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Sea Combat From WW1 to the Present Day Amber Books Ltd This is the third and last book in the series that we’ll be reviewing and it follows the same style and set-up as per the other two reviewed HERE and HERE. The book actually begins with the Naval arms race between 1900 and 1913 before moving on to the Naval encounters and designs of WW1 ending with the scuttling of the German High Seas Fleet in Scapa Flow. As with the other books there are some superb photographs, which I’m sure will be familiar to others, but were new to this reviewer. Naval Expansion deals with the inter war years, which is a bit of an intriguing title considering the various treaties that prevented expansion. WW2 is well covered, and I particularly enjoyed reading about the invasion of Norway and the battles of Narvik, but then I’m biased as the HMS Warspite was involved in the 2nd battle. Each intermediate section covers a different theatre of operations, and it s good to see that it’s not all about the big front line units, but also about the smaller units, such as the destroyers, commerce raiders and Q Ships. The Battle of the Atlantic section has some rather harrowing pictures included to remind us of the human cost of war, as does the Mediterranean theatre section. I certainly learnt a few new facts about our forces in the Pacific, which is always good, amidst all the information that has been well written before. The Cold War era begins with Korea and has some more great photos from the 50’s and 60’s of Russian and US warships in use up to and including Vietnam. It then moves onto the Falklands War and the final years of the Cold War before the Wall came down. Unfortunately this si pretty much when the book ends, as there isn’t anything from the latest conflicts where naval power has been used, not even from the first Gulf War, The Balkans, etc. This is a real shame; if you’re going to go to the trouble of updating a book, at least add some new information as there is so much more that could be added. Conclusion There we have it, another well produce and printed book, that doesn’t quite make the grade. There is so much that could have been included, but it doesn’t look like the publishers let the author loose on it. It could have added another 100 pages with what’s happened since 1998, the last picture in the book, let alone 2008 and the last publication. Review sample courtesy of
Land Combat From WW1 to the Present Day Amber Books Ltd This is the second of three titles in this collection which were originally released in 2008, this one was originally released as Land Warfare. As with the Air Combat book reviewed HERE, the pace of improvements in technology and equipment has outpaced even this update. The book begins with the industrial revolution and the way it revolutionised war, which was borne out in WW1. There are some excellent pictures in this section and some useful profiles. The interwar years have only a few pages given over to them followed by WW2 which is pretty well documented, once again with some great period photographs. The next section, The Nuclear Age, covers everything from Korea, Cuba, Israel, The Falklands, and the first Gulf War, where it pretty much stops. Whilst the author does mention the extensive modern “Battlespace” it doesn’t go much further than that, or the way today's vehicles are networked to form a more cohesive force, (well, that’s the idea, isn’t it?). There is also no mention of the modern Russian vehicles from after the Yom Kippur War. Conclusion Once again, this is a very nicely produced book, that could have gone onto be great one, if it had had the more modern conflicts added, including what the Russian vehicles have been used in, particularly Afghanistan. I can’t really see what the update has accomplished with this title, and not knowing what was in the original I don’t know how much has changed. The pictures, maps and diagrams from earlier conflicts are great though. Review sample courtesy of
Air Combat From WW1 to the Present Day Amber Books Ltd This is the first of three titles in this collection which were originally released in 2008, this one was originally released as Air Warfare. With all that has gone on, with the improvements to equipment and the advanced technology incorporated, not to mention the conflicts and wars that have occurred since then, this book has been updated. Even with these updates, the speed with which new platforms have been introduced means that they fall slightly short of what is available to the worlds air forces today. With that said, this is actually a very good read, and is full of useful information, some great photography; the subjects of which I have not seen before. Add to that, some nicely produced colour plates in the over three hundred pages contained in this hardback cover. This title seems to be most up to date of the three, with the addition of the B-2, F-22 and even the F-35 and the general global war on terror, and the modern day section is definitely biased to the Western allied air forces, as there is no mention of the Russian and Chinese equipment. Conclusion Whilst not quite at the forefront of historical and modern warfare publications this book does make for some interesting reading. Some of the photographs will make for useful references for modellers, particularly for those that like to incorporate their models into dioramas. But it may be too general for some readers. Review sample courtesy of
Technical Drawings of Aircraft of World War II Amber Books via CasemateUK This book from Amber Publishing is bound in a traditional hardback fashion with a glossy dust cover, the printing of which is mirrored on the stiff cover underneath, rather than a drab faux-fabric you often find under the jacket. The page count is a healthy 256, and each leaf is printed on a thick glossy stock in colour throughout, although most of the contemporary pictures are of course in black and white. The text is broken down into three categories as below, with a comprehensive index at the rear to aid you in finding a particular aircraft in a hurry. Contents Page 6 Bomber & Dive Bombers Page 98 Fighter & Ground Attack Aicraft Page 224 Transport, Reconnaissance, & Maritime Patrol Aircraft page 254 Index I don't know about you, but I've always found these kind of drawings interesting, although most that I have seen have been on the web and at too low a resolution to be truly useful. This book contains 116 of them, from the B-24J Liberator on the cover, the Arado Ar.234 jet bomber, to the Short Sunderland right at the back of the book, and you don't just get the drawings. Each drawing is carefully numbered and has a legend around it describing the parts of the airframe that is relates to, plus in the remaining space on the double page you get contemporary pictures, drawings, information and technical specs into the bargain. Some of the more well-known aircraft also get an additional double page with a large painting surrounded by additional information relating to the target of the connected arrow. Please excuse the poor quality of this scan, as it's a big book and barely fits on the platen. It is of course a broad-range generalist book with no single airframe covered in extreme detail, but it will be very useful for either getting to know an aircraft about which you know little or nothing, or to learn more about the layout of the interior and promote better understanding of how it all fits together. I'm constantly coming up against the limit of my knowledge and still finding out about aircraft of which I knew little or nothing before hearing about them on Britmodeller, so it will be a good source of reference for me, and I've already spotted at a few pictures and diagrams that makes me wish I'd had the book a few years ago when I was building the model. Such is life! Conclusion This book should appeal to a wide audience, and as it is quite affordable will doubtless find its way into many collections, where it will become well thumbed over the years. I also feel it will be especially well received by kids just beginning to learn about aircraft, and I've had to fend off my inquisitive 5 year-old on more than one occasion, at least until this review is finished. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of