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Found 45 results

  1. Target Saigon 1973-75 Volume 1 The Pretence of Peace ISBN : 9781911512349 Helion & Company via Casemate UK It was thought that following the signing of the Paris Peace accord in January 1973 would end the war in Vietnam. However the North Vietnamese had fallen short of their main objective of destroying the South Vietnamese Army and removing the regime from Saigon. The US had agreed to withdraw and exchange prisoners, however the leadership in the North were committed to the complete overthrow of the South and not just the peace which had been agreed. This books sets the scene of this time period. It examines the US withdrawal and how the North would continue to build up there forces and their logistics support from Russia & China; and the South Would build their forces with US Support. It then goes onto look as the fighting which not only returned but intensified. There is a wealth of photos of the ARVN forces, as well as the North Vietnamese forces; along with colour profiles of equipment. There are colour maps which show how the fighting progressed as well. The book is A4 softbound with 88 pages. Included in these are 150 black and white photos, 5 pages of maps and 18 profiles. Conclusion If you are interested in Vietnam War, then this final part has not been as extensively covered as the rest of the war, this series will redress that balance. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Special Forces Equipment - British Parachutes ISBN : 9782352504429 Histoire & Collections via Casemate UK At first sight a book on British Parachutes for Special Forces from WWII would not seem an engaging subject. I must confess a little bias as one of my relatives made parachutes during WWII as her part towards the total effort. WWII saw the first major use of parachutes to drop troops, special forces, and supplies. The book is 141 pages long, medium format (slightly smaller than A4). The quality of the printing is excellent with colour and black & white pictures throughout. The book covers a wide range of parachute types in use, as well as other jump equipment such as weapons bags and kit bags. There are pictures of kit owned by known operatives and some detail on post war equipment and that used by the French forces in Indochina. The wealth of pictures will enable any figure modeller, or diorama modeller to get things looking right. Conclusion If you are interested in Special Forces, their equipment; parachutes, or parachute operations; or even general military history from WWII then this book is highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Air Modeller's Guide To Wingnut Wings Volume 2 By David Parker ISBN : 9780993564611 Wingnut Wings offer what is in my (and many others) opinion the finest and most extensive range of kits ever produced. All subjects are of aircraft that served in the 1914 -1918 Great War, with some boxings such as the Bristol F2.B and De Havilland DH.9, covering the aircraft in the post war years. Each and every kit will produce a beautiful model ‘straight from the box’, and several aftermarket manufacturers have joined in with etched brass & resin enhancements, alternative decal sheets, resin figures, and diorama accessories to name just a few. Whilst admiring the results that some modellers achieve with these kits and the available aftermarket, it can be quite daunting to think ‘Could I do that?’, or even ‘How on earth did they do that?’ All this ‘hardware’ of kits & accessories is great, but what we could really do with is some guidance on how to set about developing our skills and confidence towards getting the best from them. There has been the odd publication dedicated to the building of a single, particular Wingnuts kit, but now Casemate has put together a collection of builds by several masters of the art. They have chosen subjects wisely, to illustrate a diverse selection of different types from the Fokker Eindekker, Sopwith Triplane, Fokker D.VII, Pfalz D.IIIa, and Sopwith Snipe, the two seat Fe2b and Rumpler C.IV, to the big and complex Felixstowe F.2a twin engine flying boat. A selection that covers British & German Rotary and inline engined examples, single seaters, two-seaters, monoplane, biplane and triplane, with rigging of simple, medium, and complex levels. The book itself is in softback covers, with 114 pages on high quality thick paper and crystal clear full colour printing. It is lavishly illustrated with inspirational photographs of the completed models, and smaller, detailed ‘step by step’ photos supported by explanatory captions. Each chapter is devoted to a single subject, showing it through each stage to completion. There is variation of which aspects are covered within each build, so that each chapter offers something new. The style of this book is to keep the amount of text down, and follow the old maxim ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’. Not only that, the sequences of photographs make things far, far clearer than any amount of words could. Those showing how to paint wooden panels, or the one showing how to apply oil paint ‘filters’ to single colour finishes, pastel chalks are particularly good examples. All Wingnut Wings kits come with unpainted etched brass seatbelts, so whichever one you are building, the step by step illustrations on page 101 (in the Pfalz build) show you how to prepare and paint a set. My favourite sections are those covering the engines. I love building Wingnut Wings engines and usually add some ignition wiring, but now I realise there is a fair bit of plumbing and weathering that can take them to another level. The Beardmore engine in the FE.2b chapter is incredible, it is absolute perfection, and the text & photos of the Mercedes D.IVa in the Rumpler C.IV are going to be my standard reference from now on. It is not just the extra wiring & plumbing that have been added, it is also the paint tones and colours that the builders have used. Information like this is so valuable and yet seems so difficult to discover. Conclusion. This is a really well thought out publication, written by modellers for modellers. I suggest it will best suited to those who have completed a couple of Wingnut Wings build themselves. It will be of most use to the intermediate modeller who is looking to develop their skills further. A lot of books on modelling don’t really show anything new to us ‘old modellers’ who have been building for a decade or more. But this one genuinely shows some things that I was unaware of, or had not thought of. The photo sequence on how to paint the turned metal effect on the Fokker E.III cowling, and the use of a special etched ‘woodgrain’ fret being two things I am keen to try out. It is also the perfect book for sitting down with a steaming mug of tea, and spending an enthralling hour thumbing through the pages, admiring the work and finding inspiration page after page. