After the Battle magazine has published issue # 140. After the Battle covers all theaters of WW 2, with the main articles on the ETO. From small engagements to large battles the magazine covers interesting topics with lots of photographs (then & now) to help the reader relive events.
After the Battle magazine is a quarterly publication of Battle of Britain International Ltd. The magazine has 56 pages and color pictures on the front, center & back pages. The central theme of all After the Battle publications is 'then and now' photographs and there are usually three or more articles or stories per issue. This edition has three stories of interest. For more information on After the Battle magazine and their books, their web site is www.afterthebattle.com. US readers can obtain subscriptions from RZM imports.
In-depth Part One: The first feature story is the Battle for Geilenkirchen, by Karel Margry. Geilenkirchen is a small German town 14 miles north of Aachen, close to the German-Dutch border. The town is a minor traffic center controlling a drab coal mining district. Allied forces had been in the area since mid October. The west wall had been already been penetrated in several small places but the Geilenkirchen sector was a wedge in the allied line. The battle was a joint operation of British and American forces.
Reduction of the German wedge started Nov 18th and continued till Nov 23rd. The center of the assault was the Wurm River valley and the villages of Geilenkirchen Hunshoven, Pummerin, Suggerath and a few smaller hamlets. Most of the allied armor involved was from the British XXX corps. One of the most interesting pictures was of a M 26 towing a Panther through Geilenkirchen. The battle was ended Nov 23rd because the complexity of trying to command both British and American troops in the same sector.
In-depth Part Two: The second feature is a 1945 Battlefield Tour, by Maj R. G. Matthews In September 1945 during their occupation duties 23 officers and men of the 4th battalion of the Dorsetshire Regiment and 4 men of the 112th Field Regiment RA took 16 days to take a tour. The tour was to visit the sites where the Regiment had traveled and fought in 1944 and 1945. The trip involved back tracking from Oerrel, Germany through Holland and France to the invasion beaches in Normandy. The trip back from Normandy was following their advance through France and Holland with a side trip through Paris. The trips through their battlefields stirred memories of their fallen comrades some still interred in battlefield graves.
In-depth Part Three: Part three is The Dicken Medal and the PDSA Animal Cemetery, by Gail Parker. This is an interesting story of Maria E Dickin who started a clinic for animals in the East end of London around1920. Mrs. Dickin was appointed a Commander of the British Empire for her devotion to the welfare of animals. In 1943, Mrs. Dicken inaugurated a special award to honor individual animals that performed brave acts during war. Sixty two Dickin Medals have been awarded between 1944 and 2007. Dogs, cats, birds and horses have received the medal. The PSDA cemetery is the last resting place of several of the award winners. The cemetery was in neglected condition until recently when it was cleaned up . Several of the animal award winners were without marker stones until recently.
This issue of "After the Battle" was informative. What could possibly be the first tour of some battle fields of WW 2 was informative in that some battlefield graves had not been moved to permanent cemeteries. The information about the Diken Medal was little known to a lot of people. The Geilenkirchen battle was informative in several ways. The battle showed the skill needed to control different armies in the same sector and support between the allies. The color front cover showed one of the few remaining WW 2 emplacements in the area of Geilenkirchen.
Highs: The before and after photos are always interesting. The subject matter of the stories is informative especially on little known items like the Dicken Medal.Lows: I can always use more pictures and information than the pages allow space for.Verdict: This issue was good but a little less interesting than the last issue. I await the next issue to see where the editor will take me.