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  1. Allied Armour In Normandy Casemate Publications Written by Yves Buffetaut and published by Casemate themselves, in their illustrated series. This volume of the Casemate Illustrated series explores the Normandy invasion from the perspective of the Allied Armoured divisions, looking at how armoured vehicles played a central role in the many battles that took place. It includes over 40 profiles of tanks and armoured vehicles, from the American Sherman and Stuart tanks to the bulldozers and amphibious vehicles designed for the beach. Each of the period photographs are nicely annotated with useful information the vehicles, their location and the units involved. With detailed diagrams and many photos illustrating the composition of the Allied armoured divisions and tank regiments present at Normandy, this volume explains the crucial part played by tanks in gaining a foothold in Normandy after the D-Day landings, as well as the significance of many other types of armoured vehicles. What I have found most useful, having read the book, is the information on how a British Regiment was organised and the markings the vehicles used, great for a modeller keen on accuracy. Conclusion Casemate should be praised for publishing this series of books, as although they may not be of an immediate interest to the modeller, when you take a closer look at the photographs there are a host of ideas that could be used in some interesting dioramas or vignettes. There are also the modifications and markings that could make for some unusual and different builds. Review sample courtesy of
  2. IJN Destroyer Shimakaze Kagero Super Drawings in 3D Shimakaze was a one-off super-destroyer built for the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II. She was armed with six 5 inch dual-purpose guns and conventional anti-aircraft and anti-submarine weaponry. More importantly, she was the only Japanese destroyer to be armed with 15 torpedo tubes, each capable of firing the deadly 24 in Type 93 "Long Lance" torpedo. The ship was a test bed for an enormously powerful, high-temperature; high-pressure steam turbine that was able to develop 79,240 shp, this made her one of the fastest destroyers in the world: her designed speed was 39 kn but on trials she made 40.9 kn. Ordered in 1939 under the 4th Naval Armaments Supplement Programme, Shimakaze was laid down in Maizuru Naval Arsenal in August 1941 and completed on 10 May 1943. Japan had intended to lay down 16 similar destroyers, with long-term plans the 5th Naval Armaments Supplement Programme for a total of 32 to equip four destroyer squadrons, but a lack of industrial capacity prevented them from being built. In June 1943, Shimakaze participated in the evacuation of Japanese troops from Kiska Island towards the end of the Aleutian Islands campaign. She was present in June 1944 at the Battle of the Philippine Sea. In October 1944, the destroyer was present at the Battle of Leyte Gulf, although she played no role in the battle except for picking up survivors from the sunken battleship Musashi. While serving as the flagship of Destroyer Squadron 2 under the command of Rear Admiral Mikio Hayakawa, she was attacked and sunk by American aircraft from Task Force 38 on 11 November 1944 during the Battle of Ormoc Bay. Shimakaze was discovered by a Paul Allen-led expedition aboard RV Petrel in Ormoc Bay on December 1st, 2017. She was a mangled wreck but the three quintuple torpedo tube launchers confirmed her identity. Photographs from the wreck also debunked the assertion that she had one of her turrets removed in an early 1944 refit This is the latest book from Kagero in their Super Drawings in 3D, and like the previous books it has a brief history and the ships specifications at the beginning. This includes the following:- History Description Armament Operational history Wreck The rest of the seventy five pages are filled with the now well known style of beautifully drawn 3D renderings of every part of the ship. It is obvious that a lot of time has been taken to get the drawings this good and accurate, and there is a wealthy of information for the modeller to use during their build. Every area of the upper hull and superstructure is dealt with plus the lower hull including the propellers and rudder. I particularly like the renderings of the torpedo launchers and the larger scale drawings of the light AA weaponry and ships boats, plus the interior of the bridge with the paraphernalia contained therein. She certainly was a very good looking ship, even with the unbalanced main armament with one turret forward and two aft. For even more detail, especially for the rigging, Kagero have included a double sided A2 fold out sheet with a five view on one side, unusually in 1:200, with additional drawings of the ships fixtures, such as bridge, funnels, AA platforms and radar, all to no particular scale. Conclusion This is another superb book in the series and a great addition to any maritime modeller’s library. This series is a boon to any ship modeller and is turning into a magnificent collection of titles. The detail included is second to none, and the renderings are so clear that they will be a delight for the superdetailers, particularly if building the beautiful Hasegawa or Fujimi 1:350 scale kits or the Tamiya and Pit Road kits in 1:700. