Battle of the Bulge – Images of War

Review by Martin Koenigsberg

Just finished my 15th Book Review of the Year!!

I was psyched to come across a copy of this book at a Thrift Store (Charity Shop) recently- and enjoyed reading it. In my excitement about finding the book- I even got to chat with the author, Andy Rawson, a writer and photo curator on WWII and other Military History topics, on Twitter/X and get some insight into when and how it was written. I was introduced to the “Images Of War” series after 2016- but this book dates back to 2004- near the birth of the series. As such it has fewer narrative passages to more recent editions – and few pictures – but the pictures are still very compelling. The shots come from every phase of the battle- the rapid German advance- the retreating Americans- the Bastogne and Malmedy battles and the counterattack of all Allied forces that made the battle so costly for the Nazis. Everyone in just about every pic is cold and wet- but the war was hot and makes for an enlightening curation of images. Lacking the heft of the modern books in the series- the book still helps any reader get to grips with the Battle of the Bulge.

Some pics are brand new to any reader- many are other shots from more famous rolls (back when rolls of film were a thing)- and some have been seen before, but the overall effect is still there. The Allied General had been correct- Germany did not have the real power for Panzer offensives- they could not sustain any move without the Allies making a real mistake. Once the Allied Armies, and especially their Air Forces could respond- the Battle was decided. Many Nazi soldiers who might have started the battle in or on a vehicle- finished the battle Walking- either back to the Fatherland- or into Allied POW compounds. Rawson tells the tale- and shows us the evidence.

There are some adult themes, and some shots of corpses, so this is a book for the Junior Reader over about 13/14 years with a historical interest. For the Gamer/Modeler/Military Enthusiast, this is a very interesting book- although some color sources will probably be called for too. The Gamer gets to see what the Ardennes look like in winter- and how American and German troops responded to the inclement weather. For the Modeler- good shots of how soldiers draped their Vehicles with both camouflage and their life’s possessions- and little personal touches that made them home. The Military Enthusiast gets another resource for photos of a famous battle at the end of WWII. A nice package that a more general reader can appreciate as well.

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