The Americans From The Ardennes to VE Day...
...more Images of War from Pen & Sword
Title: The Americans From The Ardennes to VE Day
Author: Brooke S. Blades
Publisher: Pen & Sword
The Americans from the Ardennes to VE Day is the third book in this set of Images of War titles from author Brooke S. Blades, which all together track the contribution of US forces in NW Europe from D-Day to the end of the war in Europe. In this one, it covers the period from December 1944 through to May 1945.
So, the six chapters start off with the first two, The Winter Offensive and The Ardennes Winter tackle the events of the German Ardennes offensive, the Battle of the Bulge. Each chapter is started with a few pages of text which tell the various elements of the story, including initial German success, of various atrocities, the involvement of the US airborne divisions in the siege of Bastogne and the eventual relief of the town. Add the issues of fuel supplies for the German tanks and the severe winter weather, there is plenty to be covered. The supporting photos in both chapters are of course what characterises the Images of War book series. In these 2 chapters of the book there is a fair percentage of them which have been seen before, some of them a lot. That is not the case with the remainder of the book, where the majority of the images were new to me over the remaining 4 chapters. These four move the story on to Advance to the Rhine, Varsity, The Allies in Germany and finally, The Aftermath. Again, each chapter is started with pages of text with the appropriate background information to each topic, and followed by an interesting selection of photos which illustrate each one, all with informative captions.
The photos show us plenty of troops and vehicles while they also show us the destruction it brought to towns and villages, the horrors of the dead that were found in labour camps and those soldiers whose bodies had lain hidden in the winter snow. There are also the faces of civilians and POWs alike as they have to cope with the end of the war, along with allied Commanders who came to see for themselves what the collapse of Germany revealed. Not just the dead, but the treasures discovered hidden away at places such as the salt mine at Merkers. In the Aftermath there are even pictures of the post-war war-crimes trials as well as some sites today. A neat conclusion to this set of 3 books from the author.
Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.