Specialist magazines are abundant today and finding a good magazine that covers more than one area is special. We, as modelers, are actually historians and we build history kit by kit, figure by figure. I have found that reading about history furthers my modeling knowledge and After the Battle magazine has helped me with many aspects of modeling and fueled a love of history. After the Battle magazine is a quarterly publication by Battle of Britain International Ltd. The magazine has 58 pages and color pictures on the front, center, and back pages. The central theme of all After the Battle publications is "then and now" photographs and there are usually three or more articles or stories per issue. This edition, #138, has two stories and a "From the Editor" section. For more information on After the Battle magazine, their web site is www.afterthebattle.com
The feature story for issue # 138 is the battle for St-Lo. The author, Phillip Bradley, sets up the opposing forces as they were at the opening stages of the battle. Through black & white photos and text he guides us through the battle from July 3, 1944 to the end around July 20, 1944. The photos are a combination of wartime and modern pictures of the same locations. St-Lo suffered a 95% destruction rate so a lot of the modern photos don't match as close as would be hoped. The action photos of the battle are documented well and three photos on pages 22 & 23 would make a great diorama setting. The color photo on the front is of the memorial to Major Howie and there are color photos on the center pages showing additional memorials in the St-Lo area.
The second feature story is "Following My Father's Footsteps" by Jean Paul Pallud who is a frequent contributor to the magazine. Jean Paul follows the trail of his father's service in the French army from when he was mobilized in 1939, captured in 1940, and as a POW until 1945. The story describes his father's life as a POW in rural Germany during the war. The story shows the human side of the POW's and the local German farmers who employed them as laborers.
The third feature is "From the Editor". This feature occurs every year or so to provide updates to previous stories. This time around there are several updates and the magazine mourned the loss of two personalities, Alain Roudeix and Alain Le Ray, both of who had stories about them in earlier issues of the magazine. The magazine announced the opening of a new museum in the Normandy area, the Maisy German Coastal Battery which opened in early 2007. The photo on the rear cover shows a portion of the French village of Oradour-sur-Glane that was ravaged by a wartime atrocity in June 1944 and left as a memorial.
This issue of After the Battle is a big B in my estimate. Lots of nice photos on the St-Lo battle and good information with the comparison photos showing the rebirth of the St-Lo area after the devastation suffered in 1944. The issue also includes Interesting stories and updates on previous features and museum information. I look forward to my next issue of After the Battle.