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Vought F4U Corsair Kagero TopDrawings One of the latest books in their TopDrawing series, this fifteen page softback is filled with line drawings and a selection of colour plates. Concentrating on the XF4U-1, F4U-1, F4U-1A and F4U-2 models each drawing is annotated, describing the differences between each model, although admittedly some of the differences, particularly when comparing drawings on the same page are difficult to this untrained eye to make out. The line drawings are very nicely done though, and show all the access panels, panel lines and other details. All the line drawings and colour plates are in 1:48, with the exception of the drawings of the engine, instrument panels and weapons, some of which are in 1:24 and 1:32 scales. The book also comes with an A3 pull out showing the upper and lower views of a F4U-1 and 1A on one side and a F4U-2 on the other. A nice addition is the small mask sheet to be used with 1:72 and 1:48 scale models. Conclusion This is a very nice, well laid out book. As with other books in the series, this one should be used along with other reference material to ensure the accuracy of your model. Review sample courtesy of
  4. The Iran-Iraq War Volume 4: Forgotten Fronts by E.R. Hooton, Tom Cooper, Farzin Nadimi, published by Helion and Company On 16th January 1979 Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi left Iran for good. In doing so, he cemented the revolution that had sought to topple his failing regime and paved the way for foundation of the Islamic Republic of Iran under the rule of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Fearing that the Iranian Revolution would have a destabilising effect on Iraq, Saddam Hussein made the decision to invade, sparking the longest uninterrupted conventional conflict of the twentieth century. Although not etched on the conscience of the west to the extent of other conflicts of the period, the Iran-Iraq War was nevertheless one of the most important conflicts of the time. Apart from the significant loss of life and impact on civilians in the region, it was also an important stepping stone on the path to fundamentalist Islamic terrorism. This book, the last in a series of four, has been painstakingly compiled by authors with impressive credentials when it comes to defence matters in the Middle East. This volume examines the central and northern fronts, fought over difficult terrain and without either side able to muster numerical superiority. It also covers the Kurdish front and the horrors of the Iranian Air Force's chemical attack on Halabja, an attack which killed far more civilians than combatants. The book sets out the key engagements of the conflict in a clear and engaging way. The text is thoughtful and insightful throughout, leaving the reader with a good understanding of not only the military aspects of the conflict, but also the international political backdrop. While the book is not aimed directly at the modeller, it nevertheless contains a lot of valuable information for those interested in the hardware deployed in the conflict. The pages feature a typically eclectic mix of NATO and Warsaw Pact military hardware, a legacy of the imperial past clashing with the post-war rise of Soviet influence. The book is rich in illustrative material, containing over 140 photographs and 18 illustrations within its 80 pages. Plenty of information about the military inventories of the two sides is provided, alongside photographs and descriptions of locally modified armoured fighting vehicles. Conclusion This book is a valuable addition to the Middle East War series and deserves a place in the collection of anyone interested in the military conflicts of the region. Modellers will be rewarded with a valuable visual reference, as well as an inspiring read which will have you poking around in your stash, looking at your AFV kits in a different light. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. Paradise Afire Volume 1 The Sri Lankan War 1971-1987 ISBN : 9781912390342 Helion & Company via Casemate UK While Sri Lnaka is indeed a tropical paradise, it is also one of those areas that seemed to be in the news for a very long tome due to its long running internal conflicts. In 1971 the country was in political turmoil when the JVP (Jatiya Vimukthi Peramuna) a Sinhalese militant group tried to snatch power. The government at this time appealed for help and Pakistan airlifted troops and military equipment to help. The Pakistani forces took over external defence allowing the local forces to perform internal duties. At the same time India sent Naval Forces to block routes to Colombo, with some 150 Indian troops sent to guard the airport there. Due to initial Indian delays Pakistani forces were entrenched, plus the Indians were less than enthusiastic about the Tamil issue. This help from Pakistan lead to them supporting Pakistan during the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971. Further internal conflict would follow in Sri Lanka, however like many things the influence and agendas of other nations would have a great bearing on this small