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Char Leclerc - Photosniper 19 ISBN : 9788364596353 Kagero via Casemate UK The Char Leclerc is the latest generation Main Battle Tank employed by the French Armed Forces replacing the AMX-30. The French Army has 406 Tanks with a further 388 being sold to the UAE Army. Built by GIAT and now Nexter it was at the time the most expensive MBT produced at 9.3 Million Euros each. The tank employs modular composite armour with a 120mm smooth bore main gun fed by an autoloading mechanisum. This new photosniper book is A4 softcover and 96 pages long. It is illustrated throughout with colour photographs and 5 pages of colour profiles featuring different marking schemes. As well as the main text featuring the development and use of the tank by the French Army, there is a section on variants; and a comprehensive walkaround section to aid the modeller. The printing is first class. Conclusion If you are interested in the modern French Army, or Modern Main Battle Tanks then this book is highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. Wings over Ogaden The Ethiopian-Somali War 1978-79 ISBN : 9781909982383 Helion & Company via Casemate UK In late 1977 to early 1978 Somalia launched a military offensive over the disputed Ethiopian region of Ogaden. Following a period of internal unrest in Ethiopia the Somalia leadership throught they would take advantage and take Ogaden. While a local dispute it had all the hallmarks of a cold war dispute fueld by "aid" from East & West. Somalia was originally supported by the USSR, however they were not happy with the invasion of Ethiopia and in effect switched sides to support Ethiopia. As massive airlift of supplies and 16000 Cuban troops helped save Ethiopia from defeat. On the otherside the US ceased its support of Ethiopia and started supporting Somalia. The war ended when the US brokered a ceasefire, however parts of the region would stay in Somali hands until 1980. Airpower was heavily used in the conflict with the Ethiopians having well trained pilots flying new American hardware particularly the F-5E. This new publication from Helion & Company delas with the aerial warfare in the Ethiopian - Somali War of 1978-79. The book looks at the following areas; Geopolitical Background Military Backgrounds Military Balance & Planning Invasion Switching Alliances The Rout The book is A4 softbound and 64 pages long. It is illustrated throughout with black and white photographs. In the centre are seven pages of colour aircraft profiles, five pages of colour pictures, and 4 pages of colour maps. Conclusion If you're interested in the lesser known Air Forces, and conflicts of the war this is to be recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Hot Skies over Yemen Vol.1 ISBN : 9788365437556 Helion & Company via Casemate UK When you think of Yemen it seems to be one of those parts of the world blighted by conflict. In more recent history it was divided between the British and Otter-man empires, then a British Protectorate in the South. Later after becoming independent it became a Marxist state. The two parts would unite only to later fall into Civil war. With no real functioning government the country seems to have fallen into control of extremists with a revolution in 2011, and coup in 2014 and a current civil war. Currently the US and Saudi Arabia are engaged in fighting there against forces said to supported by Iran. This new publication from Helion & Company deals with the aerial warfare over Yemen from British control in 1962 upto 1994 civil war. The book looks at the following areas; Geopolitical Background Yemen Civil War 1962-1967 Yemeni Air Forces The Long Way To Union Yemen Civil War 1994 The book is A4 softbound and 64 pages long. It is illustrated throughout with black and white photographs. In the centre are seven pages of colour plates showing profiles of the aircraft involved. Conclusion If you're interested in the lesser known Air Forces, and conflicts of the war this is to be recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Battle of Berlin Failed to Return by Steve Bond, Steve Darlow, Sean Feast, Andrew Macdonald, Robert Owen, Nicole Russell and Howard Sandall, published by Fighting High Publishing Ltd As dusk fell over RAF Grimsby on the night of 3 September 1943, twenty-two Lancasters of 100 Squadron slipped into the night sky, bound for Berlin - the 'Big City'. Twenty aircraft returned safely the following morning, while two - Y-Yorker and N-Nan - were never seen or heard from again. Aboard N-Nan was Air Gunner John Hayton, just twenty years old and one of over 55,000 aircrew of Bomber Command who made the ultimate sacrifice during the war with Nazi Germany. This book tells the story of a handful of those thousands of young men who climbed aboard their aircraft and never returned. The authors have drawn down on a rich mixture of official records, personal documents and testimony from the families of the airmen who were killed or captured while serving their country. My tutor at university once told me that it was impossible to understand the impact of the Holocaust until you understood what was lost; thousands of communities and their culture, art, literature and society all wiped out in the space of a few short years. This book helps to make the same contribution to those seeking to understand the sacrifice of the men of Bomber Command. 55,000 is a number. A number cannot tell you what it was like in the hallway of 11 Athelsan Walk in Welwyn Garden City when Charles Hayton received the telegram informing him that his son was missing in action. Nor can it communicate the anguish of countless families whose loved ones' remains were never recovered or who didn't even have a known crash site. This book makes a valuable contribution to its subject by eschewing the facts and figures of most works of military history, focussing instead on the human impact of the war fought over the skies of central Europe. Conclusion This book is a valuable addition to any collection of works on the history of Bomber Command. It does not seek to provide a comprehensive history of Bomber Command and nor is it intended to provide a rich source of material for modellers. This book will, however, provide plenty of inspiration to those interested in the subject with its tales of heroism and sacrifice. