The Second World War Illustrated – The Second Year – written by Jack Holroyd – Pen and Sword Books. £16.99 – Softcover – Pages 279.

This book as the title says is an illustrated book of the second year of World War Two, and it is obviously a book that is part of a series that takes each year of the war into a collection. I should say I have not read the first book so I can’t say how this book is comparison to the others. This book looks at 1941, and it’s split in chapters that look at the following: Italy invading Egypt, Italy targeting Greece, The Axis targeting Malta, Churchill taking on Europe and all the way through was Hitler and Germany targeting many countries throughout Europe. The photographs in the book cover are excellent indeed whilst some of them new, some of them I haven’t seen before. The photographic collection covers all aspects of the war and every arm of the military in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, North Africa, Greece and obviously the main countries of Europe.

Now as a whole collection I would imagine this set would be great. One of those collections you used to get by paying monthly on the back of Sunday newspaper magazine. Now I really enjoyed this book, partly because it made a break from all the reading I do, it was a very good book packed with excellent photos from both sides of the war. In the middle of the book there is a number of pages where all the photos have been colourised, now I’m not sure if I prefer the photographs colourised or not but that is up to the reader. The book is obviously predominantly photograph heavy, but the book contains maps, charts and text to explain the photographs and the course of the war. While this might not be one for the historian, it’s still an excellent book that would happily sit on anyone’s bookshelf.

By Ben Davidson

Hello, I have been studying all aspects of history for about 25 years. I have a BA History from the University of Bedfordshire. My historical areas of interest are anything really, but I specialise in 19th - 20th century Britain, America and Ireland. I am also strongly aligned with most military history, really enjoying WW2 and the US Civil War. Chuck in the king or queen and Bob's your uncle.