nation. India supported the Tamils from the 60s through to the 1980 (which in History the British had brought to the then Ceylon as workers). The Tamils built up support and following the riots in "Black July" 1983 a major struggle would begin. Indian intervention this time would be needed to turn the tide against the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam). The book looks at all aspects of the air war as well as the conflict in general. It is A4 softcover in format with 64 pages. Black and white photographs feature throughout the text. There are 4 pages of aircraft profiles, and two of AFVs, along with other photos (some in colour), Conclusion This book should provide readers with a understanding of the military operations in the first 16 years of this war, Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana (1943-45) The Aviation of the Italian Social Republic ISBN : 9788365437709 Kagero via Casemate UK While there has been much written about the Luftwaffe in WWII, not much is out there concerning their other Allies, even the Italians. This book concentrates on the Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana (ANR) which was the Air Force still under the control of Mussolini after the 1943 Armistice. As at the same time there was the Italian Co-belligerent Air Force, or Aviazione Cobelligerante Italiana who flew for the Allies. Its worth pointing out that the ANR amd ACI never met each other in combat. The early part of the book gives a look at the origins of the ANR, the ANR Fighter Groups and their aircraft. As well as using Italian aircraft the ANR were supplied with Bf 109G-6s from the Luftwaffe. The book then looks at Torpedo bomber, and conventional bomber units of the ANR, as well as the transport arm, and other units. Lesser know subjects such as their rank structure and unit markings are also included towards the end of the book. 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 third of the "Library of Armed Conflicts" books I have reviewed and it is turning out to be a good series. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Waffen-SS Armour In Normandy ISBN : 9781912174805 Helion & Company via Casemate UK This book as the title suggests deals with the role of the Waffen-SS Armoured units in the Normandy campaign. In particular SS panzer regiment 12 and SS Panzerjager Abeitlung 12. This is for the period June until the end of August 1944. The book looks at the training of these units in 1943/44, unit equipment, order of battle, and tactical numbers. The book presents a detailed chronological order actions from movement towards Caen, and then the withdrawal to the Seine. The book is based on transcriptions of original unit war diaries held in the Prague Military archives, and contributions from the archive of noted Waffen-SS historian Mark Yerger. the book presents a look at tactical and command level decisions which brought the combat tactics which held the line at Caen for over two months. The book combines detailed maps and photographs with documents to bring a very detailed look at these actions. The book is A5 softcover in format and 304 pages long. With a couple of colour photos, colour maps and many black & white photos. Conclusion This book should provide readers with a understanding of the role of the Waffen-SS Armour in the Normandy campaign . Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Chile 1973 - The other 9/11 The downfall of Salvador Allende ISBN : 9781912174959 Helion & Company via Casemate UK While everyone is familiar with the devastating event of 11th September 2001, in Chile the term 9/11 has a completely different meaning. The 11th of September 1973 was the day that General Pinochet staged a Coup and overthrew the democratically elected Salvador Allende which lead to a military junta ruling Chile until 1990. Until this point Chile had been one of the most democratic countries in South America. The Coup supported by the US but without any direct involvement involved the CIA creating conditions for the coup to take place, and supporting the regime afterwards. Deaths attributed directly to the coup were small and it was always reported President Allende took his own life. However in 2011 a secret military account was found which heavily suggested he was assassinated. Even though initial deaths were small the Military Junta then used the coup as a basis to round up an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 people and imprison them. Many of these people would later be murdered by the regime becoming the infamous "Disappeared" of Chile. It is not really know even today how many people were actually killed, however its estimated to be in the thousands. The book looks at all aspects of this dark period in Chilean history. It is A4 softcover in format with 64 pages. Black and white photographs feature throughout the text. There are 4 pagers of colour profiles of the aircraft which took part, and 2 pages with military vehicles. Conclusion This book should provide readers with a understanding of the the events which took place in Chile in 1973 and some of what follwed afterwards. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. Topdrawings 48 - Grumman F4F Wildcat ISBN : 9788365437631 Kagero via Casemate UK The Grumman F4F Wildcat (or Martlet in British Service) was a carrier bourne fighter developed in the 1930 from the Grumman FF Biplane. The FF was the first US Naval aircraft to have retractable landing gear with the wheels still visible even when retratacted and this carried over to the F4F. The USN offically adopted the type in 1941 as the Wildcat though they had been in service since 1940 with the Royal Navy. This book is not a reference book on the Wildcat 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 A2 double sided pull out plan in 1/32nd scale as well. As an extra there is one set of 1:48 masks, and one 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
