Contributor: Andrew Nguyen
Review Date: 5 Sep 2009
Full Title: France 1940: Blitzkrieg in the West
In World War II, there are many well-known campaigns with the one at the top being none other than D-day. Others include the Battle of the Bulge and in this case the conquest of France and the Low Countries in 1940. In the case of France, it was one of Germany's greatest victories, which also sowed the seeds of its own defeat and truly introduced the idea of mechanized warfare with tanks (as we know of it today) to the world.
When Osprey Publishing began its campaign series in 1990, the third book that they had published dealt with the conquest of France in 1940. The fact that it was also the 50th anniversary of the battle may have also played its part in the decision. Titled France 1940: Blitzkrieg in the West and written by Alan Sheppard, it deals with the 1940 battle for France with the main focus on the critical from mid-May to early June as the battle was decided during that time period. Those familiar with the format for the Osprey Campaign series (particularly in its earlier entries) will know what to expect here with the introduction of the war situation, the commanders, status of the armies and discussion of their weapons, and then the battle itself with the afterword, timeline, bibliography and index following on behind.
Though the book is an interesting read, it is mainly for those who want a generalized grasp of the battle as well as those who work on models of tanks, planes, and infantrymen. Not surprisingly, a major source of information researched for this book came from Alistair Horne's To Lose a Battle (which is not much of a surprise and that one should prefer that instead).
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General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944