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The Crushing of Army Group North 1944-1945 on the Eastern Front by Ian Baxter.

Ian Baxter.
This is the second of Ian Baxters books from this series that I have had the pleasure of reviewing. This volume covers an event that had massive implications throughout all theatres of war particularly for the Allied armies fighting in Normandy. The loss of over 300,000 fighting men, killed, wounded, or captured was something that the late war Wehrmacht could never recover from.

The book gives a relatively detailed overview of the main events in Army Group North's War from the initiation of Operation Barbarossa to the conclusion of the Second World War and in some cases after it. The war on the Eastern Front had a reputation for the intensity of the fighting and the barbarity acted out by both sides upon each other. Even by the standards of this theatre the fighting between Army Group North and the Soviet Formations facing them reached new standards of savagery.

The narrative though is merely a vehicle for the real content of the book a wonderful collection of rare images of the German Wehrmacht, Luftwaffe, and their Estonian, and Latvian allies. The photos are a treasure trove for those interested in the uniforms, and equipment of this period. They convey some of the nature of both the conflict and the appalling conditions both sides were forced to endure before they even fired a shot.

Each plate has a detailed description of the image and the equipment featured in it. There can be no doubting Mr Baxters expertise in this area. If I have one criticism of the book and it is a very minor one is that it may have benefited the reader to have even one or two maps of the main areas referred to in the text.

Apart from that it is very hard to fault the book. I suspect it would be a great asset to anyone who makes models from this period, or just with an interest in the war as a whole. I highly recommend this book and the series that it forms part of.

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