US 3rd Armored Division in WW2 by Darren Neely

ARRSE Rating
4.00 star(s)
A Pictorial History

As described, this is a pictorial history of the 3rd US Armored (sic) Division in NW Europe. The book has little text but this is made up by the captions alongside the photographs.

One thing the US Armed Forces did well in WW2 was to photograph the combat, embedding photographers in Divisions, not just one either but a team. From the published photographs it almost seems as though the US won the war on their own! Putting that to one side this is an excellent book, detailing in photographs the path of the Division from landing in Normandy through to the war’s end in 1945.

The story is split into four sections, each one introduced with a brief description of the actions during this period:
  1. Landing in Normandy and the fight for France
  2. The race through Belgium
  3. The Battle of the Bulge
  4. Entry into Germany and the end of the war
Many of the photographs are of knocked out tanks, from both sides and it is often surprising how what looks like a relatively small hole in a tank’s armour is in fact the killing blow that killed the crew and the tank.

The story follows the armoured regiments but does not forget the infantry supporting plus the logistics trail with tank recovery and repair well covered.

3rd armored x2.jpg

The book is a pictorial history and does not try to be anything else, but I could have done with a bit more detail on the actions undertaken by the Division. Having said that I enjoyed the book and used it to follow the path of the Division, even though there were no maps to show where actions took place, which would have been helpful.

For those armoured enthusiasts the photographers and the author have ensured that changes to the tanks, up-armour, new variants and the change over to the Pershing tank late on in the war are sown.

All in all, this is a very interesting documentary on the 3rd US Armored Division and well worth a read. There are no coloured plates but otherwise modellers will love this to see how tanks in action actually looked like and the extra armour carried later in the war.

4/5 Mr MRHs from me.

Amazon product


For a splendid read try "Spearhead" by Adam Makos (Atlantic books). Those who have served in or near Paderborn will find it particularly interesting (and somewhat harrowing)

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