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Topdrawings 44 - Grumman F6F Hellcat ISBN : 9788365437563 Kagero via Casemate UK The Grumman F6F Hellcat was a highly effective fighter, the design of which took advantage of experience gained in aerial combat against the Japanese during the early part of the war. Fitted with a powerful Pratt and Whitney ‘Double Wasp’ engine, the Hellcat was a fast fighter, capable of 380mph. The F6F-3 was the first production version and was armed with six .50 inch Browning machine guns. Later in the production run it gained the ability to carry unguided rockets and bombs as well. The F6F-5 was an improved aircraft with a new integral bulletproof windscreen, new ailerons, stronger tail surfaces, and a new 2200 hp engine with water injection. The Hellcat was a rugged aircraft which featured self-sealing fuel tanks and plenty of Armour. By 1945 it had gained the status of the most effective US naval fighter of World War II, having accounted for no fewer than 5,271 enemy aircraft. This book is not a reference book on the Hellcat per-say, but a collection of plans and colour profiles designed to help the modeller all the plans are in 1.48 with a 1/24th scale rule on the pages as well. In the centre of the book is an A-3 double sided pull out plan in 1/48th scale as well. As an extra there is one set of 1:48 masks, and tow of 1:72 in the book. All text is in English & Polish. Conclusion If you're interested in these aircraft and intend to model a few of an individual aircraft then its worth investing in one of these publications. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. The Bulgarian Air Force in WWII ISBN : 9788365437556 Kagero via Casemate UK While there has been much written about the Luftwaffe in WWII, not much is out there concerning their other Allies apart from the Italians. The Bulgarians fit into the category of probably the least well known; this book will hopefully redress the balance some what. The early part of the book gives a concise history of the Bulgarian Air Force in WWII. The second chapter the history from its inception through to 1945. The middle part of the book then lists individual histories of the Fighter, Bomber, Attack, Recon, Training, Maritime, and Transport units. The latter part of the books looks at the Insignia of the BAF, their victory scoring system, aces; and their rank structure. The book is A5 softcover format with 107 pages. There are black and white photos throughout and colour plates where needed to show aircraft types, their marking and insignia. Conclusion If you're interested in the lesser known Air Forces, or the WWII Axis, this is an interesting book that should give you some hours of entertainment, and remain on hand as a reference for the modeller or historian. This is now the second of the "Library of Armed Conflicts" books I have reviewed and it is looking to be a good series. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  10. Topdrawings 43 - Sd.Kfz.171 Panzer V "Panther" ISBN : 9788365437549 Kagero via Casemate UK This book is not a reference book on the Panther per-say, but a collection of plans and colour profiles designed to help the modeller. All the plans are in 1.48 with a 1/24th scale rule on the pages as well. In the centre of the book is are three A2 double sided pull out plan in 1/16th scale as well,one each for the A, D & G models.. An extra is a set of masks for the German Crosses, they say 1:16 on the masks but look distinctly 1:35. All text in the book is in English & Polish. Conclusion If you're interested in these tanks and intend to model a few then its worth investing in one of these publications. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. Godoy's Army - Spanish Regiments and Uniforms 1800 ISBN : 9781911512653 Helion and Company via Casemate UK This book looks at Regiments and Uniforms from the Spanish Military of 1800. It is based on an extremely rare (but incomplete) illustrated copy of the Spanish Order of Battle from 1800. Almost every regiment of the Spanish Army is represented and all the colour plates are A4 in size. The text includes an introduction to Spanish Army in the time period leading upto the Peninsular War. The author Prof Esdailenis the UKs leading expert on the Peninsular War, and Alan Perry is a well known figure designer and owner of Perry Miniatures who also owns the original book. Conclusion If anyone is interested in the Military from this period, or the history of military uniforms this will no doubt prove a great addition to their collection. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. B-25J Mitchell in Combat over Pacific & CBI ISBN : 9788365437518 Kagero via Casemate UK The B-25 Mitchell medium bomber was one of the staples of the US bomber force during WWII, and was also used by the British in large numbers, with the J model having a rather heavy armament that varied between 14-18 fixed machine guns in the nose and in gondolas to the side of the cockpit, often known as cheek guns. This concentrated field of fire made it ideal as a gunship, and with the extra guns in the Strafer nose, it packed a formidable punch that was used to good effect in all theatres. This new title from Polish publisher Kagero is a pictorial history of the aircraft and units that fought in the Pacific and the Chinese, Burma and India (CBI) theatres, in which there were some fantastic noseart adorning the sides of these flying gun trucks. Spanning 108 pages with a huge number of contemporary photos, a few of which are in colour, it is held in a perfect-bound format with card cover, and includes a set of pre-cut vinyl masks in 1:48 for the "stars and bars" of the US Air Force. It is printed in English/Polish with the English on the left on the main text, and above the Polish for the captions, of which there are many. After a short introduction, the book details each of the squadrons that fought within these oft neglected theatres, which includes: 345th Bomber Group 38th Bomber Group 42nd Bomber Group 41st Bomber Group 17th Reconnaissance Squadron 12th Bomber Group CBI 341st Bomber Group CBI 1st Bomber Group CBI 18th Squadron Of Netherlands East Indies 2nd Squadron RAAF At the end is a section of colour photos, followed by a few words regarding a wreck that is still on Binaya mountain on Ceram Island, which took the author four days to trek to, the crash being the result of a flight of eight aircraft flying almost blind, and the three leaders having no time to pull up when the mountain came into view. Sadly all crew were lost in the incident. The final few pages are devoted to recreations of some of the nose art, and a set of profiles of some notable examples of the aircraft featured in the book. If you are prudish in nature, you'd better steal yourself, as Mitchel crews seem to have had a fixation for scantily clad ladies with large breasts. Conclusion If you're interested in Mitchells, the Pacific and CBI theatres, or just love a good read, this is an interesting book on an interesting subject that should give you some hours of entertainment, and remain on hand as a reference for the modeller or historian. