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British Army of the Rhine (Paperback)

The BAOR, 1945–1993

Modern Warfare British History Photographic Books Colour Books Cold War Military

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


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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.

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 classics degrees from the Universities of Hull and Southampton; he is the author of one hundred or so books, a number of which are about confectionery and beverages. 

He has written features on aspects of the history of food and drink for the Daily Express , and has featured on the BBC World Service, Radio 4’s PM programme and various BBC local radio stations talking on a wide range of subjects, but notably confectionery. In 2019 Paul contributed to a six-part series for BBC2 ‘celebrating the history of some of Britain’s most iconic craft industries’ – in this case chocolate in York. He has been history advisor for a number of York tourist attractions relating to chocolate. Paul is editor of York Historian, the journal of the Yorkshire Architectural and York Archaeological Society. In 2019 he was also guest speaker for the prestigious Vassar College New York-London programme.

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