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War in the Balkans: The Battle for Greece and Crete 1940-1941 by Jeffrey Plowman

Source: Pen & Sword Books
Paperback, 160 pgs
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War in the Balkans: The Battle for Greece and Crete 1940-1941 by Jeffrey Plowman is a photographic history of the year in which the Balkans became the battleground for the Nazi’s in World War II as it worked with Italy and sought to advance on Russia.  Plowman is very detailed in troop movements and the artillery used, but the pictures were more helpful in ascertaining what tanks, bombers, etc., he was talking about.  Most of the book is photographs that were not been used previously or published before, and the text is a backdrop to these photos.  Plowman clearly has done his research as he follows the accumulation of weapons as they prepare for war, and the unexpected strength of the forces the Nazi’s encountered, even when they were outnumbered.

“This led Britain to discuss the possibility of a coordinated defense of Crete but the Greeks would not allow any landings on their soil without a declaration of war.  Nor did the Italians have much luck either in their discussions with Germany.  When they sought German support for an attack on Jugoslavia, Adolf Hitler was adamant that he did not want to see the war spread to the Balkans.”  (page 11)

There were a high number of casualties in this battle for Greece and Crete, and those were accounted for by nationality — British, Australian, etc. — in the epilogue.  The stance of the major leaders of these governments shifted over time as it looked like the British would enter the war and the Nazis could face harsher opposition than from those of smaller nations’ armies.  This is a book that would be best read over a longer period, with readers taking in small amounts each time.  War in the Balkans: The Battle for Greece and Crete 1940-1941 by Jeffrey Plowman is a fascinating look at one series of battles in WWII, and the pictures flesh out his text well.

24th book for 2014 European Reading Challenge; (Set in Greece and Crete)

 

 

 

 

28th book (WWII) for the 2014 War Challenge With a Twist.

 

 

 

 

70th book for 2014 New Author Reading Challenge.

Mailbox Monday #263

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has gone through a few incarnations from a permanent home with Marcia to a tour of other blogs.

Now, it has its own permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links.  Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

1.  The Late Parade by Adam Fitzgerald for review W.W. Norton’s Liveright Publishing.

Adam Fitzgerald “is a born poet whose extraordinary gift for phrasing, music, and verbal invention distinguish him from any young poet I know writing today,” writes Mark Strand about the twenty-nine-year-old American newcomer who follows “in the line of Arthur Rimbaud, Wallace Stevens, and John Ashbery” (Maureen McLane). Fitzgerald, whose title poem “carries the primal vision of Hart Crane into a future that does not surrender the young poet’s love of the real” (Harold Bloom), has already published in the Boston Review, A Public Space, Conjunctions, and the Brooklyn Rail and has become a poetic lightning rod in the East Village and other avant-garde settings. Here, in The Late Parade, he presents 48 poems that “fire dance around meaning itself” (Boston Review) yet help to redefine the modernist vision for the twenty-first-century with near-demonic displays of sonorous density and manic verbal fertility. This dazzling debut collection will be sure to “cause a commotion.”

2.  Nefertiti in the Flak Tower by Clive James for review from W.W. Norton’s Liveright Publishing.

Clive James’ power as a poet has increased year by year, and there has been no stronger evidence for this than Nefertiti in the Flak Tower. Here, his polymathic learning and technical virtuosity are worn more lightly than ever; the effect is merely to produce a deep sense of trust into which the reader gratefully sinks, knowing they are in the presence of a master. The most obvious token of that mastery is the book’s breathtaking range of theme: there are moving elegies, a meditation on the later Yeats, a Hollywood Iliad, odes to rare orchids, wartime typewriters and sharks – as well as a poem on the fate of Queen Nefertiti in Nazi Germany. But despite the dizzying variety, James’ poetic intention becomes increasingly clear: what marks this new collection out is his intensified concentration on the individual poem as self-contained universe. Poetry is a practice he compares (in ‘Numismatics’) to striking new coin; and Nefertiti in the Flak Tower is a treasure-chest of one-off marvels, with each poem a twin-sided, perfect human balance of the unashamedly joyous and the deadly serious, ‘whose play of light pays tribute to the dark’.

3.  Walking Home: A Poet’s Journey by Simon Armitage from W.W. Norton’s Liveright Publishing.

The wandering poet has always been a feature of our cultural imagination. Odysseus journeys home, his famous flair for storytelling seducing friend and foe. The Romantic poets tramped all over the Lake District searching for inspiration. Now Simon Armitage, with equal parts enthusiasm and trepidation, as well as a wry humor all his own, has taken on Britain’s version of our Appalachian Trail: the Pennine Way. Walking “the backbone of England” by day (accompanied by friends, family, strangers, dogs, the unpredictable English weather, and a backpack full of Mars Bars), each evening he gives a poetry reading in a different village in exchange for a bed. Armitage reflects on the inextricable link between freedom and fear as well as the poet’s place in our bustling world. In Armitage’s own words, “to embark on the walk is to surrender to its lore and submit to its logic, and to take up a challenge against the self.”

4.  Pansy in Paris: A Mystery at the Museum by Cynthia Bardes, illustrated by Virginia Best for review and Wiggles.

Pansy, the poodle who lives at the Palace Hotel in Beverly Hills and Avery, the little girl who adopted her, are off on a new adventure in Pansy in Paris. The two travel to the City of Lights to solve a new mystery: who is stealing paintings from the museum? With only one clue and their boundless curiosity, the two follow the trail, foil the thieves, and recover the missing artwork having great fun as they explore a beautiful new city and enjoy its treasures. Pansy and Avery learn about the joy of travel, the satisfaction of a job well done, and the special pleasure of teamwork.”

5.  The Nose Book by Al Perkins, illustrated by Joe Mathieu for Wiggles from her auntie Kelly for her birthday.

In this Bright and Early Book, Perkins offers a super-simple look at noses of all kinds, colors, and shapes, including their multiple uses and maddening maladies!

6.  Images of War: War in the Balkans: The Battle for Greece and Crete 1940-1941 by Jeffrey Plowman for review from the publisher.

Jeffrey Plowman s photographic history traces the course of the entire Balkan campaign from the first moves of the Italians through Albania and the invasion of Jugoslavia and Bulgaria by German forces through to the battle for Greece and the final airborne assault on Crete. He gives equal weight to every stage of the campaign he doesn t just combine the first stages and treat them as an introduction to the battle for Crete and he covers all the forces involved the Germans, the Greeks, and the Commonwealth troops. By shifting the focus to the mainland, he views the campaign as a whole, and he offers a balanced portrayal of a conflict that is often overlooked in histories of this phase of the Second World War. Most of the graphic photographs he has selected have never been published before, and many come from private sources.

What did you receive?