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April 29, 2012 1:01 PM   Subscribe

Help me find sources on German military technology during WW2!

Hi guys, I'm currently writing a research paper that requires 6 sources where at least two must be books and at least two must be primary sources.
I can only use primary and secondary sources, so encyclopedias are out o the question.

The topic I chose was German military technology during WW2 and I was wondering if you guys could help me out by finding me some sources. I realize that this is a somewhat rude request and that I shouldn't have procrastinated, and a waste of the power of the hivemind, but it would really help me out.
posted by Angel of Khaos to Education (7 answers total)
This is what your librarian can help you find. They will find you tons of resources.
posted by Think_Long at 1:15 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Did not think of that! Thanks!

Although I'm not particularly a social person... I'm going to have to suck it up I guess!
posted by Angel of Khaos at 1:26 PM on April 29, 2012

Yep. I'm a librarian, and I can tell you without hesitation that fifteen minutes with your librarian will be the best 15 minutes you'll spend on this project.

If you can't go to your actual library, many libraries have chat or email help available. Check that out.

Lastly, you probably want to narrow your topic a bit a lot. "German WWII Military Technology" is the title of a hypothetical series of encyclopedias, not the topic of a research paper. How about something like "In what ways did the Allied targeting of German manufacturing and shipping infrastructure affect Germany's military technology?" That's a question you can answer, and one your librarian will love you for having.
posted by denriguez at 1:27 PM on April 29, 2012

If you're doing this for an undergrad degree, keep in mind that instructors and professors (and not to mention historians) prefer secondary sources that are as recent as possible - anything over 5 years old is kind of pushing it, and anything over 10 years old (for a secondary source) is unsuitable... unless you are are comparing approaches to the primary documents from 10 years ago versus the present.

Anyway, one good way to find primary sources is to look for a high level reference work, such as "German Military Technology of World War Two" and then look in the bibliography or the notes to see what primary sources were cited.

Wikipedia is also good for listing secondary sources.

Good luck!
posted by KokuRyu at 2:31 PM on April 29, 2012

Encyclopedias being out of the question doesn't mean you shouldn't look at one. Narrow your topic down and look it up in Wikipedia - you can use the references and information you find there as a starting point.
posted by Dr Dracator at 2:32 PM on April 29, 2012

My Tank Is Fight, a SomethingAwful.com book, is the first thing I always think of for outlandish, impractical Nazi technology.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:34 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

I agree with denriguez that your current is subject matter is super wide open as there are just sooo many topics.

I'm not versed much in Sea or Air, but can make some suggestions for small arms and armor. The Osprey books go into detail on one specific topic (like one model of tank specific). Some examples:

Osprey Vanguard 20: The Tiger Tanks
Osprey Vanguard 21: The PzKpfw V Panther
Osprey Vanguard 18: The Panzerkampfwagen IV
Osprey Vanguard 16: The Panzerkampfwagen III
Osprey Military New Vanguard 1: King Tiger

Osprey will have books about many other German WWII specific subjects (vehicles, weapons, battles, units, uniforms, etc)

For armor during that period it's worth knowing about the Russian T34 which was the innovation that Germany and all other countries followed.

Other "general" sources may include:

"Modern Small Arms" ISBN 0-517-26288-6
"The Military History of World War II" ISBN 0-517-49596-1
"World War II Tanks" by Eric Grove
"Land Power: A Modern Illustrated Military History" ISBN 0-89673-010-7
"Sea Power: A Modern Illustrated Military History" ISBN 0-89673-011-5

Many of the above may be out of print...
posted by ridogi at 3:49 PM on April 29, 2012

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