German Military Police Units 1939-45
By Gordon Williamson (Illustrated by Ronald Volstad)
Osprey Publishing (www.ospreypublishing.com)
ISBN 9780850459029 (print)
ISBN 9781782000358 (pdf)
ISBN 9781780969978 (e-book
RRP GBP £ depends on format
In all the world’s armed forces the military policeman is likely to be one of the least appreciated soldiers but he performs tasks that are indispensable to modern day armed forces. His duties may cover keeping vital supply routes open, maintaining order in supply columns or detective duties / investigations. The ordinary solider may despise the military policeman but the high command with a good overall view certainly valued their services.
Throughout military history commanding officers have appreciated the military policeman. These senior figures include Napoleon Bonaparte, the Adjutant General of the British Expeditionary Force (1918), Field Marshall Montgomery (1945) and General der Flieger Speidel (1948).
The British are used to the Royal Military Police which can trace its routes back to the Norman era. Likewise Germany’s Feldjagerkorps has a long and distinguished tradition stretching back to the 16th century.
The book commences with a description of the multiplicity of German military police formations in World War 1. During this conflict there were a number of military police formations and they were disbanded at the conclusion of the Great War. During the inter-war period there were no military police formations but in World War 2 there was an astonishing and massive array of police formations. This book gives an expert introduction to these units and the material is presented in a highly informative manner.
Units covered by the volume include Feldgendarmerie des Heers, Feldjagerkorps, Geheime Feldpolizei, Other Army Police Services, Waffen-SS Feldgendarmerie, Luftwaffe Police, Marine Kustenpolizei and Police Combat Units. There are narratives on the history of these formations and there are sections dealing with issues such as uniforms, organisation and equipment etc. Often there are modest biographies of personnel serving in these units and these biographies bring the subject to “life”.
This is a modest publication at 50 pages but it contains a wealth of information that helps to “unravel” this highly complex subject which had multiple overlaps of jurisdiction. The author has created an excellent book which is as entertaining as it is informative. Like his previous books on German Police (reviewed previously) the author’s work is to a very high standard and he deserves a “well-done”!