Images of War: Final Days of the Reich, Ian Baxter


Images of War: Final Days of the Reich, Ian Baxter

This entry in the Images of War series looks at the German army of 1945, and in particular the German army on the Eastern Front. Most of the pictures that are given a geographical location were taken in the Baltic states, Poland or eastern Germany. The pictures certainly appear to be in the correct chronological order, with heavy snow showing in the first two chapters (depicting the winter of 1944-45), and gone in the last two, and the equipment is right for the period. There is a good mix of pictures of military equipment and of the soldiers themselves, as well as of the Volkssturm, the German home guard pressed into service in the last days of the war.

The book is rather let down by the low quality of the text. The tone is a little odd, with something of a feel of contemporary German propaganda (lots of heroic defenders). The chapter introductions suffer from basic grammatical errors ('all that what was left to them was their skill and courage'), and some chunks from these introductions are repeated as picture captions (and snippets from captions are reused). The text hasn't been a problem in Baxter's earlier entries in the series, so the flaws here do come as something of a surprise. I didn't spot any factual errors in the picture captions, and the identification of equipment looks correct.

This is a bit of a mixed bag - the text isn't great, but the pictures are interested and varied, and give a view of the German army in its last days.

1 - Defending the East
2 - Last Battles in the East
3 - Fighting in Front of Berlin
4 - The End

Author: Images of War: Final Days of the Reich, Ian Baxter
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 156
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2011

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