Blitzkrieg: Myth, Reality, and Hitler's Lightning War: France 1940

Atlantic Monthly. Sept. 2016. 480p. illus. maps. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780802125132. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780802190345. HIST
Prominent military historian Clark (modern war studies, Univ. of Buckingham; The Battle of the Tanks) seeks to present new ideas about what happened along the western front May–June 1940. He examines how well, or poorly, all sides conducted operations during the German invasions of France, Belgium, Holland, and Luxembourg. Clark provides significant detail regarding planning among all militaries involved, with emphasis on changes to German war plans and French defensive preparations. Conditions of German, French, and British armies are described in detail. Throughout, Clark's objective tone impassively analyzes the evolving situations. Personalities of the various military and diplomatic officials demonstrate how their qualities and characteristics impacted the conflict. States of mind of soldiers on the ground reveal the rampant fatigue present in soldiers on all sides. Most German troops are shown to be gentle in their treatment of several prisoners of war, who were generally glad to be free from fighting, while some SS units are shown to have committed atrocities against soldiers and civilians.
VERDICT A solid, well-documented military history, Clark's newest work will appeal to anyone interested in World War II and early operations on the western front. [See Prepub Alert, 3/21/16.]
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