Zenith Press, 2010
Few American fighting forces can boast the sort of storied history associated with the exploits of the members of the 82nd Airborne Division, an airborne infantry unit of the United States Army. Phil Nordyke's A Photographic History of the 82nd Airborne Division at War provides a laudatory collection of images (some never before published) related to the unit's role in numerous campaigns in the European theater during the Second World War.
Over the years I typically cast a wary eye at pictorial histories, as there is a tendency in such books to produce trivial or superficial text to accompany the images. Nordyke, however, skillfully avoided this trap, and the chapters provide both detailed photographic captions as well as insightful accompanying text.
What I liked most about this book is its intriguing blend of photographic themes. There are of course plenty of images in the book related to combat, but Nordyke also included some fascinating shots of everyday life for members of the 82nd Airborne Division, like the image of troopers walking with a pair of mules hauling 81 mm mortars. Both World War II specialists and general readers will find A Photographic History of the 82nd Airborne Division at War a useful and informative addition to their libraries.