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Books for Imperial German militaria collector?


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Dear All,

I would like to create my own list of a "must have" books for Imperial German militaria collector (I am one). I am of course interested in awards, uniforms, documents and pictures from that period.

Do you have any suggestions?

Kind regards,

Marcin

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To be honest, most books I've purchased over the years have proven to be quite disapointing.

If you're interested in Imperial German uniforms, helmets, caps... I strongly suggest Tony Schnurr's web site!

http://www.kaisersbunker.com/index2.htm

You won't believe this guy's collection! :o And Tony's a great guy, he guided me through my 1st pickelhaube purchase.

Cheers!

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Dear All,

I would like to create my own list of a "must have" books for Imperial German militaria collector (I am one). I am of course interested in awards, uniforms, documents and pictures from that period.

Do you have any suggestions?

Kind regards,

Marcin

Marcin,

I really like your idea, I am also an Imperial collector and would be interested in having a collection of must have reference books. I use one book on a regular basis.

Deutsche Orden und Ehrenzeichen 1800-1945 by Jorg Nimmergut. (In German only)

It is an excellent resource for identifying orders and medals and giving you a good idea what they cost.

Hopes this helps.

Dean

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  • 1 year later...

The problem is, there is simply no "overview" all-in-one-volume sort of reference on ANY aspect of Imperial collecting--though there are an amazing number of highly specialized books on specific areas--Saxony, Waldeck, award rolls (ahem) etc etc.

Unless someone is lucky enough to immediately gravitate to a lifelong specific interest, my best advice after collecting Imperial German for more than 40 years is just this: buy EVERY new reference book that comes out. Virtually none will ever have more than one edition, so it's "now or never" when a book does get published. Once they are "rare and out of print" you wuill just end up paying a premium for having mised the chance to begin with... IF you can then FIND a missed book afterwards.

When my late friend Neal O'Connor was publishing his WW1 aviation books, he ended up with piles of them that he could not "get rid of" in his garage. Then--once the books WERE all gone--suddenly all the people who wouldn't pay XX National Currency Units for them as they came out were paying XXX N.C.U.s to get second-hand ones! The same thing happened with Steven Previtera's Iron Cross book. I well remember the howls about its high price when he was selling one by one...and then when they TRIPLED in the "after market" he had none left. (Authors never profit from our labours--but second hand book dealers do!)

If--after years of accumulating shelves of books--you discover that you are really NOT interested in Subject N any more, it is easier (and more profitable) to sell off... rare and out of print books :cheeky: than it is to FIND one you missed 20 years ago. Time travel is real--but it only goes in one direction!

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The Nimmergut catalog is a good pocket reference (12.5 x 19 cm or 5 x 7.5 inches) to have when you go to shows or see an auction, since it gives a rough (really rough) idea of market values. It is also nice to see that it is now in color. I have not gotten a new one in so long that mine still has DM next to Euros.

But it tells you nothing about the awards themselves. What they were awarded for, whom they were awarded to (important in a class-based society), what the differences among the various devices, attachments, etc. mean, how many were awarded, etc. So while helpful in identifying what something is, it doesn't really help in determining whether it is what you want.

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Because something is written in a book, on a forum, or something an "expert" writes on line, that doesn't make it true. Books generally represent what is known at a particular time, and can be biased by the languages the author does or doesn't read, and particular biases. While books are good sources of information, they are never the same as actually examining items at shows, asking questions, and learning to think and evaluate on your own. Buying, and owning books is only the first step in learning. Reading and comparing all of the various sources against each other, using on-line forums which may provide important third-source evaluations of the good and bad parts of book are important to knowing when the book in hand got it wrong. Not all forums are going to be impartial, and caution should be considered when forums and moderators use their positions and friends to hype and shill books. When you find an error in a book, or someone else finds things that are wrong, or controversial, take notes and don't be afraid to pencil in notations in your books, or use something like sticky-note papers on the pages in question, for future reference. As you get older, you'll find your memory isn't as good as it once was, and you'll realize one of the important things about why people write something down, is that it does help you "remember" things. Not long ago, I started scanning and converting my library into a digital format after a Christmas time rain storm flooded my cellar and soaked many boxes of stored books I placed there during a recent move from one house to another. I lost several thousand books in the process, and after that experience decided to scan and store copies whenever possible. Most recent books printed in China, are made using processed paper with surfacing agent that creates a smooth surface for printing images. When one of those printed pages get wet, the surfacing agent resembles a wet clay and becomes very sticky and pages stick together and when they dry, a book that has been soaked turns into a solid brick when dry. One of the side-effects is that my floors don't need special bracing, and I have more library shelf space for the more important books I want to keep as hard-copes. I don't mind the shift to digital copies either, particularly since scanned docs and books that have OCR packages as part of the software means it's possible to do word specific searches of everything in my e-library, and all that implies.

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Buying, and owning books is only the first step in learning. Reading and comparing all of the various sources against each other, using on-line forums which may provide important third-source evaluations of the good and bad parts of book are important to knowing when the book in hand got it wrong.

I think that's the actual objective of the original OP.

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Another one, made for researching history of formation is:

"Histories of 251 divisions of the german army which participated in the war (1914-1918)"

London stamp exchange ltd.; ISBN 0 948130 87 3

 

The original edition is now in the public domain, and there is an on-line digital version in PDF format.

I think I found it on Google-books. Google-books also has many other books (several editions of the Prussian Army Rangliste, the Michelin Guide series of battlefield tours printed in the 1920's, the American Battlefields/Mounments Commission books on the AEF that include a series of books for Americans wishing to visit where US troops fought and provide good road maps, etc) and is worth taking the time to search for topics of interest, and not only historical or militaria related subjects.

Edited by Les
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The original edition is now in the public domain, and there is an on-line digital version in PDF format.

I think I found it on Google-books. Google-books also has many other books (several editions of the Prussian Army Rangliste, the Michelin Guide series of battlefield tours printed in the 1920's, the American Battlefields/Mounments Commission books on the AEF that include a series of books for Americans wishing to visit where US troops fought and provide good road maps, etc) and is worth taking the time to search for topics of interest, and not only historical or militaria related subjects.

Because of differences in copyright law among different countries, much of this Google content is unavailable to users outside the United States.

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Because of differences in copyright law among different countries, much of this Google content is unavailable to users outside the United States.

That is true, but at the same time google is very helpful to direct you to right place.

Like this:

http://www.vlib.us/wwi/resources/germanarmywwi.pdf

http://2chevauleger.org/Resources/Histories%20of%20251%20Divisions.pdf

Regards,

Marcin

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  • 2 weeks later...

I relocated my "Schlachten des Weltkrieges" series published by the Reichsarchiv between the wars. Various authors and contributors have resulted in a variety of writing styles, and the later publications reflect the post-war feelings about the war and then current politics. Despite that, there are many maps and sources which can be used as a starting point to get an idea of what units fought in certain battles, short sections of combat reports, orders and directives, etc. The series isn't the most impressive set of official histories on the war, however, it can be useful at times if you're interested in reading what German commanders were thinking.

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"Handbuch Deutscher Waffenstempel auf Militar und Diensthandwaffen 1871-2000" by Albrecht Wacker & Joachim Gortz, in german text but a very important book to have to research and find unit marking identifications. The book gives much more information about units;ie,year organized and garrison/s, broken down by provinces and states. Also gives unit breakdown of who was issued what firearms.

Edited by E Williams
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