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Forgotten Archives 2

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This large landscape hardcover book has 240 pages, and is the second volume of collected photos from the US Army Signal Corps photographers.  This team documented wrecks but also took photos of vehicles in service and generally recorded life for the US Army.  Naturally, the German vehicles they came across were destroyed or abandoned, while the US vehicles are mostly intact!  The book concentrates on NW Europe 1944-45, and other theatres are not covered.  Nor are the Allied armies shown, and only the US zone of operations is represented.

I thought that Volume 1 was good, but I’d say that Volume 2 is even better.  The format is to print crisp black-and-white photos full page, or maybe sometimes two per page, and provide the original notes, plus a modern caption which corrects some of the errors from WW2.  The well-researched captions are brilliant, and very informative, providing very useful information for the modern reader.  What is striking is that the photos were taken by specialist photographers, and the composition of the photos is much better than the snapshots taken by average soldiers.  Likewise, the sharp focus of the pictures shows the benefit of using specialist, high quality cameras

US vehicles covered include Shermans, T-26, M31, M5, M10, M36, Weasel, wreckers, Jeeps, the list goes on and on.  Meanwhile, the German vehicles include Panzer IV, Panther, 251, Tiger, etc..  Altogether, the array of excellent photos provides an excellent resource.

A new feature in Forgotten Archives #2 is a series of seven full page renderings where the accompanying photograph is reproduced as a colour painting.  This enables the reader to visualise the vehicles as they truly were.

Overall, this is a very good book to illustrate the combat in the Normandy area, through really superb, sharp and clear photos.  Although a little expensive, many people will find this a valuable addition to their library, and it is highly recommended.

Pub: Panzerwrecks, written by Felipe Rodna, £34.99

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