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Illustrated World War II Encyclopedia

Discussion in 'Biographies and Everything Else' started by belasar, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Illustrated World War II Encyclopedia, Based on original Text by Lt. Col. Eddy Bauer, H. S. Stuttman Inc. Publishers, 24 Volumes-3,360 pages, Oversized, 1978, Amazon new from $139.95, Used $75.00

    I originaly purchased this multi-volume history of WWII in the mid '80's, but have only just recently had the chance to sit down and complete the whole set. I had bought it in a subscription form, one book every 4-6 weeks over some 2 1/2 years, for about $15.00 per volume (with s/h). I was then looking for a 'complete history' of the conflict. Massive, it takes up nearly a complete shelve in a bookcase. Each volume runs about 145 pages and contains approx. 250 photos and illustrations per book.

    Originaly began at the 20th aniversary of the end of the war, this set works hard to cover the war in a balanced and even manner, without national bias. In this Bauer, a Swiss military officer, does a fine job. It is also lavishly filled vith photos, illustrations, drawings, charts and maps, many full page and in color. Among its virtues is the recording of lesser know campaigns of the war such as East Africa, Allied 6th Army Group and the British-Commonwealth offensives after Imphal-Kohima. There are also many sub-sections going into detail about various issues and parts of the conflict not directly connected to the ebb and flow of armies and fleets. Covering subjects as varied as American War production, Foriegn vollunteer's in the German army and the effect of war artist's and photographer's, they offer context to a very complex period of history. I particularly liked the period political cartoons from all sides, including neutrals.

    A bit of a long slog, 3,360 pages, I read it in 3 volume stretch's to avoid burnout. The writing is generaly good and well flowing, but this set has some flaws.

    First it is like The World at War TV series, a little dated now by new research and thought. Each volume seemes to have one point or fact that I would dispute, although to be fair many seem to be editing mistakes rather than something more deliberate. The Additional Sub-sections are printed in a different, and smaller typeface which is hard on a older guys eyes these days. And of course its very size can be a turn-off to someone with limited space or time to read completely.

    Now comes the hard part, do I reccomend it. Yes, with qualifcations. The cost, even used, is not cheap, which strikes at the ones who would most benefit from it, someone fairly new to the subject who wanted something complete on the war. Its doubtfull you can find the set at your local library, so that leaves buying the set as your only realistic option. If you can find it at a local used book shop, or garage sale for a thrifty price and have the space its worth adding to your collection.


    BR-XIII



     
  2. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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    Color me green. Something about a whack of hardcover books that a Kindle etc could never achieve.
     
  3. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Its all good fun until you have to box them up and move :)
     
  4. gunbunnyb/3/75FA

    gunbunnyb/3/75FA Member

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    hehe, i got the whole set 3 yrs ago, for $18.00. i got to admit it is HEAVY.
     
  5. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Great price!
     

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