Book Review
The Fall of Berlin
The Fall of Berlin
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


This book covering The Fall of Berlin is part of a series of titles from Pen and Sword as part of their ‘Images at War’ series. These books cover the subjects’ mostly in photographs and so offers a great visual reference for anyone interested in the subject matter regardless of the reason for that interest. For the modeller these books represent a horn of plenty when it comes to visual information.


This offering from Pen and Sword is part of the ‘Images at War’ series. This series of books are soft backed offerings having a good card cover with a very good spine to the book that keeps the contents in good order. This book covering The Fall of Berlin has been authored by Ian Baxter. The contents of this title are provided over 121 pages of good quality semi gloss paper. At the rear there are a few pages for the reader to make notes, so if a specific photograph catches your eye you can make a note at the rear to enable quick finding of the image again.

The contents are presented in the following sections:
Chapter 1 – Vistula-Oder Offensive
Chapter 2 – Defence of the Oder
Chapter 3 – Battle of Halbe
Chapter 4 – Battle for Berlin
Appendix – Order of Battle

This offering from Pen and Sword as part of their Image at War series looks at the Fall of Berlin, but may be considered as the fight for Berlin. It looks at the grinding down of the German units tasked with defending the capital and the children captured in uniform provides a rude awakening to what the Nazi’s were throwing into the front lines at the end. All of this is presented in a large selection of period photographs that shows the end of the Third Reich.

The text provided has been well considered by the author who I believe was tasked with covering a subject in images while providing a limited quantity of text to provide the viewer with a background. The result here is that the author provides a written guide as to what was happening in the area covered and how it progressed during the conflict. The author has managed this with just a few pages at the start of each chapter and done a very good job considering the limited space for the text.

This series of books excel’s in its main purpose and that is to provide the reader with visual information and the title and cover photograph lead me to think it was going to cover Berlin after the fall, I could not have been more wrong. This book looks at the fall of Poland as the Germans fought hard to try and stop the Soviet Forces in its tracks. You then get the defence of the Oder which when those defences failed you had three Soviet fronts pushing the German forces ahead of them and into the final fruitless defence of Berlin.

Now of course many modellers who purchase this book and others in the series are looking for images usually and this title and series for that matter do it better than most I have seen. The photographs cover the men and machines that took part in this operation and the steps that built up to it. The photographs are very well chosen covering conflict and preparation along with the lulls in fighting when you get a chance to rest, eat and grab a smoke.

They say that a photograph is worth a thousand words and that is true to some extent, but for me it is the captions that come with the images that make this book and the series generally extremely valuable as reference. The captions can tell you things such as where, when, what and why but these give extra angles in many cases and providing information that the image cannot tell you and it is in addition to the previous attributes. A photograph that really caught my eye shows four panzer grenadiers on foot where they are basically black against a light background and says to me ‘going forward to die’.


This title as part of the Images at War series is another great title in the line up as the images have been well chosen and presented to the viewer. I found the images in this offering particularly thought provoking as it shows all of the aspects of war in a relatively small area; the men who fought this war are shown at their best and worst as they fight for a dream that had ended. If you are always looking for photographs that light your imagination this is a book you must have.
Darren Baker takes a look at another release in the Images at War series published by pen and Sword, this time the title is ‘The Fall of Berlin '.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 9781526737878
  Suggested Retail: £14.99
  PUBLISHED: Nov 03, 2019

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2021 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.


I like Ian's work as he has access to many previously-unknown photos and this should be another good addition. Hopefully the photo identifiers are more accurate on this one, though, as I have had the occasional rolled-eyes and head shake at some previous books' errors on that count. Still, worth the money.
NOV 03, 2019 - 01:16 PM
I did not notice any obvious issues on the score you raise, but I accept it is possible. When it comes to photographic reference on specific subjects these books cannot be beat on price verse content.
NOV 03, 2019 - 09:54 PM

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