The Past and Present series follow a well worn premise of juxtaposing contemporary and modern photography, linking the monuments and battlefield relics with the events they evoke. I personally enjoy these type of books because along with many of you I like to visit battlefields and seek out these locations.
- Simon Forty and Leo Marriot
The Falaise Gap Battles is an excellent example of this work. Though a thin volume it is packed to the margins with excellent maps(those who have read my other reviews will know how I struggle without one),wonderful rarely published wartime photographs, skilfully matched to the modern locations. These are seamlessly linked in the narrative by the two authors that though not extensive carries a wealth of detail on the units, equipments, and the deployments as the battle developed.
Those already aware of this stage of the Normandy battle will be only too aware of the post war recriminations and mud slinging over the amount of German troops “allowed” to escape. The book mentions this but sensibly for this type of work steers clear of entering this particular conflict. The authors have also produced a beautifully balanced piece where each nations combatants are given their due. This is usually noticeable absent in the works of more bombastic authors (cough, Hastings, cough).
In short a great book that will be going with me to Normandy next year.