Germany 1945: From War to Peace
by Richard Bessel
1945 was the most pivotal year in Germany’s modern history. As World War II drew to a devastating and violent close, the German people were confronted simultaneously with making sense of the horrors just passed and finding the strength and hope to move forward and rebuild. Richard Bessel offers a provocative portrait of Germany’s emergence from catastrophe, and he astutely portrays the defeated nation’s own sense of victimhood after the war, despite the crimes it had perpetrated. Authoritative and dramatic, Germany 1945 is groundbreaking history that brilliantly explores the destruction and remarkable rebirth of Germany at the end of World War II. Ultimately, it is a success story; a story of life after death.
Images of War Series
Blitzkrieg in the West
by Ian Baxter
This superbly illustrated book captures the dramatic action of May and June 1940. The speed and ferocity of the German onslaught took the Allies by surprise as Hitler’s land and air forces annihilated the inferior opposition. After 9 months stalemate the collapse was cataclysmic and Holland and Belgium quickly fell leaving the British and French forces outflanked and outfought. Panic set in and huge numbers of civilian refugees clogged the roads making the Allies’ withdrawal even more precarious.
The miracle of Dunkirk saved vast numbers of British and French forces but could not prevent the surrender of France, leaving Britain to fight on virtually alone. The splendid photographs in this Images of War series book tell the story of this extraordinary period of history. They include previously unseen images of Rommel’s Ghost Division.
by Jon Sutherland, Diane Canwell
These photographs are taken from three unpublished albums featuring the German invasion of Poland in 1939. One set was taken by an SS officer, another by a regular officer and a third by a soldier attached to a medical unit. Included are German units on the move, tanks, artillery and aircraft.
There are several shots of recently knocked out Polish vehicles, captured Polish troops and civilians. The shots reflect the rapid pace of the German advance through Poland, some of the cities, towns and villages show signs of heavy fighting, whilst others appear to be untouched. One of the sets show a German unit mounted in fast open cars, heavily armed, speeding through the Polish countryside. Another features armored vehicles and engineers, while another shows the ambulance teams moving up to the front through devastation and chaos.
There are also numerous opportunities throughout the book to see uniforms in their various guises and how they were actually worn in practice. There are shots of earlier German armor, “antique“ Polish armor, and photographs of German troops at rest and preparing to move forward again.
German Halftracks At War 1939-1945
by Paul Thomas
In the aftermath of The Great War, which saw the introduction of the tank, the more far sighted military leaders realized that the future of warfare hinged on a balance of mobility, firepower and protection.
Tanks would need to be accompanied into battle by supporting arms, specifically infantry, artillery and engineers. An all fully-tracked field army was thought to be too expensive, so the semi-tracked support vehicle (commonly called a halftrack) was born. The halftrack concept was embraced by the French, the US and most notably Germany.
The Germans commissioned numerous types of half-tracked tractors, which were classified by the weight of their towed load. These vehicles were designated Sonderkraffarzeug (special motorized vehicle), abbreviated as Sd.Kfz. Without these vehicles the Blitzkrieg would not have been possible.
These front-wheel steering vehicles with tracked drive transformed the fighting quality of the armored divisions. They carried the infantry alongside the advancing panzers and brought guns and pontoon-bridge sections. The halftrack also became the preferred reconnaissance vehicle.
The Rise of Hitler
by Trevor Salisbury
A Nazi propaganda book found in the ruins of a bomb-damaged German home in 1945 and recovered as a souvenir by a British soldier. It forms the basis for this photographic account of Hitlers’ early days as he gains acceptance and eventually took over the hearts and minds of the German people.
Im Westen nichts Neues – All Quiet on the Western Front
All Quiet on the Western Front (German: Im Westen nichts Neues) is a novel by Erich Maria Remarque, a German veteran of World War I. The book describes the German soldiers’ extreme physical and mental stress during the war, and the detachment from civilian life felt by many of these soldiers upon returning home from the front.
The novel was first published in November and December 1928 in the German newspaper Vossische Zeitung and in book form in late January 1929. The book and its sequel, The Road Back, were among the books banned and burned in Nazi Germany. It sold 2.5 million copies in 22 languages in its first eighteen months in print.
In 1930, the book was adapted as an Oscar-winning film of the same name, directed by Lewis Milestone.
Hitler’s Last Days: The Death of the Nazi Regime and the World’s Most Notorious Dictator
by Bill O’Reilly
By early 1945, the destruction of the German Nazi State seems certain. The Allied forces, led by American generals George S. Patton and Dwight D. Eisenhower, are gaining control of Europe, leaving German leaders scrambling. Facing defeat, Adolf Hitler flees to a secret bunker with his new wife, Eva Braun, and his beloved dog, Blondi. It is there that all three would meet their end, thus ending the Third Reich and one of the darkest chapters of history.
Hitler’s Last Days is a gripping account of the death of one of the most reviled villains of the 20th century―a man whose regime of murder and terror haunts the world even today. Adapted from Bill O’Reilly’s historical thriller Killing Patton, this book will have young readers―and grown-ups too―hooked on history.