  10. Ethiopian-Eritrean Wars, Volume 1 Eritrean War of Independance, 1961-1988 ISBN : 9781912390298 Helion & Company via Casemate UK It would seem depressing that the area of Ethiopia and Eritrea has seen more than its fair share of confict and misery over the years. After italian occpaction during WWII Ethiopia claimed it as part of its territory, which was cemented after the UN federated it to Ethiopia in 1950. After 9 years Haile Selassie disolved the federation and annexed Eritrea triggering a 30 year war of independance. The main for for Eritrea in was the Eritrian Liberation Front (ELF). Thought like many such organisations the world over, infighteing and internal conflict this became the Eritrean People Liberation Front (EPLF) . Even after Haile Selassie was overthrown in a coup and the region came under the influence of the Soviet Bloc the civil war continued. The EPLF had all but driven the Ethioians out of Eritrea by 1977 when Somilaia invaded Ethiopia to split their army. However massive intervention from Cuban & Yemeni forces allowed Ethiopia to regain the initative and push back the EPLF. Soviet support ended though in at the end of the 1980s. Then the EPLF was able to join forces with outher anti marxist organisation to move against the Ethiopian Army. The US lead by former President Carter worked to end the conflict through peace talks, this lead to a peace agreement in 1989. This though did not last, however with the fall of the main Ethiopian regime in 1991 this lead to talks to establish a transitional govternment in Addis Ababa which the EPLF attended as an observer. In 1993 Ertirea was able to hold an independace vote which came in at 99.83% in favour. In 199 the UN formally admitted Eritria as a country. The book looks at the forces on both sides of the conflict, some history of the region and how the main battles were fought. This volume is A4 soft back in format and 63 pages. There are black and white photographs throughout with maps, and 8 pages of colour profiles. Conclusion This book should provide readers with a more complete understanding of the of the conflict in Eritrea from 1961 to 1988 Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. The Chaco Air War 1932-35 The First Modern Air War in Latin America ISBN : 9781911512967 Helion & Company via Casemate UK The Chaco War was fought between Paraguay and Bolivia between 1932 and 1935 for control over the Northern part of The Gran Chaco region which was thought to be rich in oil. It is attributed that the conflict was as a result of Royal Dutch Shell backing Paraguay, and Standard Oil backing Bolivia for the said oil rights. It was not helped by Argentina looking to import oil from here as well. Historically this was the first time that aerial warfare took place in Latin America. Despite an arms embargo imposed the then League Of Nations both sides managed to to acquire their fair share of aircraft. The book looks at all aspects of the air war as well as the conflict in general. It is A4 softcover in format with 64 pages. Black and white photographs feature throughout the text. There are 6 pagers of full colour maps along with 7 pages of colour profiles of the aircraft which took part. Conclusion This book should provide readers with a understanding of the Chaco War, and an interesting look at the first use of Airpower in war in the Americas. There is interest here from those interested in not just conflict in the air, but Latin American wars as well. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. Hungarian Armoured Forces in WWII Photosniper 26 ISBN : 9788365437655 Kagero via Casemate UK Hungary was caught at the end of WWI on the wrong side and was treated harshly by the Allies. Under the 1920 treaty of Trianon they lost nearly half their population and more than 60% of their territory to hostile boarding nations. Which is the reason the joined the Axis forces in WWII, however it would seem they chose the wrong side again! The book looks at Hungarian armed forces between the wars, and then in WWII through the various campaigns they fought in. There is a wealth of black & white photos of the forces in action and details of equipment they used, most of it indigenous to the country. This indigenous Armour is also examined in the book. The book also examines foreign vehicles in Hungarian Service, and Hungarian Markings & Camouflage. There are 11 pages of line drawings/plans of the Hungarian equipment located towards the end of the book along 6 pages of colour photos, and 9 pages of colour profiles. This volume is A4 soft back in format and an 131 pages. Conclusion This book should provide readers with a better understanding of the Armoured forces of Hungary and they equipment they used. The wealth of photographs, together with drawings and colour plates will be of great use to the modeller, and of great interest to anyone studying one of the seemingly less well known Axis powers. