Armoured Warfare in the Battle of the Bulge 1944-1945...

 

...More Images of War from Pen and Sword

 

Title: Armoured Warfare in the Battle of the Bulge 1944-1945

Author: Anthony Tucker-Jones

Publisher: Pen and Sword

ISBN: 978-1-52670-175-6

Another fine book in the Images of war series from author Anthony Tucker-Jones.  This time he takes on the topic of The Battle of the Bilge, the German offensive in the Ardennes over the Christmas period of 1944.  Known to the German army is Unternehmen Wacht am Rhein (Operation Watch on the Rhine).

A fine introduction to the Battle of the Bulge, based around a collection of photos.  Some of them are well known, though it does include a selection I had not seen before.  The 140-page softcover book is split across 9 chapters.  It opens with 'Hitler's Miracle', as he had managed to assemble a substantial armoured force without detection, and prepared for this new offensive.  Then we get the various elements of the attack, '6th SS Panzer Army Strikes', '5th Panzer Army Breaks Through' and '1st SS Thrusts West'.  Then as things developed, we see the 'Battle for St Vith', 'Battered Bastogne', 'Patton Strikes Back' and 'Drive on the Meuse' before it gets to 'Defeat'.

Each chapter has the appropriate story in a few pages of text, and these are then followed by a selection of archive photos from the period.  These illustrate both German and American equipment, the towns and villages of the Ardennes where it all took place, covered in the snow of a harsh winter.  The weather impacted on the troops, the vehicles on narrow roads and the ability of the Allies to use their air superiority.  We see images of the massacre at Malmedy, the German Panthers disguised to try and make them look like American M10s as well as the use of the huge King Tigers.  Nice to see also some pictures of British units who also helped out in the containment and final relief of the Bulge.  It reminded me of my father's memories of the time, when his unit was rushed south to guard bridges across the Meuse.  There were a variety of elements to the story of the Ardennes offensive of 1944 and Anthony has done a nice job of catching them in this new book.

Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.

Robin