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  13. The Avro Arrow Lorimer via Casemate UK The Avro Arrow was Canada's version of the British TSR.2, and sadly suffered the same fate due to high costs, political wrangling and at least a little bit of subterfuge, I'm sure. After WWII the Avro team were experienced and ready to break some boundaries to produce a potentially superb combination of a world-leading airframe in the shape of the CF-105 Arrow, and an advanced and very powerful new engine in the form of the X-116 Iroquois. Like the TSR.2 they got perilously close to success, with five airframes completed and airworthy, plus another almost ready to accept the first of the engines. Then it all went wrong for Avro, with cancellation of both projects and an unseemly haste to "undo" all the work that had been done by scrapping the airframes, engines and destroying all the documentation into the bargain, which always starts eyebrows arching at the perpetrator's motivation. To paraphrase, the fourth dimension of any aircraft is politics, and again that's where the problems lay. The Russians were making great strides with rockets for ICBM use, and short-sightedly the Canadian government believed the hype that was also being expounded by Duncan Sands over the Atlantic in the UK that sounded the death-knell of the TSR.2. This book by James Lorimer & Co. is an indigenous Canadian project, and is an excellent introduction to the Arrow from anyone's point of view, as it doesn't delve too deeply into the technicalities, but instead details the situation that led up to the conception of the Arrow, and walks the reader through the design and testing process that followed by using some excellent photos with captions and links to other data that is out on the internet. This might sound like a time sensitive thing, as it's amazing how quickly web pages change their URLs, but as they have been supplied as short links, there's plenty of opportunity for them to keep them current at least in the near future. Google is your friend anyway when it comes to anything really, so don't worry about the future of the links, and regard them as a bit of a bonus if anything. Bound in a traditional hardback format it would make a great coffee table book, but also has plenty of information to impart, as well as some really interesting pictures. The preamble to the Arrow takes up a few pages that some might begrudge, but it tells an important part of the story, and I learned a few things while I was reading it and perusing the pictures, which in total number around 200 in a mixture of black & white and colour spread over 112 pages. Conclusion You can't help draw comparisons with the sad story of the TSR.2, but the blow was more devastating, as it took out Avro Canada, and lost many thousands of skilled people their jobs, forcing many to move to the US for work. This is an excellent book to get a full picture of the period, and you can sense the pride that author Lawrence Miller feels for what is still an incredible achievement, even now. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Luftwaffe In Colour From Glory to Defeat 1942-1945 Casemate UK After their initial successes dominating Europe, the Third Reich looked invincible for a while, until things stopped going their way quite so easily following their defeat (or stalemate if you like) in the Battle of Britain brought the juggernaut to a halt at the Channel. The later joining of America sealed their fate as their massive industrial complex wound up to full speed. The propaganda arms of the Nazi Party never stopped working until the very late stages of the war, so the photographs and film were still being produced in all the major theatres of operation. They were still using colour photography to a surprising extent, which has resulted in some really useful colour evidence that was gathered incidentally to the real subject matter of friends and colleagues as they documented their experiences in the war. Colour developing wasn't as exact a science as it is today, so we have to make some allowances for this, and for the possibility that some prints have been reprocessed over the years, but it is still impressive to see, gathered together in one volume. Compiled and written again by Christophe Cony and Jean-Louis Roba, the book extends to 160 pages in a portrait A4 format, with a perfect bound cover and quality glossy stock, which is unsurprisingly printed entirely in colour. There are almost 400 photos within the book, and they are of a wide variety of subjects, varying from candid snaps to posed publicity and unit archive style photos. The book is broken down into sections based upon location and campaigns, as follows: Introduction Part X Face-to-Face with the Soviet Steamroller Part XI The Mediterranean Front Part XII The West: From One Landing to the Next Part XIII Second Line and Training Units Part XIV The Eagle Falls Photography throughout is marvellous, subject to the limitations of the source material of course, and it is good to see so many of them printed large enough to see the details without squinting again. There are all manner of aircraft types within the pages, as per the first volume from the Go.242 (the what?), through Tante Ju (Ju-52), the Gigant, the later types such as the Ju.188, B&V 222, Arado 234, Me.262 and even a captured Spitfire. The last chapter shows the devastation wrought as the Allies as they advanced toward final victory. Together they make an excellent pair, with plenty of reference material, plus a good read to be had in-between. The quality of the pictures in some cases gives the impression that they could have been taken yesterday. Review sample courtesy of