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  13. German Destroyer Z37 Kagero Super Drawings in 3D The Z37 was a Type 1936A destroyer built for the Kriegsmarine, (German Navy), during World War II. Completed in 1942, the ship spent most of her brief career deployed in France. She participated in the Battle of the Bay of Biscay at the end of 1943 before she was accidentally rammed by the destroyer Z32 in early 1944. Towed back to port, the Kriegsmarine decided that she was too badly damaged to repair and disarmed her hulk. Decommissioned later that year, she was scuttled by her crew before being scrapped by the French in 1949. This latest book in the Super Drawings in 3D series from Kagero, is actually the 55th in the series, which is becoming THE single point of reference for maritime modellers. Following the now familiar format the first five pages contain text describing the design of the ship, its propulsion, armour, armament, its operational service and a conclusion. There follows seventy six pages of beautifully rendered drawings covering all external areas of the ship, a lot of which shows up details that you couldn’t get from period photographs of plans. Each rendering has brief annotations which give useful insights as to what the areas are and the subtle details included. A while ago Kagero stated that they weren’t going to include plans with these books and were going to sell them rolled up so that buyers could mount them in frames. It’s great to see that they have changed their minds on this, as the plans are just as useful as the renderings in the book. One side of the single A2 sheet contains three views of the ship in 1:200 scale, while on the opposite side plans of the ship from fore and aft, plus diagrams of the main armament, torpedo tubes and ships boats in 1:100, main rangefinder, searchlights and AA weaponry in 1:50, all very useful to the super detailer. Conclusion This is another superb addition to the series and will be very useful if you’re building any of the multitude of kits in 1:350 and 1:700 available today. With this book by your side you should be able to really go to town with the detailing, producing your museum quality models. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Phoenix - A Complete History Of the Luftwaffe 1918-1945 Volume 1 - The Phoenix is Reborn 1918-1934 ISBN : 9781910294505 Helion and Company Casemate UK The Phoenix here is referring to the rebirth of the Luftwaffe following the end of The First World War. This series of books is based on an amazing 40 years of research and covers much more than famous aircraft, battles and aces. Areas such as Training, organisation, and areas not normally researched such as Anti-Aircraft guns, signalling and medical services are also examined. This series of books will examine five major themes from the history; (A) Strategy and Command, (B) Ministerial Activity, (C) Technology and Production, (D) Infrastructure and Training, and (E) Operations. This will enable readers to look at a particular area if it suits them, and look at the relationships between, and holding these aspects together. This first volume covers a period which has not been extensively researched before. That immediately following the first world war, and the intervening secret build up of the Luftwaffe prior to its public unveiling in 1935. A great deal of development / preparatory work was done in this period not only in training, and aircraft development but in organising all the various parts. It shows how Goring and Hitler essentially inherited an air arm in waiting – a product of covert military professional endeavour over a period following the end of WWI. This volume is split into two parts. The first part deals with the years 1918 to 1932. The book calls this the period of secrecy where the emergency of the new German Armed Forces was kept secret. It follows from Germany in chaos after WWI, through the building of a new military, ordnance development, civil aviation, training of pilots, the development of the Flak Artillery; and the development of German Naval Aviation. The second part follows the rise of Hitler from 1933 to 1934 when all of the military activities came more to the fore. Conclusion This book should provide readers with a complete understanding of the early years of the Luftwaffe while is existence was still in fact a secret to many. You can see where the 40 years of research have gone to provide such an in depth look at this period. The book is hard cover slightly larger than A5 and 650 pages long. There are two sections with black & white photos. Highly Recommended. Vol I Review sample courtesy of
