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British Army of the Rhine (Paperback)

The BAOR, 1945–1993

Colour Books Military > Post-WWII Warfare > Cold War P&S History > British History Photographic Books

By Paul Chrystal
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Cold War, 1945–1991
Pages: 128
Illustrations: 20 colour & 80 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526728531
Published: 4th October 2018
Last Released: 9th February 2022



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The nervous geopolitical tension between East and West, the Cold War, emerged before the end of the Second World War and lasted until 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union. The British Army of the Rhine was born in 1945 out of the British Liberation Army at the close of the war as the military government of the British zone of occupied Germany. As the Soviet threat increased, so BAOR became less of an occupational army and assumed the role of defender of Western Europe, and as a major contributor to NATO after 1949.

This book traces and examines the changing role of BAOR from 1945 to its demise in the 1993 Options for Change defence cuts. It looks at the part it played in the defence of West Germany, its effectiveness as a Cold War deterrent, the garrisons and capabilities, logistics and infrastructure, its arms and armour, the nuclear option and the lives of the thousands of families living on the front line.

Leaving aside my own personal response to this book, I have to say that it is packed with information about the Cold War and the BAOR. Anyone wanting to know about either subject could learn a great deal from It. There are relevant illustrations, including maps, and a useful bibliography.

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Penniless Press

The author has a good grasp of the subject and good photographs supplied by his family furnishing welcome detail and authenticity.

Clash of Steel

Paul Chrystal has provided a well-researched and east-to-read account of a major Allied commitment that has, for most of us, been bereft of detail for too long. A list of Abbreviations precedes the Introduction, there are eight pages of written sources and one page of web-based items and a short, but adequate Index is included. High quality black and white photographs are interspersed throughout the text.

This is a most valuable acquisition for the military history section of any library.

RUSI Victoria

The pictures are fantastic... I can recommend it to those who were there or those who have an interest in the British Army of the Rhine.

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The View From The Turret Vlog

The author provides a very readable account of the BAOR from its start as a force of occupation to the end of the Cold War - Most Highly Recommended

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As featured by

24seven Lifestyle magazine, December 2018

The son and brother of soldiers who saw service in BAOR, and a pupil of King's School Gutersloh in the 1960's, the author provides a fascinating summary of the Cold War, the |Iron Curtain, Berlin Wall and the general role, deployment and activities of the BAOR. There is a considerable amount of detail included although none is referenced which rather undermines the value of the book to the serious student, nevertheless, for those who served in BAOR or Berlin this little book will rekindle many memories of service life in Germany at work, rest and play.

Military Historical Society

The Rhine Army ought to be a topic of interest to historians, political scientists, and sociologists, who will find Paul Chrystal has provided an invaluable guide for their journeys. He outlines the strategic environment within which the Rhine Army operated and describes the alterations and adaptations that were made to the army’s organisation, equipment, and tactics as that environment changed. Case studies examine issues such as post-war reconstruction and denazification as well as relations between the British military and German communities, while the final chapter of the book describes the social infrastructure and facilities which gave service families a sense of community and well-being.

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Australian Naval Institute
 Paul Chrystal

About Paul Chrystal

Paul Chrystal has been history advisor to York visitor attractions, writing features for national newspapers, and broadcasting on BBC local radio, on Radio 4’s PM programme and on the BBC World Service.
He is contributor to a number of history and archaeology magazines and writes features for national newspapers. He is author of the best-selling A History of Britain in 100 Objects (2022). His books have been translated into Chinese and Japanese.
He is author of Factory Girls: The Working Lives of Women and Children published by Pen & Sword in 2022.

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