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Reviewed By Vic Thomas

I recently was sent an absolutely outstanding book from the author, W. Darrin Weaver to add to my collectors reference library. The book is a work primarily concerned with the German G/K 43 series of rifles. Published by the fine folks at "Collector Grade Publications" located at PO Box 1046 Cobourg, Ontario K9A 4W5 Canada. As in keeping with the other fine titles published by CGP, the newest book to be added to their series is "Hitler's Garands" written by W. Darrin Weaver. The book is a specialty publication that deals with the G/K43 rifles and their evolution and implementation. This hardcover high quality book is 361 pages long and packed full of pictures (590) illustrations and photographs printed on high quality semi-matte paper to enhance the period and instructional illustrations of the weapon. The book was formatted to the same approximate style of another fine Collector Grade Publication classic, the "Backbone of the Wehrmacht" by the late Richard D. Law.

The book deals with the early contracts of Mauser and the German military in searching for a self-loading rifle design. It chronicles the early attempts from WW1 and before up through the initial trials of the self-loader in the German Army prior to WWll and during the initial stages of the Second World War with the G41M and W. The book details very effectively the trials and revisions of the self loading rifle program in service with the Wehrmacht during WW2. Sections deal with the initial confrontation with Red Army troops armed with the Tokarev rifle during the invasion of Russia only to be surprised that the Soviets had implemented a self loader to their troops on a wide spread scale. This sections details German efforts to improve the G41 and how the captured SVT's were used as a basis for the revised G/43. Sections then deal in depth and with excellent detail on the history and manufacture of the G/43, sub contractors to the production, both in parts and assemblies, facilities and sub contractors and finally the end of production of the G/K 43 during the last 5 months of it's assembly in 1945 including the rare "Volkstrum" rifles built as last ditch self loaders or with parts from the rifles. Pushing further into the text you will find very detailed sections pertaining to the component productions and variations in parts. A very useful section that I was very impressed with was the section detailing the rifles accessories. This section was well stocked with pictures, diagrams and explanations. Experimental versions of the rifle are gone over as well as the sniper variant in a very thorough manner. This information includes a section pertaining to the "ZF4" scopes alone that saw use on the G/43 and the accompanying scope mounts and accessories.


The last two sections conclude with the US post war evaluations during testing and the use of the G/K 43 post war in service to other nations. This section I found to be very informative as little if any information exists in print that deals with the use of the G/43 in post war service with nations like the DDR, the Federal Republic of Germany, Norway, Israel and Czechoslovakia where the G/K 43 was issued on a wide scale in both rifle and sniper rifle variants. The other section I found to be extremely helpful was the chapter pertaining to "Fakes, Frauds and Fantasies".I found this section to be very helpful and informative. It deals in depth with correcting some misnomers about the rifle and some assumptions long thought of as fact. A very helpful section for the collector of these fine German rifles. The final sections of the book are concerned with the production of the gun in terms of records, the codes and markings associated with each maker and version as well as a summary of the data sheets of each maker by year. The book is filled with hundreds-590 to be exact-of excellent black and white photographs and illustrations both period photographs from the war and actual photographs that complement the text and reference. I was immensely impressed with this book and the quality of it's content. I can not recommend this book highly enough to a collector that is interested in either the G/K 43 specifically or the use of self loading weapons by the German Army of WW2. The sections on production, markings and the debunking of the fakes are worth the price of the book alone. As an owner of several G/K 43 I thought I had a handle on the guns' history and use but I found myself saying repeatedly to myself "I did not know that!".


This book will become a "must have" in any gun collectors reference library soon. On behalf of Gunboards.com I give "Hitler's Garands" a must buy status. For further details on the book you can reach the publisher at the address above or through a web search using the IBSN number O-88935-275-5. The book can also be found at your local bookstore or ordered through them if they are not carrying it. Many of the finer booksellers catering to gun collector will have this book in stock now or soon if not. Once again, five stars for "Hitler's Garands-German self loading rifles of World War ll" by W. Darrin Weaver and Collector Grade Publications. Get your copy as soon as you can. The cost for the book is 69.95 and can be ordered online at : http://www.collectorgrade.com/
 
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