Second World War Infantry Tactics: The European Theatre and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Trade in Yours
For a £2.26 Gift Card
Trade in
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Start reading Second World War Infantry Tactics: The European Theatre on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Second World War Infantry Tactics: The European Theatre [Hardcover]

Stephen Bull
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: £19.99
Price: £16.58 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
You Save: £3.41 (17%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it tomorrow, 25 Oct.? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £5.56  
Hardcover £16.58  
Trade In this Item for up to £2.26
Trade in Second World War Infantry Tactics: The European Theatre for an Amazon Gift Card of up to £2.26, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Book Description

16 Feb 2012
The 'poor bloody infantry' do the dirty front-line work of war. It bears the brunt of the fighting and often suffers disproportionately in combat in comparison with the other arms of service. Yet the history of infantry tactics is too rarely studied and often misunderstood.Stephen Bull, in this in-depth account, concentrates on the fighting methods of the infantry of the Second World War. He focuses on the infantry theory and the combat experience of the British, German and American armies. His close analysis of the rules of engagement, the tactical manuals, the training and equipment is balanced by vivid descriptions of the tactics as they were tested in action. These operational examples show how infantry tactics on all sides developed as the war progressed, and they give a telling insight into the realities of infantry warfare.His study sets Second World War infantry tactics in the long historical context. It records how the artillery and automatic weapons of the First World War swept away the lines and columns of the nineteenth century. It goes on to describe the tactics ofthe main protagonists in 1939-45, looking in particular at the infantry's role in blitzkrieg and at the growing significance of sections and squads. And it emphasizes the increasing importance of combat in urban areas - in buildings, sewers and rooftops - which evolved through the experience gained in bitter protracted urban battles likeStalingrad.Stephen Bull's accessible and wide-ranging survey is a fascinating introduction to the fighting methods of the opposing ground forces as they confronted each other on the European battlefields of 70 years ago.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Between 20-26 October 2014, spend £10 in a single order on item(s) dispatched from and sold by and receive a £2 promotional code to spend in the Amazon Appstore. Here's how (terms and conditions apply)

Frequently Bought Together

Second World War Infantry Tactics: The European Theatre + Panzer Tactics: German Small-unit Armor Tactics in World War II + World War II Street-fighting Tactics (Elite)
Price For All Three: £45.46

Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Military (16 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848840705
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848840706
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.5 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 157,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Museum curator and university external examiner Dr Stephen Bull studied at the University of Wales, and worked at the BBC and National Army Museum in London. Now Curator of Military History and Archaeology for Lancashire County Museums he has curated exhibitions, completed an MBA, and been elected to the Institute for Archaeologists. Published in a variety of languages on both sides of the Atlantic he has been listed for the Portico Prize for Literature. For 2014 he is working on a photo volume of the Western Front, to be published in US and European editions, and available from 19 July here on Amazon.

Stephen has made many TV and radio appearances including the series 'Battlefield Detectives' and 'Instruments of Death', both shown internationally, and the BBC 'One Show'. His book of the Channel 4 series 'Last War Heroes', is available in North American, UK and Norwegian editions. The series took Canadian Screen Award for 'best history' under its US title 'D-Day to Victory' in 2013. A consultant to the University of Oxford, Stephen has assisted in the creation of a European database to document the individual experience of the First World War through archives, photographs, and objects. The photograph shows Stephen (right) with Lorenz Andraes at the German National Library, 'DNB', Frankfurt.

Product Description


Accessible, well-researched and wide-ranging, Second World War Infantry Tactics is an enthralling introduction to the methods of the opposing ground forces as they confronted each other on the European battlefields of 70 years ago, and a tribute to the men who fought and died. - Lancashire Evening Post

Customer Reviews

3 star
2 star
1 star
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Detailed view of infantry tactics in WW2 6 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent treatise on basic infantry tactics for the German, British and American forces in the western theatre during WW2. Well written it manages to avoid becoming bogged down like a section in front of a spandau. It looks at matters from before the start of the war and how tactics changed throughout the conflict.

