World War II Winter and Mountain Warfare Tactics

World War II Winter and Mountain Warfare Tactics

Elite 193
  • Author: Stephen Bull
  • Illustrator: Steve Noon
  • Short code: ELI 193
  • Publication Date: 20 Apr 2013
  • Number of Pages: 64
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About this Product

The twentieth century saw an unprecedented emphasis on fighting in all terrains, seasons and weather conditions. Such conditions made even basic survival difficult as subzero temperatures caused weapons to jam, engines to seize up and soldiers to suffer frostbite, snow blindness and hypothermia. The conditions often favoured small groups of mobile, lightly armed soldiers, rather than the armoured forces or air power that dominated other combat environments. Some European armies developed small numbers of specialist alpine troops before and during World War I, but these proved to be insufficient as nearly all the major combatants of World War II found themselves fighting for extended periods in extremely hostile cold-weather and/or alpine environments. Drawing upon manuals, memoirs and unit histories and illustrated with period tactical diagrams and specially commissioned full-colour artwork, this study sheds new light on the winter-warfare tactics and techniques of the US, British, German, Soviet and Finnish armies of World War II.

Biographical Note

DR STEPHEN BULL is Curator of Military History and Archaeology for Lancashire Museums, with particular responsibility for local regimental collections, and is a consultant for the University of Oxford on World War I projects. He has previously worked at the National Army Museum and the BBC in London. A Member of the Institute of Archaeologists, he has also appeared in the TV series Battlefield Detectives, Lost Treasures, and Instruments of Death. His other books include six Osprey titles - two on World War I, and four on World War II.


Introduction: strategic and tactical constraints of terrain and climate on military operations
Pre-war background work: British Polar Institute - Indian Army - European Alpine troops - transport, sleds and skis
Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939-40: materials and experience - ‘motti' tactics
Narvik 1940 - Norwegian experience - establishment of British Commando Schools
The Russian Front, 1941: Russian tactics, German inadequacies and improvisation
German responses 1942-44: winter warfare and ski-troop manuals
US responses: manuals 1941-44 - tactical training - clothing and equipment
Italy, 1943-45: mountain warfare - mule transport
The West, 1944-45: British in the Netherlands - Battle of the Bulge - snow camouflage

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