During World War II all sides constantly strove to improve the clothing of their soldiers, particularly when they were called upon to fight in climates to which they were unfamiliar. The German troops that invaded Norway did so in greatcoats, but their experience there and in Russia showed that better winter clothing was required, and this set illustrates the results.
All these figures are dressed in winter tunics, some of which were reversible to show the most appropriate camouflage. All have the integral hood but only one man has chosen to have his up (unusually he has his over his helmet, which was generally avoided as it restricted side vision). Outside the tunic is the normal arrangement of belts, and again the men are very similar, with all having the gasmask container, bread bag, water bottle and in most cases the mess tin as well. We would have liked to have seen more than one of the figures with an entrenching tool, and they could also have had other items such as the shelter-quarter, but these might have been left behind if not thought necessary, perhaps during the fighting around Stalingrad.
The poses are appropriate - nothing wildly exciting but all are useful. The penultimate figure on the bottom row is particularly interesting. He is firing a drum-fed MG42 machine gun from the shoulder, an action which would have been unusual but not impossible. In addition he could be resting the weapon on a wall or other support, or even on a colleague's shoulder!
Apart from the MG42 the weapons are a mix of rifles or carbines and submachine guns. Each man wears the correct ammunition pouches for this weapon, and this includes the officer, who is largely indistinguishable from his men except for the fact that he carries a pair of binoculars. He seems to have no pistol holster, which suggests he may only be a junior NCO, but whatever his rank he seems to be without a case for his binoculars (perhaps tucking them inside his jacket instead). The German army discouraged its officers from obvious distinctions as this made them tempting targets in the field, and unlike many this chap seems to have heeded the advice.
The standard of sculpting is very good, with zero flash to worry about and plenty of good clear detail. Prior to this set the only German winter figures were those from Revell, and while those are excellent figures these from Caesar are also top class and are indispensable for the winter campaigns later in the war.