A good read for anyone interested in WW2 tactics or for anyone interested in writing about the period.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 7 Aug 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A difficult read 9 May 2012
By cm judge - Published on
This is a useful primer on World War II British, American and German infantry tactics at the squad and platoon level. The author, Dr. Stephen Bull, is a Curator of Military History and Archaeology for the Lancashire Museum. The book's seven chapters discuss the organization, training and implementation of small unit tactics. Supplementing the text with training manual diagrams and a photograph section, Dr. Bull endeavors to explain the tactical evolution of the three principal military forces engaged in European combat operations. A robust appendix section relates the structural composition of the various national elements along with extracts from period training manuals. The use of excerpts from applicable tactical manuals is augmented through the use of secondary sources, after action reports, and personal memoirs.
The author begins by discussing the national character of the participating nations and the effect these factors have on the organizing, equipping, and training of respective military forces. For the Germans, the post World War One period saw them experimenting with a variety of weapons, organizations and equipment to conduct a short, aggressive war. During this same period, the British formed a forced to protect their colonial assets while the United States prepared for no war at all.
As documented by the author, by 1939, the Germans created a superbly trained, mobile force able to conduct complex, swift attacks with relative ease. Their decentralized execution procedures used a simplified orders process to attain decisive battlefield victories. Dr. Bull explains in great detail that the squad and platoons were amply equipped with a proliferation of automatic weapons such as the superb MG-42 machine gun, the quick firing MP-38 submachine gun, and by 1944, an advanced infantry assault rifle. These weapons systems were placed in the hands of highly skilled soldiers who appreciated the science and art of tactical employment. Given their desire to conduct swift combat operations, the Germans created a superb armored force that provided for infantry to accompany them into battle using a variety of armored personnel carriers. Fortunately for the allies, many of these developments came too late to alter the inevitable results of a prolonged war.
From the start, both Britain and the United States faced the daunting task of training and motivating a conscript army to counter the Germans. With a deep appreciation of the contribution that Great Britain made to the transformation of a small army into a robust military organization, the author provides the reader an insightful look into how this alteration took place. The British, with an obviously smaller population base to draw upon, initially relied on manuals, training films and tactical exercise without troops to train leaders. Heavy emphasis was placed on field craft and battle drill. Field craft consisted of physical training, weapon proficiency, forced marches, and navigation skills. Battle drill sought to teach soldiers how to execute assaults using either fire and maneuver or fire and movement to attain battlefield success. Bayonet drill and hand-to-hand combat were employed to create a spirit of aggressiveness.
When the United States entered the war, they had the benefit of observing both British and German forces engage in combat operations. This allowed a detailed analysis of the Army's doctrinal approach to warfare. Dr. Bull reviews the advantages and shortfalls of this process. His conclusion is the American Army used established service schools and an impressive professional publication apparatus to create the environment required to evolve from a small professional army into a large effective military force.
Once again, the author raises several important difficulties encountered by the Americans. For example, the demanding transition from theory to practice was not aided by the Army's entrance examination process, which relegated the lowest scoring individuals to the infantry. To raise morale and encourage infantry soldiers, the Army initiated the awarding of the coveted combat infantryman's badge and combat pay. Augmenting these recognition methods with organizational and equipment improvements enhanced the performance of the force. Common cartridge weapons such as the M-1 Garand, Browning Automatic Rifle and the .30 caliber light machine gun were assigned to squads and platoons easing the strain of resupply. As with the British and German armies, heavy emphasis was placed on field craft, weapons proficiency, and large-scale maneuver exercises to create a confident and competent force.
Perhaps the most thought provoking chapters of the book are to be found in Bull's discussion of anti-tank methods and tank infantry coordination. The employment of large armored formation provided mobile firing platforms that permitted maneuver on a scale previously unknown. To fully exploit this new means, infantry had to attain a degree of mobility to keep pace with the armored force. The Germans appreciated this imperative prior to the initiation of hostilities and developed armored personnel carriers capable of keeping pace with the tanks while carrying a variety of assault weapons in addition to transporting infantry in relative safety. The British pre- war experimentation with armored forces led them to employ the small Bren Gun Carrier to transport soldiers and various supporting weapon systems. The Americans relied on the M-2 and M3 infantry carrying half-tracks to accompany their armored force into battle. All sides also sought to protect themselves from the enemy's armored threat by the use of a variety of anti-tank grenades and gun systems. Several man portable systems were also developed for use by the infantry. These included the heavy British Projector Infantry Anti-Tank (PIAT), the American 2.36 inch Rocket Launcher known as the bazooka, and the superb German Panzerfaust or tank fist. Of all these weapons, the most effective was the German system. This weapon allowed the individual soldier to fire a hollow charged warhead capable of penetrating four inches of armored plating at an enemy armored vehicle with devastating effect. The proliferation of these battlefield weapons added a new dimension to anti-tank warfare that remains with us to this day.
This is a well-written book with excellent graphics displaying the various infantry squad tactics of World War II. It provides a welcomed non-biased outlook on the strengths and weaknesses of infantry tactics of the different countries. The book will be a welcomed addition to a professional reading library and serve as a valuable reference for research on World War II.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good and informative read 4 Mar 2014
By peter entwistle - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
this was an interesting book on a surprisingly neglected topic that was well researched and informative .although I disagreed with some of the premises eg that tactics changed more ifrom1939-45 than they had in 1914- 18 ,and disappointed that eastern front tactics weren't discussed more as these were surely relevant ,overall an interesting and good read
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OK 10 Nov 2012
By Guy Mazzarella - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I use it as a reference for WWII reenacting.. i aso have it in my WWII officers field desk minus the modern paper cover for use in my WWII display
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category