Romanian Armored Forces in World War II...

...Library of Armed Conflicts, no.5, new from Kagero, via Casemate

Title:  Romanian Armored Forces in World War II

Author: Eduardo M. Gil Martinez

Publisher:  Kagero

ISBN:  978-83-9515-753-0

A new one in Kagero's Library of Armed Conflict series takes on another fascinating topic, that of the Romanian armoured forces during WW2.  While there is so much material available on the armoured units of Russia, Germany, France, the USA and the UK, it is really good to see something on one of the smaller nations engaged in the war, in this case Romania.

A smaller format softcover book with 184 pages packed with some interesting reading and equally good archive photos and colour profiles.  The historical story is told across 9 chapters, starting with a basic background introduction and then leading into the history which effectively tells the story year by year from 1938 through to 1945.  The Romanian Armored forces were relatively small, namely the 1st Armored Division, and their heavy equipment relied heavily on tanks supplied from Germany or captured from the Soviets.  They did convert some machines of their own, using existing chassis but largely had to work with obsolete vehicles for most of the time.  They only served on the Eastern Front, perhaps one of the reasons we have seen only limited material on them up to now. The unit suffered heavy losses more than once, but was rebuilt.  In the final stages of the war, when their homeland was under the pressure of the Soviet advances and German retreat, so they changed sides.  Perhaps as can be expected their new 'Allies', the Soviets, treated them with a degree of suspicion.  Throughout the book there are plenty of archive photos, mixed with modern images showing examples which remain to be seen in museums to this day.  These include German and Soviet equipment, plus some of the converted machines which were peculiar to the Romanians. It also includes some neat artwork showing colour profiles which will offer some inspiration to armour modellers.

More information is provided in 3 Appendices, covering Insignia of the Romanian Armored Forces, details of Armored Vehicles of the Romanian Army and finally a list of Romanian Army Ranks.  Another useful addition to this series from Kagero for anyone interested in armoured vehicles of WW2 and for the Eastern Front in particular.

Distributed by Casemate Books, who kindly provided my review copy.