Like its many popular cousins in the Images of War series, The Eighth Army in North Africa uses page after page of photographs, primarily, to retell the story of a famous campaign from World War Two. The desert war has of course been covered–over and over–in other publications, but what this volume also succeeds in capturing through its many visuals (some of them famous, others that look as though they came from grandpa’s private war album) is a feeling of personal immediacy.
The reader can see close-ups of armored fighting vehicles festooned with the trappings of everyday life, serving as they did as the mobile homes of their crews. The uniforms, vehicle markings, weathered textures and poignant facial expressions of the theatre are all on crisp display. Supported by a concise but satisfying narrative of the campaign, as well as maps and even gunnery tables, The Eighth Army in North Africa makes a tidy, comprehensive introduction to this aspect of the war for the newcomer and a trove of visual specificity for those of us who think they have “seen it all before” (but would keep looking anyway!).
My North Africa category of miniatures and other books can be accessed here.