Last year, I had an opportunity to work with Larry Vickers during his visit to Russia, when he and his co-author James Rupley were working on the “Vickers Guide: Kalashnikov” series of books. One day we were at a so-called “dungeon” – the basement of Central Armed Forces Museum, one of the largest military museums in the world, and came across several interesting German weapons that eventually made it into Vickers Guide: WWII Germany.
At the time I did not understand the scope of this book and was worried that because guys are taking pictures of German guns they won’t have enough time to photograph all of my beloved AKs. Now, seeing this book in print I understand that it was all worth it. Even though I am not a German WW2 weapons expert or collector, I really, really like this book.
If you never heard of Vickers Guide – it is a series of unique photobooks dedicated to some of the most prominent weapon designs in history: 1911 pistols, AR-15, AK rifles and last but not least, German weapons of WW2. The book contains high-quality pictures and some great historical information about German weapons of WW2, including some pretty rare examples like this early FG42.
Or this MKb42(W) assault rifle developed by Walther
Frankly, I found historical information in this book to be fascinating. It is brief and at the same time detailed, has an original analysis of the German weapon evolution and clear emphasis on unique facts and features of the weapons instead of repetition of the information you can find on Wikipedia or gun forums.
Another nice touch I haven’t seen in some other books are historical photos integrated into the chapters. Seeing a weapon “in action” in its historical context is very important and definitely adds to the experience.
The first volume of Vickers Guide: WWII Germany was released in 2017, almost two years ago and now Volume 2 is available on the website: https://www.vickersguide.com/purchase/ww2-germany-standard-v2
In the age when it seems that paper books are dying, publications like Vickers Guide prove that there is still a time and place for a print book, and if you put your mind to it, a good print book about guns can be very successful.