Condor Legion: The Wehrmacht's Training Ground
Ian Westwell

The “Condor Legion” covers the history of the German unit that fought in support of Franco’s Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War.

The book is divided into seven sections:
Origins & History
Ready for War
In Action
Insignia, Clothing & Equipment

The “Origins & History” section provides an introduction to the background of the Civil War with a short history of the political troubles in Spain during the 20s and early 30s.

“Ready for War” covers the first contacts between the Nationalists and Germany and the first German help to the insurgents.

Almost half the book is devoted to the “In Action” section which covers the actions were the German forces took part while at the same time providing a brief military history of the war. This section includes a large number of maps making the conflict easy for to follow even for those who have not read any other books on the war. Two aspects of the German forces are discussed separately at the end of this section: the Aufklärungsstaffel See 88 with its floatplanes and the naval vessels, surface ships as well as submarines.

The “Insignia, Clothing & Equipment” section obviously covers things such as insignia (both on uniforms and of aircraft), equipment and awards. Apart from the descriptions in the text, it also includes colour illustrations and period photos.

In the “People” section we find short biographies of Werner Mölders, Walter Oesau, Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen, Hugo Sperrle and Wilhelm Josef Ritter von Thoma.

The author presents is assessment of the Legion Condor and its influence both on the actual civil war and on how the tactics and equipment of the Wehrmacht developed in the years prior to the Second World War.

Finally the “Reference” section provides an annotated list of some books and websites dealing with the Condor Legion and the Spanish Civil War.

This 96-page book is a very good book on the Legion Condor, due to the limited number of pages there is of course not as much in-depth information on some aspects (for example the training given to the Spanish forces) as one might want, but considering that this is meant as an introduction to the topic and the large number of both photos and maps included, I strongly recommend it.

(Reviewed by Marcus Wendel)
Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.

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