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Brooke S Blades
ARRSE Rating
4 Mushroom Heads
Illustrated war histories can be a series of loosely related photographs assembled with little effort and dumped on the market in the run up to Christmas.

This book from Brooke S Blades is in a different category. The author has assembled 245 pages of text and illustration devoted to a 5 month slot in the battle for Germany. There is sufficient text to follow the campaign and to set the individual photographs in their part of the campaign. By concentrating exclusively on US forces the author has produced a useful set of illustrations.

Images are drawn from both Allied and German sources and arranged in broadly chronological order. They are all properly credited and in a number of cases linked to the US National Archives files. There are also comprehensive notes to assist those looking for further material and sources. A minor annoyance for the military reader is the absence of an index.

The book could also be of use to the serious military modeller or artist looking for authenticity of equipment or uniform. In particular pp 125-129 capture the bleak conditions at the height of winter conditions. Modern military readers may reflect on the problems of surviving and operating within the limits of uniforms and kit at that time. The US forces were short of winter kit in the ETO that winter with extended supply lines running through France. As is often the case , front line troops were sometimes the last to receive cold weather kit .

There are some interesting photographs of the Malmedy massacre site. (Readers looking to read further might try The Devil’s Adjutant by Mike Reynolds.)There are also some illustrations of US anti tank units to please Gunners , the US 3” anti tank gun rarely being mentioned in British books.

Pen and Sword print to their usual high standard and photographs are on clear glossy paper. Cover price is £16.99 with copies on Amazon from £11.89

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