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Book Review
U.S. Army 1945 - 1955
Besatzungstruppe U.S. Army 1945 - 1955
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by: Adie Roberts [ IN_WAR_AND_PEACE ]

Brief History

From enemy to ally - Almost exactly ten years after World War Two, a period when American and German forces had been fierce enemies, West Germany joined the US led NATO as an ally of the Cold War in May 1955. Tankograd describes the U.S. occupation forces in Germany, their organisation and vehicles, from 1945 to 1955 focusing not only on wartime material that soldiered on into the post-war era but also on then highly modern new weapon systems often fielded with U.S. units in Germany for the first time.

Contents

Advance into Germany and Surrender
U.S. Military Government and Military Forces
Organisation of 7th U.S.Army Combat Divisions in Germany 1952-1954
Organisational Structure of the 7th U.S. Army
From Aachen to the Elbe River
Occupation and Troop Augmentation
Modern Equipment for the 7th U.S. Army

Review

Like all of the Tankograd books, I have had the pleasure of reading for reviews this one is really follows the same fantastic format with absolutely tonnes of pictures and a great deal of detail.

Advance into Germany and Surrender
Starting out as enemies the first section looks at the advance into Germany after the D-Day landings. As allied forces advanced through Western Europe towards the western borders of the German Reich. On the 11th of September, several patrols and small units crossed the Our river into Germany. Aachen was the first major German town to fall, surrendering in October, however, it all came to abrupt halt when the Germans launched a major counterattack in the Ardennes, and by December the Germans had managed to push the U.S. Forces back. Named Wacht am Rhein by the Germans, it became the famous Battle of the Bulge. This piece of work briefly goes on to explain how the Allies managed to reach the left bank of the Rhine, cross over and push on through till the surrender of Germany which became effective on the 8th of May. The war in Western Europe was over.

U.S. Military Government and the Military Forces.
This part of the book is a more technical approach giving such information as the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF). This goes on in some detail about the different sectors and Demobilization and Occupation.
Increasing tensions between the Western Powers and the Soviet Union resulting in the Communist coup in Czechoslovakia in February 1948 causing increasing issues with various flash points. There is no pictures in this section of the book but does give some incredible detail into what was really happening during this phase. There is a whole section on the different units, armoured infantry divisions and time spans.

The next two sections of the book Organization of 7th U.S.Army Combat Divisions in Germany 1952-1954 Organizational Structure of the 7th U.S. Army is a continuation of detailed analyse of divisions, organisational structures. There are no pictures but are very detailed in the information.

From Aachen to the Elbe River this is where we start with dozens of pictures depicting some of the fighting as the Allies push ever further forward. The Black and white photos some of which I have never seen before really give you a sense of feeling about what the soldiers faced as they pushed forward. In one tense picture, you see a group of American soldiers ducking down lower than the sides of the DUKW as it crosses over the Rhine near Oberwesel. The expressions on some of the soldier's faces tell you exactly how they are feeling as the cross the Rhine. Further great photos show the Americans driving through a battle-scarred Munster in April 1945.

Occupation and Troop Augmentation
By far one of the biggest sections showing yet again some fantastic pictures, giving a great concept into what life was like during some of the troubled times of the end of World War 2 and moving into the Cold War. One great picture that really caught my eye and instantly got me thinking about a diorama, was the line up of several C-47 Skytrains being unloaded on the flight line of Berlins Tempelhof Airfield during the Berlin Airlift. Several other photos go to show the vehicles that played a major role in the Berlin Airlift like a Diamond T 969A 4-ton wrecker trucks. Other pictures also show various other vehicles some with their drivers. Various training missions were carried out during tense times around Berlin including some troops 16th Constabulary Squadron supported by two M8 Armoured cars advance towards to rioters Near McNair Barracks.

This section covers some of the best pictures of allied vehicles which could help any modeller that has an interest in this time period, which is quite a span of time including the start of the Cold War.

Modern Equipment for the 7th U.S. Army becomes self-explanatory with another picture heavy section showing the start of the transformation to more modern equipment. Some of the pictures of vehicles become very interesting when looking at vehicles that I have a great interest in like the APC M113. It is clear in one of the pictures showing the M59 just where the M113 design came from.

Some great pictures of the Atomic Annie the 280mm Gun including transport for it for which the size is still amazing. Some of the new weapons like the Honest John weapon system and an M31 rocket being loaded onto its launcher.

Conclusion

It is not a period of time that I knew much about, but the way this book is written I could not put it down and found it fascinating to looking at some of the pictures of things I had only been told about by my parents. Tankograd yet again have taken a period of time and made it very interesting and with a multifarious amount of pictures, I am sure it will appeal to many a modeller or person interested in military History.

SUMMARY
Highs: Full of pictures with a great deal of detail, many pictures would be useful to any modeller.
Lows: Not many at all, some may find it a little hard going at the first couple of chapters.
Verdict: Excellent title great for any modeller, especially one with an interest in dioramas. A recommended read.
Percentage Rating
92%
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: 3028
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Mar 11, 2017
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 86.73%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 90.14%

Our Thanks to Tankograd Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
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About Adie Roberts (In_War_and_Peace)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I am disabled after a terrorist bomb I have in the past made models for TV and film and work with local museums making new models for display. I also take on commission builds for people

Copyright 2017 text by Adie Roberts [ IN_WAR_AND_PEACE ]. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Darren, Thanks for the review. I am planning to build either an M8 or M20 armored car in Constabulary markings. This book will be helpful. Jeff
MAR 11, 2017 - 04:38 AM
A fascinating time period both historically and in regards to armour. Going to have to look this one up soon.
MAR 12, 2017 - 04:14 AM
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