  15. German Panzer II A Visual History of the German Army's World War II Light Tank Ampersand Group via Casemate UK The Panzer II originated as a temporary design to field while the larger tanks that were in development were completed, but due to Hitler's use of Blitzkrieg to overrun the majority of Europe, it saw widespread service until the larger Panzer III and more powerful Panzer IV reaches service. It also saw service in heavily modified forms until the end of the war, being used as a gun platform for some Self-Propelled Gun projects, and the more advanced Luchs, which used some technology that would be seen in the later developments. This book from Ampersand by the prolific David Doyle carries on the format of the Visual History series, with 168 pages of great photos from contemporary sources, which by their era are of course all black and white. The book contains over 170 photos in total, with many of them large and highly detailed. The pages are split between the following types with a useful potted history given on both types in the introduction: PzKpfw. II Ausf. a PzKpfw. II Ausf. b PzKpfw. II Ausf. c and A-C Early PzKpfw. II Ausf. c, A, B, C modified PzKpfw. II Ausf. D PzKpfw. II (F) Ausf. A & B PzKpfw. II Ausf. F PzKpfw. II Ausf. G PzKpfw. II Ausf. J PzKpfw. II Ausf. L Luchs (Lynx) While the contemporary photos are in black and white, the preserved examples are photographed in full colour, and the detail in which they are depicted would be an absolute boon to any modeller, especially those wishing to go for ultimate realism. Conclusion Whether you have the models that you intend to use this book for reference, or have an interest in the subject, this book will give you all the reference pictures and some besides, as well as some inspiration for dioramas. Highly recommended. ISBN: 978-1-944367-06-0 Review sample courtesy of
  16. Slybirds A Photographic Odyssey of the 353rd Fighter Group During the Second World War Fighting High Publishing - Via Casemate UK With their black and yellow chequered markings the 353rd Fighter Group was one of the Eighth's more colourful groups. They were assigned to the Eighth Air Force on 7 June 1943. The group flew P-47 Thunderbolts, and from October 1944, P-51 Mustangs; as escorts for bombing missions across occupied Europe, and to strafe targets on the ground. Tactical missions included strafing and dive-bombing targets during the Allied invasion of Normandy, and also during the airborne assault of Holland. For these latter missions, between 17 and 23 September 1944, the Group was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation .They were based first at Goxhill, then Metfield and finally Raydon. The group consisted of; 350th Fighter Squadron 351st Fighter Squadron 352nd Fighter Squadron Headquarters (353rd Fighter Group) 2125th Engineer Fire Fighting Platoon The book features over 450 photographs, many unpublished, and some in colour. It features not only the Aircraft, pilots and ground crew, but how they lived, spent their free time, and even pets they had. The book shows aerial victories, aces, and those pilots who were shot down. There is a list of POWs and a roll of honour for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. The book has been written by renowned Eighth Air Force Historian Graham Cross and is A4 Landscape in format with a quality printed feel. . Conclusion. The book gives a comprehensive look at the 353rd Group, and a unique look at the men and machines which made up this formidable fighting force, Highly recommended Review sample courtesy of
  17. The 100 Hour War The conflict between Honduras & El Salvador 1969 Helion & Company - Via Casemate UK In July of 1969 while most of the world was looking to the upcoming moon landings the Central American States of Honduras and El Salvador would go to war in what the media would coin "The Soccer War" due to hostilities coinciding with rioting at a World Cup qualifying match between the two countries. On the 14th of July 1969 El Salvador invaded its neighbour Honduras. This was the culmination of long standing land reform in Honduras effecting immigration and demographic issues with El Salvador; there being some 300,00 Salvadorans living in Honduras by this time. Neither side had what could be called a "modern" military at the time with civilian aircraft being used to carry explosives and an assortment of ex US military aircraft being used by both sides such as F4U Corsairs and P-51 Mustangs. After only 100 hours the Organisation of American States negotiated a ceasefire between the two sides. In the 100 hours El Salvador lost over 900 dead most of which were civilians, and Honduras would loose 250 combat troops and over 2000 civilians. The 300,000 Salvadorans living in Honduras would be displaced. Despite peace treaty in 1980 the dispute continues on with further sabre rattling as late as 2013. This book is the culmination of 20 years of research into this little know conflict. As well as the complicated background the book explores the military actions in the air, and on the ground taken by both sides. This was the last time the world would see dog fights between WWII era piston aircraft. As well as an impressive collection of photographs the book features colour profiles and markings of the aircraft used along with maps of the region to show how the fighting progressed. Conclusion. The book does concentrate on the air war, however the ground operations are covered along with the build up, and reasons for the conflict. Recommended if you like researching & modelling the smaller conflicts of the world. Review sample courtesy of
  18. The Normandy Battlefields Bocage & Breakout From the Beaches to the Falaise Gap Casemate UK When many of us think of “Normandy” we automatically think of the battles on the beaches. This however was only the first part of the story. Once allied forces broke out from their beach heads they faced a three month long battle in the French countryside which would result in over half a million casualties. The fighting in the infamous bocage countryside, around the import town of Caen; and upto the strategic port of Cherbourg was heavy brutal fighting which culminated in around 100,000 German Troops being cut of at the Falaise Gap. This encirclement resulted in approximately 10,000 German casualties, with a further 50,000 German troops being taken prisoner. The book deals with the important aspects of the breakout into Normandy; The Cotentin & Cherbourg The First Army in the Bocage The Battle for Caen The Breakout Brittany The Falaise Gap The Aftermath. The book is 192 pages long in A4 format with all pages in glossy print. There are no pages without photographs, and many of these are in colour where possible. Not only are there war time photographs but contemporary ones to show what the areas look like today, and to pick out areas of historical interest. There are many wartime photographs which will be of interest to both the modeller and the history buff. Maps are used to illustrate the battles along with specially commissioned aerial photography which brings home how difficult it must have been rather than just looking at maps alone. Conclusion. I have now had this book for a little while and must confess that once I started reading the book the review has been delayed, as I wanted to give it a proper read through. This was worth the wait as the book is an excellent portrayal of these events following the landings in France. