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New Additions

 

6th SS Mountain Division Nord at War 1941-1945 by Ian Baxter

Pegasus Archive review: The 6th SS Mountain Division Nord were the only unit of the Waffen SS to fight inside the Arctic Circle, and so much of this book concerns their activities in Finland where they encountered a very different type of war to that experienced on the rest of the Eastern Front. The book contains a broad array of excellent and atmospheric photographs, particularly the large number of those which chronicle their activities during the winter months, where they are seen patrolling those vast swathes of wilderness which were inaccessible to trains and motor transport, and so relied heavily on ski troops with horse-drawn sledges. As with all books in the Images of War series, the large photographs and detailed captions span a diverse range of subjects, clearly showing uniforms and equipment as well as the organisation of defensive positions, including the use of igloos to protect the troops from the elements. Before closing with an order of battle and notes on winter uniforms, the final pages deal with the transfer of the Division to Germany and its part in the failed Nordwind offensive of January 1945, and then the final months of the war which led to its destruction. Price £14.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/6th-SS-Mountain-Division-Nord-at-War-19411945-Paperback/p/15623

 

The Americans From Normandy to the German Border by Brooke S. Blades

Pegasus Archive review: The second of three books, following the Americans from Normandy to the Ardennes, covering the period from the break-out of the beachhead in August 1944 to early December. At just over 200 pages, this is one of the larger entries in the Images of War series, and chronicles their progress across the entire front with a superb collection of high quality photographs, each accompanied by detailed notes, and vividly showing the intensity of the fighting with a number of truly excellent images of American troops in action. The chapters single out several key engagements for particular attention, including the Falaise Pocket, the liberation of Paris, the difficult fighting to breach the Siegfried Line around Aachen, and the subsequently bloody Battle of Hürtgen Forest. Although a predominantly British operation, it also extensively covers Operation Market Garden and the brilliant actions of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions. Price £12.79. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/The-Americans-from-Normandy-to-the-German-Border-Paperback/p/16525

 

Night of the Long Knives by Phil Carradice

Pegasus Archive review: The thugs of Ernst Röhm's Sturmabteilung had played their part in helping the Nazi Party to power in 1933, but soon became a threat to their retention of it and to Hitler's position as leader. On the 30th June 1934, the Gestapo and SS ruthlessly purged the SA leadership in a night of bloody terror which ended with Röhm and hundreds of others dead. This book explores how the members of the SA, who had expected to be rewarded for their years of brutality after Hitler's ascension yet saw no change in their situation, were unable to curb their excesses and became a liability to the party. It also examines the complex relationship between Hitler and Röhm who, despite rumours of a coup apparently remained his loyal friend to the end, yet was oblivious of the threat posed by his considerable popularity and dangerous ambitions to take control of the Wehrmacht. Other key personalities who fell foul of Hitler on that night are also discussed, as are those who had no connection to the SA but had been a thorn in the party's side and so were simply disposed of at this convenient time. The book concludes with the future of the severely chastened SA, and the immediate aftermath of the killings when the Nazi leadership, far from being shy about what they had done before the world, were quite euphoric. Price: £13.59. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Night-of-the-Long-Knives-Paperback/p/15569

 

Apollo 11: The Moon Landing in Real Time by Ian Passingham

Pegasus Archive review: A quite absorbing account of man's first steps on an alien world and the culmination of a programme which many consider to be humanity's greatest achievement. The story begins two weeks before the launch of Apollo 11, and covers the events of each day with a series of bulletins describing the progress of the mission, the numerous technical challenges involved, and the relentless training of the astronauts even at this late stage. Yet this was the time of the Cold War, Vietnam, and widespread social upheaval, and these stories reveal the considerable disquiet that so much could be spent on the endeavour when many in America were living in poverty, and they also follow Apollo 8 astronaut Frank Borman's tour of the USSR, who were themselves caught between trying to downplay a political defeat and saluting the American achievement, whilst quietly attempting to steal their thunder by returning a lunar probe with rock samples to Earth ahead of them. There are also humorous articles, including a request from the National Cheese Club of Australia to bring back a sample if it was discovered that the Moon truly was made of cheese, and the tongue-in-cheek consent to the mission given by a Chilean lawyer who, years earlier, had taken advantage of a legal principle whereby ownership of property could be claimed by anyone if it was not contested, and so became the owner of the Moon. Price £20.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Apollo-11-Hardback/p/16366

 

Fallschirmjager: German Paratroopers 1942-1945 by Francois Cochet 

Pegasus Archive review: The second part of Francois Cochet's photographic history of the Fallschirmjager, looking at the middle to late war period where the airborne role was all but abandoned as they became an elite infantry reserve which participated in innumerable bloody defensive battles until the end of the war. The chapters take in an exceptionally broad range of theatres, beginning with anti-partisan operations in Russia, training exercises in France, and the defence of Tunisia. A couple of airborne swansongs are featured, including the famous raid to free Mussolini, and the successful but much less known capture of Leros in 1943; the last large-scale airborne operation attempted by the Germans. It goes on to show the hard fighting around Anzio and Monte Cassino in Italy, where the Fallschirmjager cemented their reputation as tenacious defenders, and the bitterly fought campaigns on the Eastern Front, Normandy, and the Low Countries, culminating in their inevitable collapse in Germany. The photographs are similarly diverse in their subject matter, and display a range of uniforms, camouflaged clothing and techniques, the equipment they used, and the organisation of their positions. Price: £11.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Fallschirmjger-German-Paratroopers-19421945-Paperback/p/15753

 

Books - Arnhem, Normandy, Rhine Crossing, Sicily, General Airborne, Prisoner of War, General Second World War, Other

 

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