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Book Review: Captured Arms (Beutewaffen)

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“Captured Arms (Beutewaffen)” by Guus de Vries is Volume 9 of the Propaganda Photo Series by SI Publicaties out of the Netherlands. I really like the whole series, as they do a very good job of combining really interesting original photos with engaging and fact-dense writing. This volume is a bit different from previous books that specialize on individual weapons, as it covers the whole vast range of foreign arms captured and used by the German military during World War II. Its main chapters cover each of the 12 main countries that Germany acquired arms from (Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, the UK, the US, and Yugoslavia).

Each chapter provides an explanation of how the Germans got the weapons in question and what specifically they used. In some cases arms factories were kept in production, and sometimes captured arms were converted to use German ammunition instead of whatever they had been originally designed for (like the DP-28, for instance). In some cases, the arms being captured were actually German arms taken as war booty after World War I! It is very interested to see the context for what was being reused by Germany, and I tihnk many people do not appreciate the true extent to which Germany depended on captured arms during the war.

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