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  19. Scrapyard Armour AFV Modeller Publications via Casemate UK At the end of any military vehicle's life, there's one place where most of them end up, whether they're worn out, destroyed, or somewhere in between. The scrapyard. This is a scene of rust, damage and decay that is seldom topped for extremity, and an ideal example to demonstrate severe weathering, which is the intent of this book. Using a set of photos as a guide, which are reproduced in the middle of the book, three modellers take the challenge and build an example of a tank in its final phase. The book is from AFV Modeller Publications, from the magazine people of the same name, and consists of 116 pages in a portrait format bound in a thick card jacket. The projects are arranged around the central photo shoot of the Russian armour scrapyard, which is a bit of an eye-opener in itself, showing rows of dilapidated and broken T-62s amongst other types, some of which have been torch-cut in places, some haven't. Many of them still sport their ERA blocks around the turret and hull, which can only mean that these are the inactive blocks used for training, unless health & safety in Russia has slipped a little bit! David Parker builds a T-62 that has been cut into three equal sections across the hull, and had its turret removed and laid upside down next to it. He takes you through the process of creating the detailed interior using scratch built parts and some parts from a Verlinden set, as well as using some ET Model fenders to get scale thickness on those areas, which had been cut off in prelude to the main hull cuts. This intricate build takes up a substantial part of the book, and finished on page 47. The photos then take up to page 89, and after that another build from Mark Neville shows a relatively complete T-62BDD model 1984, which is minus its tracks and little else. His article concentrates on the exterior weathering, and the addition of dust and grime in all the right places that lend a realistic feel to the whole thing, finishing off with some minor diorama details at page 101. The final article is by Andy Taylor, who models a Georgian T-55, which has been converted with the addition of cheek armour on the turret. Although the AM is now available from Takom, he used an update set from CMK as the bones of his conversion, and goes further with the weathering due to the old age of the machine, showing panels that have been ripped from place and the interior raided, as well as the ravages of the elements. The level of grime around the hull really is a sight to behold. Conclusion The book has a high quality feel to it, and the content is interesting, with lots of techniques and tips on display for you to refer back to, or aspire to if you have never tried them before. The photographic section is entertaining in its own right, but a few captions to enlighten us to what exactly we're looking at would have been useful to those of us that don't know these beasts intimately. Overall a good read, and a reference work that you can keep coming back to for inspiration. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  20. Hawker Hunters At War – Iraq and Jordan, 1958-1967 ISBN: 9781911096252 Helion & Company via Casemate UK After the Hawker Hunter was retired from RAF service with the introduction of newer, supersonic capable jets, the Hunters were taken back, refurbed and offered for sale to potential customers in the Middle East. Iraq and Jordan were allies of Great Britain at the time, and had already taken plenty of post-war surplus off the British hands, throughout their military establishment, from tanks to aircraft and rifles. Bound in a flexible card outer sleeve in a portrait format, the book contains 104 pages, over 120 photos (some in colour), and 15 colour profiles for the aircraft discussed in the texts. The narrative covers all aspects of the Hunter's service with the Iraqi and Jordanian Air Forces and their service with them both in the next decade or so. It even gives the details of the fates of them all, with a few photos of extant parts that still languished in a dump at the beginning of the new millennium. It documents the missions that the aircraft flew, the outcomes and through some dramatic gun camera shots, the fate of a few unlucky enough to be shot down during the Six Days War, by which time the Hunter was outclassed as a fighter and sometimes fell victim to the Israeli Mirages. The book is broken into chapters as follows: Acknowledgements 2 Abbreviations 2 Special Relationship 3 Crisis of 1958 7 New Start in Iraq 17 First Battle with Mirages 23 June 1967 War 31 Battle for H-3 46 Post-Scriptum 55 Bibliography 60 Notes 61 The author Tom Cooper has extensive knowledge of Middle East conflicts from his time spent there, and has written many articles on the subject. Patricia Salti is the widow of a Jordanian Hunter pilot 1st Lt Muwaffaq Salti, who is considered a national hero in Jordan and was lost in combat with Israeli forces in 1966. She has become a leading historian of the Royal Jordanian Air Force, and due to her unique insights and her contacts, she has written numerous official publications, and has cooperated on other related projects with Tom, such as the Arab Mig books. Conclusion A very detailed history of the Hunter's service after it left the RAF as a fighter that will be of interest to many, although perhaps not quite mainstream due to the subject matter. The wealth of information, data and of course the significant quantity of pictorial information held within the book will doubtless be enticing for any modellers or aviation enthusiasts that are curious as to the fate of those airframes. