Images of War: Rommel's Army in the Desert, Alistair Smith

Images of War: Rommel's Army in the Desert, Alistair Smith

This book contains pictures from three original photo albums taken by unknown members of Rommel's army in North Africa, organised here into five chapters. The overall theme of all five chapters is live on the road in North Africa, and most pictures appear to have been taken while the photographers were travelling in convoys. There are also some pictures of naval transport, a smattering of captured British pictures and one of Vesuvius.

I would have liked some way to tell which picture came from which album - there are sequences of pictures that clearly belong together, but it isn't clear if each chapter comes from a particular album or if the pictures are mixed.

Most of the captions are informative and relate directly to the photos or provide extra information (a picture of burning truck is accompanied by information on the different casualty figures for damage from mines, shells and anti-tank guns). One or two do veer off topic, but these captions are still relevant to the overall topic.

The photographers focused on some unusual topics. There are six shots of a truck crash and its aftermath, including the field repairs. There are also shots showing German troops with the local Arabs, and with their Italian allies.

This is the second entry in the Images of War series to cover this topic that I have reviewed in the last few weeks. Rommel's Desert Warriors used photos from a wide range of sources to provide a photographic history of campaign. Here we have three individual views of the campaign, so we see more details of daily life in the desert, and fewer combat pictures. The two books work rather well together to give a picture of life and death in the North African desert.

1 - Operation Sonnenblume
2 - Towards the Front
3 - Life on the Road
4 - Nearing Tobruk
5 - Out and About in the Desert

Author: Alistair Smith
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 213
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2013

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