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Posted April 19, 2013
Michael Reynolds brings a refreshing and clear eyed candor to both Men of Steel and Steel Inferno. He is unsparing of his praise for the tactical prowess of the Waffen SS units that made up the I and II SS Panzer Corps whilst not overlooking their failures and transgressions.
He also adds to our understanding of the campaign in Northwest Europe as seen from the German side. I particularly appreciated his honest accounting of the lacklustre performance of the British 2nd Army, and specifically its leadership and that of subordinate corps commanders, in Operation Market Garden as compared to their counterparts on the German side.
Overall his books show not only that the soldiers of the SS panzer units were formidable adversaries but how well both American and British soldiers did to face and defeat them in battle with, in most cases, markedly inferior equipment and weapons. Had it not been for the allies' outstanding artillery and dominance of the air, the German superiority in the quality of their tanks, anti-tank weapons and even infantry arms would have been overwhelming.
Both books are thoroughly recommended.for WWII buffs interested in the nitty-gritty of the NW Europe theatre in particular. The sections dealing with the Eastern Front are somewhat less interesting and detailed.