The companion volume to the groundbreaking TV series, this book tells the story of the physical, emotional and psychological journey of Allied soldiers from the beaches of Normandy to the ruins of Berlin. In their own words these brave men from Britain, the United States, Canada and Russia tell us what it was like to face the bullets, bombs, mortars, mines and artillery shells of Nazi Germany. Interviews with over 80 soldiers who fought in the conflict, totalling 150 hours, provide a new perspective on the experiences of 1944–45. Building on the high-speed, multi-camera filming of World War II weapons and munitions shown in the TV series, this book brings the terrifying reality of the war to life. Technical descriptions and the eye-witness accounts of the men in the field explain the dramatic power and effect that this weaponry had on the battlefield, from the sinister simplicity of the deadly AP mine through to the immense firepower of the 88mm gun, giving the modern historian a unique insight into the last days of the war for the troops on the frontline. This is not a history of generals, of armies manoeuvring and strategic objectives. It is a book about the ordinary men put into incredible situations, deprived of sleep and food, and in constant fear of death on the long road to victory.
About the Author
Dr Stephen Bull is Curator of Military History and Archaeology for Lancashire Museums, with particular responsibility for local regimental collections. Currently he is engaged in the redisplay of the Museum of Lancashire, including a new gallery on World War I. He has previously worked at the National Army Museum and BBC in London. A Member of the Institute of Archaeologists, he has also appeared in the TV series Battlefield Detectives. He has written numerous articles for specialist journals, including a number on the weapons and tactics of World War I. His other books include six Osprey titles, two on World War I, and four on World War II.