This book covering Hitler’s Defeat on the Western Front 1944-1945 is part of a series of titles from Pen and Sword as part of their ‘Images at War’ series. These books cover the subject matter mostly in photographs and so offer a great visual reference for anyone interested in the subject matter regardless of the reason for that interest. For the modeller these books represent a horn of plenty when it comes to visual information.
This offering from Pen and Sword is part of the ‘Images at War’ series. This series of books are soft backed offerings having a good card cover with a very good spine to the book that keeps the contents in good order. This book covering Hitler’s Defeat on the Western Front 1944-1945 has been authored by Hans Seidler. The contents of this title are provided over 140 pages of good quality semi gloss paper.
The contents are presented in the following sections:
Prelude to Disaster
Chapter 1 – Defending Northern France
Chapter 2 – Battles in Holland and Belgium
Chapter 3 – Defending the Rhine
Chapter 4 – Last Battles in the West
Appendix 1 – Weapons Composition 1944
Appendix 2 – Composition of an Infantry and Panzer Grenadier Division
Appendix 3 – Order of Battle: 6th June 1944
Appendix 4 – Order of Battle: Holland, September 1944
Appendix 5 – Order of Battle: Ardennes, 15 December 1944
Appendix 6 – Order of Battle: Defence on the Western Front, March & April 1945
The dedicated text in this offering is minimal as that is not the purpose of these books as they are not designed to be read in the truest sense of the word. With that said the introduction in this title written by Hans Seidler is very good despite its short length and provides a well composed insight into the title.
Once you move on from the introduction you reach the chapters; these all have a written introduction by the author and do a reasonable job of setting the scene as regards where the images are going to guide the reader. I did find the introductions a little on the light side and felt that they could have been a tad more informative. As a modeller it is not these introductions that really hold my attention it is the glorious images that fill the rest of the book that grab my attention and take me through each and every page and sometimes making me linger over a particularly interesting image.
The images in the book are the aspect that keeps drawing me to them as they are very good quality photographs with excellent captions included with each. All of the photographs are period black and white, and it is obvious from the quality of the images that it is true that the Germans had the best quality lenses on their cameras. The author has chosen an exceptional mix of photographs for this title that shows the reader how the Germans went from victor to vanquished in a relatively short time; I do not mean that they were no longer a force to be respected, more that the stress shows itself on the faces as the dates move forward. The only gripe I have about the photographs is that one has been used twice in separate sections of the book and so I am hoping it is a mistake and an alternate image was supposed to be used.
The captions that accompany each and every photograph provide a very good level of information. I feel Hans Seidler deserves high praise in this regards as I found them very informative and they provided everything I wanted from them as a reader. I should also point out that I did not find any errors in the text, not even a piece I had to read twice to get my head around.
This title as part of the Images at War series is another great title in the line up as the images do show the demise of the German force very well. The stress of war and being pushed from one defensive location to the next and I believe realising that the writing was on the wall for them can, to a good degree be seen in the faces depicted on many occasions. The equipment is a nice mix and covers most of the vehicles in use by Germany including some of the rarer items such as the half track mounted Panzerwerfer. I doubt you will ever gather this many period photographs for a price as low as this book can be obtained for and that is before you factor in the great captions.
Darren Baker takes a look at another release in the Images at War series published by pen and Sword, this time the title is 'Hitler’s Defeat on the Western Front 1944-1945'.
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About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...