Rommel's Afrika Korps is one of the most famous military forces of the Second World War. For two years, from his arrival in Africa in 1941 to the start of the retreat from El Alamein late in 1942 Rommel and his men were involved in a to-and-fro struggle with the British Eighth Army, advancing and retreating across the Western Desert in a series of famous battles.
The pictures here cover a rather wider range of topics than is often the case in books on Rommel's army, which often focus on tanks and front line troops. Here we get good sections on the supply system that struggled to keep Rommel's army in the field, the German and Italian air forces, transport, artillery and daily life in the desert. The pictures are organised by topic rather than chronologically, and there is no attempt to tell the story of the desert war in pictures. Instead the aim is simply to provide a picture of Rommel's army during the two years in which he established his fame.
The focus is on the German side of the Axis, although there are some pictures of Italian troops and in particular of Italian aircraft. There are also some useful pictures of Allied equipment, split between the Armored Vehicles chapter, where a number of Allied tanks are shown to compare them with German equipment and the Supply and Transport chapters, where captured vehicles put into service with the Axis are the main focus.
The photographs dominate this book. There is a brief introduction at the start that gives an outline of the Desert war, but there are no chapter introductions and the captions are all fairly short (but generally informative). The picture quality is high and the variety is impressive. The result is an impressive visual guide to the German Army in North Africa at the height of its powers.
Arrival in the Desert
The Luftwaffe and Regia Aeronautica
Life in the Desert
Author: Michael Olive & Robert Edwards
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military