Waffen-ss Kursk 1943 (Archive) (英語) ハードカバー – 2004/10/1
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The Waffen-SS: Kursk 1943 titles, of which this is Volume 5, form an exquisite series of collector-quality photo books by RZM Publishing. Embracing an aesthetic seen only in high-end art and photography books, RZM presents over twenty-eight rolls of newly discovered combat film shot by six Waffen-SS Kriegsberichters (war correspondents) during the renowned East Front battle of Kursk in July 1943. In addition to being an invaluable visual reference for all students of military history, this poignant six-volume series focuses on the experiences of the frontline infantryman, a subject too often eclipsed by the grandeur of the political and military landscape of the Second World War. Printed on deluxe European semi-matte art paper for unparalleled photographic reproduction, each page literally'pulls' you into the images, making you feel as though you are a part of the action. This documentary-style series presents the photographs in the actual sequence in which they were taken, creating a visual diary unlike anything previously published on the subject. This volume contains extraordinary images of the men and armoured vehicles of the 1st SS Panzer Grenadier Division'Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler' and the 3rd SS Panzer Grenadier Division 'Totenkopf', in action and at rest.
Remy Spezzano is the founder and owner of RZM Publishing, a company that has become a byword for high quality photo books on the German Armed Forces of the Second World War. As a specialist in the area of photo research, he has worked with some of the world's preeminent national archives and gained access to numerous private collections to procure the finest photographic material produced by the German Propaganda units. The selected images are then enhanced using the most advanced photo-retouching techniques to obtain optimal visual appeal. These same rigorous standards are also applied to the graphic design and production of each book, which the publisher approaches like an artist intent on realizing his vision. The end result is a body of work that is world-renowned and includes RZM's best selling God, Honor, Fatherland; Platz Der Leibstandarte and Kampfraum Arnheim.
Volume 5 follows what by now has become an annoyingly familliar format: soldiers march, tanks and other AFV's roll, and exhausted troopers eat, joke, and relax when possible. What's lacking here is what has been missing from these books all along: any sence of immediacy, urgency, or drama. Actually, that's less a criticism than an observation on how a "battle" of this magnitude unfolds across literally hundreds of square miles of relatively featureless terrain as in the Ukraine. Unfortunately there are no sweeping panoramas of tanks and men locked in thundering armored combat - just more of the same vignettes as in the previous volumes in this series. And of course, no doubt when the shells began to fly, the seasoned Waffen-SS Kriegsberichters took cover too, thereby missing some potential "photo ops"!
That's not to say there's nothing worthwhile in this slim volume; there are fascinating views of: captured T-34's being utilized; SS artillery in action while an oblivious trooper eats lunch in the foreground; literally acres of AFV's waiting to advance; men inspecting a downed Yak-1 fighter; a pause in the action at a watering spot; and two especially poignant shots of soldaten talking with and possibly comforting refugee Ukrainian women and their children. It's all-too-easy to forget these thunderous events took place amidst and wrecked the lives of countless helpless civillians who bore no connection with the Soviet rulers in far-away Moscow. Surprisingly, this is shown in the evident compassion with which these civillian non-combattants, as well as enemy wounded and prisoners, are here treated by the soldaten of the Waffen-SS. Although this time there is no "featured" personality, photos by a fourth correspondent, Willi Merz, join those of Buschel, King, and Groenert. The text continues to lead up to a suggested climax at Prochorowka for the final volume 6.