This is a list of books we have used for research and/or read. For the books we have covered, we use the standard description of the book then we give the book a rating and review if we have covered it extensively.
The rating system and review from the Historical Society are of our own opinions. We do not endorse any particular author unless stated.
Iron Cross Rating System:
- 5 Crosses – Excellent
- 4 Crosses – Good
- 3 Crosses – Average
- 2 Crosses – Poor
- 1 Cross – Terrible – Do Not Read
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These photographs are taken from three unpublished albums featuring the German invasion of Poland in 1939.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.
The Images of War series are excellent books with many unknown photos from history. In some books, they only have photos from certain units so the title can be misleading since they do not cover the entire battle or period of time on that front. Either way, this is an excellent series and very well priced.