The following reference materials played a large part in providing information about my father’s unit but also in giving me a much greater understanding of WWII and the men and women that served. When I started my research, I really did not have a good understanding of anything relating to these subjects. Now that I know how much research is required to write a good document on any subject, I take my hat off to the authors that have taken their time to preserve and document such a critical time in world history.

Tank Destroyer Forces – WWII by Lonnie Gill

Tank-Destroyer-Forces---GilTank Destroyer Forces – WWII.  This is certainly the definitive book on the tank destroyers and the men that served in them.  Published in an over-sized 9 x 12 format and at 304 pages, it was the first book I purchased on the subject and it set the stage for everything else I would read.  Every TD unit is listed along with its actions during the war. It features more than 2,000 photographs, some in color, accompanied by maps, personal stories, charts, and nearly 1,000 individual biographies of Tank Destroyer veterans.  A roster of almost thirteen thousand members of the various individual TD battalion associations is also included.  Expertly written by Lonnie Gill, the Honorary Historian for the Tank Destroyer Association, the book matches his personal interest in the subject, along with the contributions from many of those that served in the units, to provide an accurate and detailed volume.  Mr. Gill teamed up with Turner Publishing Company, an award winning independent publisher of specialty and trade titles, and together they have created a quality book that everyone interested in the Tank Destroyers should have.

At this time though, the book is out of print and not available from the publisher.  You can try to find one used or wait for one to show up on Ebay but I have been in touch with Turner and they tell me they are planning to produce the book again in the fall of 2010.  By going to their website and placing an order for one, your name will be added to a list to get one when they are available.  You can go directly to the order page by clicking here.

After The Battle – Issue No. 27

ATB-Issue-No.-27After The Battle’s issue number 27 features a great article on the Dachau Concentration Camp.  As many of you know, the 6th Tank Destroyer Group spent many months at the facility during the summer of 1945, immediately after the war.  Many soldiers toured the camp, at the direction of General Eisenhower, to showcase the atrocities that were committed there but the 6th was stationed there and performed guard and security duty for the area.  I was very curious about the facility and found the Now and Then photos to be of particular interest.

The article covers 30 pages of the 53 page magazine.  There are some very graphic images but most focus on the changes from its war years to more modern times.  The issue is from 1980 so the photos aren’t current but they do give you an idea of the camps transition over the years since the war ended.

After The Battle has been in business for over 35 years, providing history of all major conflicts. They produce both magazines and books and their “Now and Then” photo comparisons are a favorite of mine. I have purchased a number of their issues.

After The Battle has a website, www.afterthebattle.com, with a free down-loadable index of all their issues which makes finding a particular subject relatively easy.  Purchasing the issues must be done through their U.S. importer, RZM Imports.  You can find them at www.rzm.com.  Issue costs are reasonable.