The Arras Counter-attack, 1940

Making ample use of eyewitness accounts from war diaries on both sides, and with a wealth of maps and photos in support, Arras Counterattack: 1940 follows developments from the British assembly areas and start lines to their high-water marks and Rommel’s improvised defense and riposte, achieving an immediacy that conveys to readers something very close to “what it was really like” on that day nearly 80 years ago.

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Book Review: Night Duel Over Germany

Peter Jacobs’ impressively researched account will engross students of the air war in Europe with two parallel tracks: first, the evolution of each side’s strategies and tactics and second, perhaps even more fascinatingly, the desperate technological race that ensued between Bomber Command, as it tried to find its targets in the dark, and the Luftwaffe’s Nachtjagd, as it in turn tried to find and destroy the intruding British bombers.

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Images of War: Rommel in North Africa

The immense trove of photographs, most of which feel like they were taken from someone’s personal scrapbook, shows Rommel in every scene, inspecting troops and weapons, scouting the battlefield, and conferring with other officers. When paired with the diaries, reports and letters of men who served with Rommel, these quotidian images allow us to see through the veil of myth and discover the reality of the man and the campaign, not the propaganda or the hype.

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Tank Reference Books

In this era, one can find a great deal of information like that contained in these reference works by searching online, and that mode of exploration certainly holds its own pleasures. For myself, however, the book that contains the well organized work of someone who has invested more time and effort than I ever will — remains a pleasure worth maintaining.

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