  15. HMS Royal Oak Kagero TopDrawings This softback book, in their Topdrawing series is a mine of information for the maritime modeller. Although only consisting of eighteen pages this is very similar to the 3D Drawing series but without the range of colourful renderings, this book is filled with line drawings. This actually makes it easier to see what’s what as you’re not distracted by the colour schemes. Each line drawing is very nicely done, concentrating on different sections of the ship. Interspersed between the larger drawings there are numerous smaller diagrams of individual pieces of equipment, such as the turrets, winches, ships boats, rangefinders, aircraft and ships cranes. The drawings on the secondary and tertiary armament are particularly detailed, for those modellers who wish to take their detailing to the nth degree. It should be noted that the drawings are from two separate time periods, 1917 and 1939. Included with the book are two A1 sheets, one with line drawings of the ship from 1937 in 1:350 scale, (hopefully Trumpeter or Merit International will oblige us with a kit in this scale soon), on the other side there is are three side views showing the differences of the ship in 1917, 1919 and 1937. The second sheet has colour renderings of the starboard side and from above as of 1937. On the other side is a cross section drawing showing the major internals of the ship, as well as a couple of drawings of the secondary armament deck. Conclusion This is another very useful book for modellers and historians alike. Whilst there are a number of 1:700 scale kits about, from the likes of ROS Op, and WSW, there aren’t any kits in 1:350. Although, in this day and age you can never say never, when it comes to manufacturers release schedule. Very highly recommended Review sample courtesy of
  16. 101st Airborne in Normandy ISBN : 9781612005232 Casemate Illustrated - Casemate UK I would think a lot of people are now acquainted with the 101st Airborne from the excellent Band Of Brothers mini series. The "Screaming Eagles" were raised/activated in 1942. The idea of Paratroops was new at the time and the Allies were playing catch up after the success of German operations. The Division would go on from Normandy to fight in Operation Market Garden, the Battle of the Bulge, and be the first allied troops into Berchetsgaden and the Eagles nest. This book in the Casemate Illustrated series combines text, pictures, maps to bring us the 101st's operations on D-Day and the following battle for Normandy. It looks at the initial chaotic start to the completion of their mission to secure the vital beach heads. From there it follows their advance into Normandy itself with the attack and Caretan to then face a counter attack by the German 2nd Armoured Division. The book goes into details of the planning, and execuation of their mission and subsequent actions until they were withdrawn to prepare for the ill fated operation Market Garden. The book is A5 in format, 128 pages long and contains many contemporary photographs. Conclusion If you're interested in the 101st Airborne, and in particularly their actions in Normandy this is a must read. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. 2nd SS Panzer Division "Das Reich" ISBN : 9781612005256 Casemate Illustrated - Casemate UK The 2nd SS Panzer Division has to be one of the most infamous German units of WWII due to two massacres of French Civilians. Up to that point it had fought in most of the operations of the Germany Army with the exception of the Italian Campaign. This book in the Casemate Illustrated series combines text, pictures, maps to bring us the Divisions history from formation, through the blitzkrig campaigns in Poland, and then the low countries, then into France. Later they would move into Yugoslavia, and Russia as part of Operation Barbarossa. When the Allies invaded Normandy the Division was in Southern France and was thrown into Operation Luttich , the German counter offensive. The Division was encircled by the US 2nd Armoured Division at Roncey loosing most of its equipment their. The Division was finally surrender to the Allies in May 1945. Unfortunately the Division will be remembered for the massacres of 100 civilians in Tulles, and 642 civilians in Oradour-sur-Glane long after its military achievements have been forgotten. The book is A5 in format, 128 pages long and contains many contemporary photographs. Conclusion If you're interested in German Armoured Operations, and in particular the 2nd SS Panzer Regiment then this will be a good read. Review sample courtesy of
  18. Churchill's Secret War with Lenin British And Commonwealth Military Intervention In The Russian Civil War, 1918-20 ISBN : 9781911512103 Helion and Company Casemate UK Before getting this book I was aware of some British involvement in the Russian civil war which followed the revolution in 1917. I had seen a little on it mainly the fact that there still are WWI on display in Russia and former USSR countries which were captured at this time. It would seem that the UK Government and in particular Churchill were keen to firstly open another front to WWI, and then later help the White Russian cause as the anti revolutionary forces became to be called. In 1917 with the Russian revolution in full swing the Russian Army ceased hostilities with Germany on the Eastern Front. The allies considered this a great betrayal as it freed up those German forces to engage on the Western Front. The German Spring offensive of 1918 would not