Book Review – Field of Fire: Diary of a Gunner Officer by Jack Swaab
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I read the hardback version very shortly after it came out. I collect first hand accounts of the WW2 and unit histories of the 51st Highland Division in particular, so this one was a must buy. That said it is one of the best first hand accounts that I have read, and certainly the best from a gunner (it comparies favourably to George Blackburn’s Guns of War series – he was also a Forward Observation Officer).
You can have no doubt about the hardships of war, what the conditions were like for both the gunners on the gun line and the infantry on the front line. The book is very descriptive without becoming flowery and it avoids glossing over some of the less pleasant aspects. Also it tells you about everything, not just the combat and the aftermath, but also of the minor details of daily life.