Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives
Given that this is a visual orientated book rather than a historical read, it’s somewhat difficult to comment on its appeal to the general reader. The book gives a snapshot narrative of the Barbarossa operations that supports the photographs within the various chapters, and it certainly helps in giving the reader a sense of the immense undertaking, scale and harshness of the combat environment.
Each photograph is accompanied by full captions which for those unfamiliar with specific equipment types can be very useful. Equally there are some captions which self evidently tell you what’s obvious within the picture. The author has cleverly used the photographs to show the transition of the German Army (for there are no pictures concerning the effort from its Axis Allies) from the Russian borderlands, forests, steppes, to the large cities and finally Moscow. Equally the changing seasons which had such an impact on the operations of the German Army in Russia is shown in all its full ferocity.
For the general reader interested in this period, this book is best utilised as an accompaniment to a more narrative based publication, where the pictures can enhance the tale being told. The real target audience for this book is within the realm of the military modelling fraternity, where numerous dioramas can be directly copied from the abundance of photographs or give flight to other settings. The non combat photographs are most appealing as they depict the often mundane & boring routine of a soldier, which is so usually overlooked in non visual books.
All together there are some 176 pages of mainly photographs plus two appendices about the OoB of both the German & Russian forces along the front in June 1941.
(Reviewed by Andy H)
Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.