Arras, Third Ypres and Cambrai

...Germany in the Great War, from Pen & Sword

Title: Arras, Third Ypres and Cambrai
Author: Joshua Bilton
Publisher: Pen & Sword
ISBN: 978-1-47387-693-4

Part of a series of books on Germany in the Great War, a 170-page soft-cover book very much in the style of their popular Images of War series. This collection of archive photos focuses on the fortunes of the Central Powers side of events, not only on the Western Front, but also further afield
After the Introduction which sets the scene for the book, the rest is divided across 7 chapters, each one with a page or two of text to give the context, then a fine selection of archive images to illustrate the topic. These do cover the Western Front but also the Eastern and South West fronts, along with Turkey, the German Air Service, German Navy and what was happening on the Home Front. All the pictures have detailed captions which tell us much more. Hundreds of photos and among them things like the trenches of the Western Front as well as the sometimes neglected fighting on the Eastern Front as well. In the South West, Italian mountain troops in some difficult but spectacular terrain, Ottoman Cavalry (lancers) in Palestine, the Gotha bombers and their attacks on London as well as the early U-Boats of WW1. Such a lot of material in this one, by far the bulk of which I have never seen before. The content is rounded off with a Chronology of events for 1917.
Amidst the chapter on German air forces there are a couple of aerial photos of the battlefield of Ypres, and the images of waterlogged craters covering the entire surface of the ground, it is a stark reminder of the conditions that the ground troops fought in at that time. Plenty of pictures show artillery in many forms, while there are a few images that I can only describe as gruesome. If we need a reminder that war is a terrible thing, then this doesn't try to hide it. For those interested in the history of WW1 this is a great collection to see, and that little bit different for many of us I suspect for focussing on the German, Austro-Hungarian side of things. Recommended.
Thanks to Pen & Sword for the review copy.

Robin