection..

    One other thing to keep in mind.. Everyone has an opinion about a book or the contents of the books.. Some will say stay away others will say it is a must have.. You alone have to decide what is best for you.. I would try going to a library to see if they have any of the books in their reference collection and see if you can look through them.. A college library may have some of the books and even local museum's may have a reference library for some items.. Look to find them in these places prior to purchasing if you are unsure.. Guns shows are a good place to look at dealers selling books as well as some of the places on line such as Hamilton books which I sent you the link yesterday and Ebay has books,,

    and there is a site called Abe books;

    AbeBooks | Shop for Books, Art & Collectibles

    You have to do some shopping around but you can save some money by not going straight to eBay but to some of the other sites...

    As MAP said,, books are not the only source and given this age of modern technology and instant answers, books help validate and support, but they don't always have all the answers..

    Feel free to contact if you have any questions

    Smitty

  8. #8

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    I think I have it all down now, buy books specific to one Medal/Award as the collection grows so should the library. My next move for the collection may be a PAB but I’ll see what happens as I save.

    As of now my main interests are Heer focused, mainly their equipment and their awards, Whatever I buy next I will ask around for a book to get on the item (before I buy the item most likely). As of now I will just expand my general knowledge of the Heer and work with what I’ve got as I do already have some books and some great sites that I use.

    I do really appreciate all the help I’ve got from you guys!


    -Bodhi

  9. #9

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    Smitty, is this the book you are speaking of?

    https://www.ebay.com/i/303416424896?...yABEgL2QvD_BwE

    If so I may make this my first field gear book, it seems like a great book to have.

  10. #10

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    Bodhi,

    Yes this is the book.. Again a decent book for "entry level" collectors.. Once you know what your interests and likes are then you can expand to more expensive more complex books.. This is a very good book in my opinion...

    Hope you get it..

    Smitty

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