British Soldier in Europe 1939-1945 Book Review

Last month we took a look at Peter Doyle’s book on the First World War Tommy, today we look at the equivelant book on the Second World War by the same author. The format of this book is the same as the First World War version, even down to the style of the cover:

Unlike the First World War book, which was fairly broad in scope and covered the home front and other theatres of fighting, this book is more focused and looks at the British soldier in the European theatre, although it does also look at units such as the Home Guard. As before this book is a good general introduction to the topic, with fantastic photography covering a wide range of objects and a well researched text alongside.

If I were to have one critisicism of this volume it is that the author has included a lot of photographs of the covers of period books, which become a little repetitive and don’t add much to the volume as you can’t actually read what is inside the period publications, I feel that if he had used less of these, there might have been more space for photographs of actual objects.

This minor criticism apart, the book is another excellent addition to the library and is ideal for those just getting into collecting the period, or who have a casual interest they wish to take deeper. Even the seasoned collector will find items of interest here and it is nice to find a book that combines the photography of a coffee table type volume with a decent and relatively in depth text. I believe this book is now out of print, but it is still easily available second hand for less than £10 a volume on eBay and Amazon.

One comment

  1. After your recommendation I have bought this, specifically for the chapter on POWs and (apart from a photo of a badge which is Central Hospital Supply Service, not Penny-a-Week Fund) I found the chapter excellent!

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