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  21. Tigers In Combat III Helion via Casemate UK The Tiger was ordered by German High Command in 1942 after the Panzer IV found its nemesis in the shape of the Russian T-34, and through a relatively short gestation period it emerged soon after as a lumbering behemoth that seemed imperious to enemy fire, and quickly gained a reputation on the battlefield and every Allied tanker that survived being "brewed up" was taken out by a Tiger. This new book from Helion Publishing is the third in a series of weighty tomes from author Wolfgang Schneider, who served in the German army for 41 years, and has written a number of books on armour over the years. He clearly has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Tiger and WWII German armour tactics, which shows through at every turn. The book in this form is hard bound, and runs to over 520 pages in a portrait oriented book. The book centres on the use of the Tiger in the battlefield, including those aspects of the organisation that are often overlooked in less concise texts, such as the infrastructure required to keep them on the field, support and logistics, as well as repair and maintenance. Even tactics and training are discussed at length, with many excerpts from training literature included, which although in German, are described in caption form by the author. The detail given is astounding, and you get the feeling that if you were to sit there and read every single line, study all the diagrams, and perhaps have a little technical German language under your belt, you could imagine being able to mechanic your very own Tiger at least for a while. The various chapters are laid out as follows: 1. The establishment and structure of the Tiger units The establishment dates for the tiger units The stabskompanie Allocation of responsibilities inside the units Early experiences with the tiger 2. Training Leadership training Tank courses at Paderborn Technical trials at Senne Combat operations to the end of the war Training course content Weapons and equipment training Tank firing practice Combat training Tigers in Hungarian service 3. Operating the Tiger Commander's operating tasks Gunner's operating tasks Loader's operating tasks Driver's operating tasks Radio operator's tasks Whole crew operating tasks Establishing states of readiness Peparations for towing and recovery Work on the running gear Care, maintenance and preservation of operational readiness in extreme environmental conditions Schedule related work Camouflage and the application of camouflage paint Operation in winter Submerged driving 4. Deployment The tasks of the commander Tasks of the gunner Tasks of the loader Tasks of the tank driver Radio operator's tasks Crew based tasks Loading for rail transport Transport across water 5. Tactics General combat tactics Marches Reconnaissance and scouting Security measures Types of combat Command and control Collaboration with other weapons The effect of enemy weapons Logistics (including medical services) Recovery and evacuation to the rear Repair and maintenance Employment of the Tiger battalions Propaganda Annex Amendments to Volumes I and II Literature list Reports by individual Tiger battalions List of regulations and manuals Given the huge scope of the book, it isn't surprising that the page count is so high, but it isn't all dry text. There are hundreds of photos and drawings, extending to 1,200 in total, many of which I have not seen before, and most are of excellent quality, with a few exceptions due to the age of the photos. A few 3D renders are also used to illustrate different aspects of the tank's construction, and there are even a couple of bitmapped images present, which although they aren't of the best quality, don't detract from the overall experience. Most of the photos are black and white, but there are a number of pages to the rear of the book that are in colour, which appear to be originally taken in colour, rather than colourised later. The sheer number of photos is exemplary, and they give a complete impression of life as a Tiger crew member, as alongside the staged photos, there are many more that were taken by the crews themselves and some are candid, showing crews working, resting and playing. If you're wondering about the Tiger II, the King Tiger, it does make the occasional appearance through the book, sometimes in the background of photos, but it is also mentioned a number of times through the pages. Conclusion It's a work of almost biblical scope, and coupled with the previous two volumes, that I really must track down, it makes a complete reference for the legendary Tiger. If you want such a thing, then this is for you, and it'll also keep you busy reading for quite some time. Review sample courtesy of
  22. MaxxPro MRAP Ampersand Group The International MaxxPro is Navistar Defence’s Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle and incorporates the latest design in armour technology. Extensively tested by the military and used in theatre today, the MaxxPro features a V-shaped hull and other design features that greatly improve survivability. With so much protection, it’s the vehicle that every crew wants when they’re out in the field. The MaxxPro MRAP is built to withstand ballistic arms fire, mine blasts, IEDs, and other emerging threats. Its V-shaped hull helps deflect blasts out and away from the crew and its armour can be customized to meet any mission requirement. The book is printed in a similar fashion as the old Squadron Publications standard, in a landscape format with a short, two pages worth development history of the type. The rest of the book is dedicated to the very detailed walk rounds of various vehicles, and when I say detailed, they are really very detailed, with every part of the exterior being covered, even the smallest part of the suspension. Unfortunately, due to the operational nature of the vehicles there are no interior photos, with only glimpses of the interior when the rear ramp is down. There are several types of MRAP shown in the book, with various types of additional armour fitted to them, bar armour, FRAG 6 Block armour or the latest anti-RPG netting. Notes that accompany each photograph are very descriptive and useful for the modeller in identifying what each piece of equipment is. In addition to the equipment usually found on the MRAP there are pictures of the various weapons fits, such as M2 50cal machine gun, or 40mm grenade launcher and other items such as the mine roller system fitted to the front of the vehicle. Lastly there is a small section at the rear on the M1249 MRV, (Mine Resistant Vehicle), which is basically the MRAP cab fitted to a large double axle wrecker crane style body which is fitted with a rotating crane jib. This vehicle is used to lift MRAPs, recover damaged vehicles, and lift concrete barriers or other heavy items in theatre. Conclusion This is a superbly produce and very interesting book. Not only are the photographs clear and sharp, but the information they and the noted provided will prove very useful to the modeller to get even the smallest detail correct on their model. Review sample courtesy of
