As Europe descended into war the newly formed state of Croatia found itself an ally in Nazi Germany. Tens of thousands of Croatians volunteered for the German Wehrmacht, with Croatian-badged units created within the Army, Navy, Luftwaffe, Waffen-SS and Police force. When Hitler turned his attention to Stalin's Soviet Union many of these men found themselves thrown into the fray, with Croatian soldiers serving at Stalingrad, fighting Tito's Partisans in the Balkans and battling against the advancing Red Army in Hungary. Aided by detailed illustrations, author Vladimir Brnardic explores the uniforms and equipment of World War II Croatian Legionaries.
Vladimir Brnardic was born in Zagreb, the capital city of the Republic of Croatia, in 1973. After graduating from the University of Zagreb with a History degree, he trained as a journalist in the Documentary Program of Croatian Television. He has a keen interest in the history of Central and Eastern European military organisations from the 15th to 19th century, especially those of the Napoleonic period. He is married and currently lives and works in Zagreb, Croatia. Viseslav Aralica was born in Zadar in 1972. He holds a PhD in History from the University of Zagreb, where he currently teaches. He served as a soldier in the Croatian War of Independence (1993-95); and has illustrated four books in a series on Croatian warriors through the centuries. Some of these 150 illustrations were exhibited at the Bologna Illustration Exhibition (Bologna 2001 and 2002) as well as at the fourth Florence Biennale 2003.