Images of War: Blitzkrieg in the West, Ian Baxter

Images of War: Blitzkrieg in the West, Ian Baxter

This entry in Pen and Sword's Images of War series looks at the German blitzkrieg in the west, the military campaign that in under two months changed the nature of the Second World War, ending any chance that it would be a rerun of the Great War by breaking the deadlock on the Western Front.

The around 200 pictures cover the entire period from the days immediately before the German invasion of the west to the final victory parade in Paris. Each picture has a caption of at least three lines, picking out the key elements of the picture. Many pieces of kit are carefully identified, from exact models of half-tracks to items of personal equipment.

The pictures are supported by a brief narrative account of the campaign, the text of which is kept well clear of the captions (avoiding a flaw I have found in some similar books). It must be said that the text feels a little odd - Baxter has chosen to echo the triumphalist tone of contemporary German accounts of the fighting, reporting German triumphs and successes rather than Allied defeats and disasters. This an unusual approach, but it actually works rather well here, giving a more accurate impressive of what must have been the mood amongst the men shown in the pictures.

The pictures cover a wide range of subjects, with something of an emphasis on the German soldiers, although military hardware is also well covered (excluding aircraft, which rarely feature). Destroyed bridges and German pontoon bridges feature in some numbers, as do French prisoners of war.
This book contains a well chosen selection of high quality pictures that show the German side of a conflict more often seen from the British and French point of view.

1 - Preparing for Blitzkrieg
2 - Battles of Holland and Belgium
3 - Road to Dunkirk
4 - 'Operation Red' Blitzkrieg through France
5 - The End Comes

Author: Ian Baxter
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 140
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2010

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