IntroductionGeneral Omar Bradley was the premier US Army tactical commander in the European Theater of Operations in World War II. A west Point classmate of Dwight Eisenhower, Bradley was the quintessential US field commander of World War II, elevated to high command with little combat experience but a solid track record as a skilled planner and organizer. As commander of the First US Army and then 12th Army Group, Bradley was at the center of nearly all the major US Army victories in 1944-45, from D-Day through to the final push into Germany. This new study examines his major successes, as well as his more dubious campaigns such as the bitter struggle for the Hürtgen Forest and his failure to anticipate the German Ardennes offensive.
-Author’s words quoted from the back cover of the book.
Osprey Publications Ltd has released Omar Bradley
as Number 25 in their command series. It is a paperback book with 64 pages. Included with the text are black and white photographs, color illustrations, color maps, an information chart and detailed captions. It has a 2012 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-84908-660-8. As the title states, the book covers Omar Bradley and details his military career.
- The early years
- The military life
- The hour of destiny
- Opposing commanders
- When war is done
- Inside the mind
- A life in words
- Further reading
The text is nicely written and gives a detailed account of the military career of Omar Bradley and various actions that he was involved with. Steven J. Zaloga has gone to great lengths to research Omar Bradley and provides excellent coverage of his life both on the battlefield and the home front as well as his life after World War II. The text, as with the accompanying photographs, is in a correct chronological order and is well written and detailed on all counts. Anyone interested in the military career and personal life of Omar Bradley will find this book very informative and interesting and a worthwhile read. The book didn’t contain any spelling or grammar errors that I could find as I read through it.
There are a total of 46 black and white photographs included in this volume. The photographs begin with Omar Bradley as a child and then show him throughout his military career from his days at West Point, to his involvement in Black Jack Pershing’s Mexican Punitive Expedition in 1916, throughout World War II and the years after the war ended. The majority of them are close up photographs of Omar Bradley and other military commanders in propaganda type settings. There are also photographs of Omar Bradley and other military commanders in scenes such as dining, military planning, promotions, firing small arms and riding in military vehicles. Some of the other commanders shown are US General George S. Patton, British Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery, French General Henri Giraud, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, US Rear Admiral Alan Kirk, Russian Marshal Ivan Konev, German Generalfeldmarschall Walter Model and German SS- Oberstgruppenführer Josef “Sepp” Dietrich just to name a few. The majority of the featured photographs are very nice and will help the military figure modeler well as they show several different uniforms styles and also show individual sidearm choices as well as the ranks and decorations. Steven J. Zaloga has chosen photographs that are specific to Omar Bradley and his military career and not just random World War II military photographs of the period.
There are three color illustrations by illustrator Steve Noon that are very well done and nicely detailed. As with the photographs, the illustrations come with well written captions that provide detailed information about each illustration.
The color illustrations are of the following:
- Bradley’s II Corps captures Bizerte, May 7, 1943
- Command decisions: Patton and Bradley on Sicily, July 1943
- Glider assault on Normandy, June 6, 1944
There are five color maps included in this volume that are well done, nicely detailed and are of:
- II Corps in Tunisia, April 23-May 9, 1943
- Breakout from Normandy, August 1-13, 1944
- Battle of attrition, September 16-December 15, 1944
- Allied plans following the Battle of the Bulge, February 1945
- Encircling the Ruhr, March 29-April 4, 1945
There is one informational chart provided that shows:
- Key to military symbols
The captions are well written and are very detailed and explain the accompanying photographs in great detail eliminating any doubt as to what is shown and taking place. I didn’t notice any spelling or grammar errors as I read through them, a detail that is important to me. I was very impressed by Zaloga’s captions as they are very helpful to the reader due to their detailed content as opposed to other captions I have seen that are very brief and lack detail necessary to explain the accompanying photograph.
One of the first things I noticed with this book was that the cover appeared to have part of the top right corner missing as if it had been cut off at an angle, you can see this in the scan of the front cover that I have provided. [This may not be so apparent in the cropped image - Ed] Upon closer examination I discovered that the cover was actually attached at an odd angle and not squared up with the pages. It may have been just the volume I was provided with that had the odd cover and not all of the volumes that were released. This takes nothing away from the book and is in no way any fault of the author. I just thought I should mention it.
This is a well written book. Steven J. Zaloga has gone to great lengths to research Omar Bradley and provides excellent coverage of his life both on the battlefield and the home front as well as his life after World War II. I would have no hesitation to add other Osprey titles to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others.
REFERENCESWorld War II Day by Day: An Illustrated Almanac 1939-1945
WWII Time-Life Books History of the Second World War
By the Editors of Time-Life Books
Foreword by Eric Sevareid
Prentice Hall Press
The American Heritage Picture History of World War II
American Heritage Publishing Co. Inc.
The Military History of World War II
Consultant Editor: Barrie Pitt
The Military Press
World War II
Octopus Books Limited
The Second World War
Take a look at the book at the Osprey web site:
Take a look inside of the book at the Amazon website: