22.7.07

LOOKING FOR A WAY OUT. Barry Turner's Countdown to Victory supplements The Fall of Berlin 1945, reviewed here, and The Last Battle, in presenting the history of the Western Front from just before the Ardennes campaign to Germany's surrender. This Book Review No. 25 suggests that the book will be of greater interest to readers seeking a deeper understanding of the Western Front. Last Battle suffices as an overview of both fronts. Countdown offers much more by way of recollections of front line soldiers and civilians, whether in the liberated, occupied, or German territories. Those parts of Western Europe not quite evacuated by the Germans but not yet liberated by the Allies were not pleasant for civilians stuck there for lack of safe places to flee to. Yes, the major land campaigns (cutting off the Bulge, crossing the Rhine, surrounding the Ruhr) receive discussion, but not of the unit-history or "this unit moved here" variety.

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