Images of War- The Americans from Normandy to the German Border
August to Mid-December 1944
Paperback, 7.5 x 9.5", 224 pages with 250 black & white photos
Anyone who's ever looked through an Images of War Series book knows what to expect-- excellent crisp, clear photos showing rarely seen photos of the subject matter and a great collection of inspirational ideas for ones interested in new diorama ideas. This particular volume is no different. Each chapter in the book deals with the crawling pace of the Allied armies as they break through from the Normandy beachhead and slowly reclaim French territory in their quest to stifle Axis interests.
Each chapter consists of a handful of pages describing what was happening in each phase of the advance towards Germany and is followed by a dozen or two excellent photos with captions that include both sides, as well as civilians present during the actions described. Of particular interest to me was the background activity leading up to the recapture of Paris, including the bureaucratic entanglements that involved trying to coordinate overall Allied advances with the pride and desires of the French military personalities trying to influence the directions of the combined forces. One truly gets a sense of the frustrations of those involved in trying to accommodate while keeping the best interests of the overall goal in mind
The maps in the book aid in providing insight into the vast entity that the Allied war machine had grown to be after the time needed to build from the beach heads to distant towns and cities further in country. Between the maps and the photos, one gets a true sense of the enormity of the task that was to lie ahead for the leaders and soldiers trying to achieve domination over the German enemy. While it might have seemed inevitable at the time, there was no clues of what would lie in wait for them as winter and the Battle of the Bulge approached. This book represents a middle volume in a series by the author that started with Americans on D-Day and in Normandy and will end with the last volume yet to be released covering the Bulge.
So to sum up, Pen & Sword have given us another excellent resource as modelers to inspire and motivate new ideas for vignettes and dioramas. It was difficult to choose from just a few images from the 250 in the book-- all are quite amazing and very few are common ones you would see opening any WWII history book. It is a valuable addition to the bookshelf for any history buff of the Allied actions in the ETO and on the modeling desk for those shiny new Shermans coming out from Meng and others...or even just to dust off one from the stash and build with a renewed vigor. Well done Dr. Blades!
Highly Recommended for those interested in modeling or learning more about American operations in the ETO from Normandy to the Bulge.
Thanks goes out to Pen & Sword and Casemate Publishing for this review kit.
Reviewed by Michael Reeves, AMPS Albany
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