I love illustrated histories because I enjoy looking at the pictures. I know this seems silly for an adult to admit, but its the truth. I especially like looking at pictures of events that I have read so much about. A case in point is Patton’s Third Army in World War II: An Illustrated History by Michael Green and James D. Brown.
The book is chock full of photographs that I have never seen before. It covers the Third Army’s entire European combat tour from the Army’s activation in early August 1944 during the Normandy Campaign to the end of the war. In the 300 page book, there are 48 color and 403 black and white photographs as well as 13 maps.
The book is not just about the pictures. The authors do a thorough job of summarizing the Third Army’s drive across France and into Germany and Eastern Europe. Their writing is succinct and easy to follow. They also include maps throughout the text that track the movements of the various units attached to the Third Army.
Another item I like about the book is the inclusion of Patton’s thoughts on various subjects – ranging from infantry tactics against tanks to the treatment of prisoners. These thoughts are taken from Patton’s War As I Knew It and The Unknown Patton by Charles Province. Reading these excerpts gives you an idea of how much of a military genius Patton was.
One point of criticism is the poor editing – there were grammatical errors throughout the book that should have been caught by the editors (I know that some mistakes will get through, but there were more than a few). Other than that, this is a great book for your coffee table.