By Anthony Tucker-Jones
The selection of over 150 rare wartime photographs in this volume in Pen & Sword's Images of War series offers a graphic visual record of the dramatic and bloody battles fought for the Crimea during the Second World War.
They show every grim aspect of the fighting and reflect in many ways the ruthless character of the struggle across the entire Eastern Front. The German-led Axis forces took eight months to conquer the Crimea in 1941-2 - the Soviet defenders of the fortified city-port of Sevastopol held out against repeated assaults for 250 days.
In 1944, after the course of the war had turned against the Wehrmacht and their allies, the city was liberated by the Red Army, but only after over 120,000 Axis troops had been evacuated across the Black Sea. Naval operations involving the Soviet Black Sea Fleet and the Romanian Royal Navy are covered in the book, as is the battle in the air between the Luftwaffe and the Red Air Force. But perhaps the most memorable photographs give an insight into the ordinary soldiers' experience of the fighting and show the enormous material damage the conflict left behind.
Same geographic location, different opponent, set more than 70 years apart, but the story rings strikingly familiar........