After the Battle magazine has published their most recent issue, # 139. For those not acquainted with the magazine, After the Battle covers all aspects of WW 2 and the issues usually focus on a specific battle or campaign and include before-and-after photos.
After the Battle magazine is a quarterly publication of Battle of Britain International Ltd. The magazine has 56 pages with color photos on the front, middle and back pages. The central theme of all After the Battle publications is the "then & now" photographs and there are usually three or more articles or stories per issue. This edition has three stories of interest.
In-depth Part One: The first feature story is the capture of Le Havre, by Karel Margry. Le Havre was bypassed and isolated by the Allies during the sweep across France & Belgium in 1944. The Germans' intent to deny the allies the port facility was the objective of their fortress mentality. The British I Corps was given the task of investing Le Havre and, on September 10 after several days of bombardment by ship and air to soften up the defenses, the attack started.
The attack used a variety of armored vehicles, Churchill"s, AVRE's, mine-flailing Crabs, and Crocodile flame thrower tanks supported by infantry to press home the attack. The Germans were unable to make much of a defense because their lines of communication were destroyed by the bombing. In 48 hours Le Havre was captured and turned over to port repair and construction units. The story of the capture of Le Havre includes several great photos of British tanks in action and provides a great reference for modelers to look over.
In-depth Part Two: The second feature is the Plessey Tunnel Factory, by Andrew Emmerson The underground factory was an unfinished twin tunnel built for the London subway system. The tunnels started in 1936 and were not yet completed at the start of the war, providing an ideal place for the manufacture of critical war components. The conversion of the two-and-a-half mile long tunnels into workshops and assembly areas were completed in March 1942. The tunnels were serviced by battery-driven locomotives with an 18 inch track. After the war the tunnels were finished and put into service with the London underground system. This section includes some great before and after photos of the tunnels.
In-depth Part Three: Part three deals with the The Carpatho-Dukla Operation, by Pavel Nater. This feature story follows the Russian attempt to aid the Slovak uprising against the Germans. The Russian's attempt to force their way through the Dukla Pass from Poland was a late-war effort to aid the insurgent forces. Slovak forces aligned with Germany rose in rebellion with hopes to free their country. The large force of Slovaks outnumbered the Germans, but they were outmatched by better command and weaponry. The rebellion had been reduced to partisan warfare by the time the Russians tried to force their way through the pass. One area of the battle (the Valley of Death) is now an open-air battleground museum, strewn with well preserved armor. The story also provides a few pictures of the outdoor museum of the Slovak National Uprising at Banska Bystrica.
This issue of "After the Battle" was a great read. The photos of the British attack on Le Havre were very informative and the color front page shows the Memorial to Operation "Astonia" outside Le Havre. The color shot on the last page shows the memorial in the Dukla Pass celebrating the little-known insurrection of the Slovakian military against the German occupation and the article itself was informative and deserves more attention. Modelers should love the shots of British Tanks and Slovakian armored forces included as a handy reference for the battles in question.
Highs: Great photos of British tanks in action. Little known battle of Dukla Pass was explained pretty well.Lows: Needed a bit more info in the Slovakian uprising.Verdict: I was really impressed by this issue, the photos were good and little known facts about WW2 were informative.