  23. WW2 Russian Field Weapons & Equipment Helion Company Data File It’s surprising how much equipment the Soviet forces had during WWII and this book brings them into sharp detail. Most people know about the sheer numbers of tanks and men involved in the Great Patriotic War, but there as so many other pieces of equipment used by the soldiers in the field. Much like the book on German Field Equipment reviewed HERE, this book combines interesting facts alongside the very nicely rendered 3D drawings of each piece of kit. I’m sure that not every piece of equipment used is in this book, but there is an awful lot that is. Every from pistols, weapons case, rifles, and sniper rifles, machine guns right the way up to the big guns and tanks. All the drawings on the one hundred and fifty three pages are in full colour giving the modeller good research material for their models and dioramas. Whilst there are the familiar pieces of kit shown, there are also quite a few unusual pieces that I certainly didn’t know about, such as the concrete tanks and the various mobile pill boxes. The In Enemy Hands section is interesting in that it shows what modifications the Germans carried out to their captured Soviet equipment, usually involving the venerable T-34. Conclusion This is another great and very interesting book. Not only are the rendering superb, but the information they and the notes provide will prove very useful to the modeller who wants to get everything just right. Review sample courtesy of
  24. M10/Achilles A visual history of the US Army’s Tank Destroyer Ampersand Group via Casemate UK The M10 was developed on the chassis of the M4A2 Sherman chassis with a rotating open turret carrying a 76.2mm gun, with the name 3-inch Gun Motor Carriage M10. It was lightly armoured, had a poor turret motor which resulted in a very slow 80 seconds to turn completely around, which gave it a disadvantage in rapidly evolving battles, which the crew tried to reduce by hand-cranking it themselves. The open top made it a tempting target for a carefully thrown grenade in close combat, and the crew casualties from air-burst shells were frequent and plentiful. It reached service in 1942 after a redesign of the turret to remove the initial shot-traps that extended all the way around it, and production ceased in 1943, although it soldiered on in dwindling numbers through the rest of WWII. The Achilles is the name given to the 17-pounder equipped variant, which was much more successful against the then-new Panther with its improved armour, which the British used to good effect with their lend-lease vehicles. The extra punch of the bigger gun that went on to equip the Sherman Firefly was a godsend that helped avoid close-in engagements that put the Achilles at a disadvantage due to its relatively light armour. Even so, the driver appears to have been the safest member of the crew, despite being positioned out front in the glacis plate area. After WWII the surplus examples found their way to other countries, and were used by liberated Allies until they could restore their own armed forces after years of living under Nazi rule. The Book This book from Ampersand by the prolific David Doyle carries on the format of the Visual History series, with 128 pages of great photos from sources both contemporary and from preserved or restored vehicles that are now in the hands of collectors. The book contains over 450 photos in total, with many of them large and highly detailed. The pages are split between the A10 and the Achilles with a useful potted history given on both types in the introduction, although the larger part of the book is given over to the more numerous A10, which acquired the nickname “Wolverine” at some point in its career. While the contemporary photos are in black and white, the preserved examples are photographed in full colour, and the detail in which they are depicted would be an absolute boon to any modeller, especially those wishing to go for ultimate realism. The quality of the restorations is exemplary, and the author has documented the post-war additions where practical, such as rear-view mirrors and so forth. Conclusion Whether you have the models that you intend to use this book for reference, or have an interest in the subject, this book will give you all the reference pictures and some besides, as well as some inspiration for dioramas. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  25. German Motorcycles of WWII (9781944367022) A visual history in Vintage Photos and Restored Examples, Part 1 Ampersand Group via Casemate UK The German military machine made perhaps the most use of the motorcycle during WWII than any of the combatants, using it as troop transport, for messenger work, reconnaissance and other combat related jobs, and they had a number of excellent bikes in their arsenal. This book from Ampersand by the prolific David Doyle carries on the format of the Visual History series, with 120 pages of great photos from sources both contemporary and from preserved or restored vehicles that are now in the hands of collectors. The book contains over 250 photos in total, with many of them large and highly detailed. The pages are split between the types with a useful potted history given on all types in the introduction. Covered in the book are the following bikes from two manufacturers: BMW R4 BMW R12 BMW R35 BMW R71 BMW R74 Zundapp KS750 While the contemporary photos are in black and white, the preserved examples are photographed in full colour, and the detail in which they are depicted would be an absolute boon to any modeller, especially those wishing to go for ultimate realism. As noted in the title, this is Part one of this series, so we can expect at least one more volume that will doubtless include other types used by German forces in WWII. Conclusion Whether you have the models that you intend to use this book for reference, or have an interest in the subject, this book will give you all the reference pictures and some besides, as well as some inspiration for dioramas. The preserved examples are of particular high quality, and as close to an in-service machine as you could wish for, although probably a bit cleaner! Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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