have been possible without these troops. The allies had had military missions in Russia as early as 1915. The first foray into Russia was a 5000 strong Naval & Marine force which was deployed to the Murmansk area primarily to stop the Germans establishing a U-Boat base in the region. U-Boats had to transition the North Sea to the Atlantic and it was feared that a northern base would enable them much easier access to the Atlantic. There was also a suggestion of protecting equipment already sent to aid the Russians in WWI. Suffice to say this was only the beginning and many more troops, Naval units and Air Force units would be dispatched over the next year to locations as diverse as The Baltic, North Russia, Siberia and the Crimea. Not only were these units British but would include commonwealth units from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. All form so modern warfare form Aircraft, through Tanks, and even Poison Gas were deployed; in the end to no avail. The different factions fighting for the White cause were disorganised, badly led, and under equipped. Often whole divisions would mutiny and change sides killing their own, and British Officers before doing so. In the end though these and other reasons the Western Powers left. The book looks at the initial deployment to Murmansk, and the later deployments through 1918 to 1920. It looks at the units deployed, where and what they did. Included is a full roll or honour, a list of Allied prisoners of the Soviets, list of Commonwealth forces involved, and lists of Warships deployed. The book is slightly larger than A5 in hardback format with 576 pages. As well as the excellent text there are maps and numerous black & white photographs. Conclusion Until this book there has been no English language publication dedicated to this "small" war. Indeed it has been hushed up in our history, with not even a campaign medal awarded to those who took part. This book should be required reading for politicians before committing troops to any further conflict. From mission creep, to inadequate resources, to no real understanding of the conflict, the problems from 1918 would still seem to permeate through to today's conflicts. I really cant recommend this book highly enough if you are interested in military history in general, or Britain's smaller and forgotten conflicts. The author spent 15 years researching the book and this shines through into an incredibly detailed account of the actions in Russia during this period. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  19. Panzer Regiment 1 1939-45 ISBN : 9783935107181 Schneider Armour Research via Casemate UK Panzer Regiment 1 is the oldest Panzer Regiemnt of the Wehrmacht. This photo book covers the regiment from its formation, through training and inital fighting in the Sudetenland, through to Poland, Belgium, France, Russia, Greece, Italy and in Hungary. The text gives us details of the units inventory tables, campaign maps, and unit structure. Included in the photos are the different vehicle markings throughout the war. Most of the photos have been sourced from veterans albums and are previously unpublished. The book is A4 landscape format hard cover, with mainly photograps. Text is in English and German. Conclusion Until this book there has been no publication dedicated to the oldest Panzer Regiment of the Wehrmacht. Using many unpublished photos from Veterans Albums makes this a unique record. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  20. The Ardennes Battlefields ISBN : 9781612005348 Casemate UK I think I like a lot of people know about the Battle of the Bulge, but only generally from watching a few films and the excellent Band Of Brothers min series. However like a lot of things there is much more to it once start to get under the surface. By late 1944 the front was all but stationary in the 85 mile area of the Ardennes. It was here on the "ghost" front that Hitler would stage his final gamble to halt the Allies push into Germany. In what was a risky plan carefully hoarded reserves of men and equipment would be thrown through the heavily forested Ardennes into weak allied positions with the aim to be at Antwerp within a week. Through almost total secrecy the attack came as a great shock to the allies but in the end they were able to rally their troops, and a combination of this, the weather, and poor German logistics saw this last hurrah defeated; and then the way into Germany was more open than it was before. This book from Casemate looks at the complete battlefield. It is A4 hardback with 192 pages. It is lavishly printed through out with Black and white contemporary photos, complemented by colour photos of the areas today; and many colour maps of the battles which took place. The authors have looked at all aspect of the battles; the original German plan, the units on all sides, the attacks and counter attacks. The photos also look at the many memorials which litter the towns in the area, and which are still kept in excellent condition to this day. Conclusion This is very much a complete look at the Ardennes Battles fields, the photos and maps show how the battle panned out, and the modern photos show in some cases how little things have changed. If you are interested in WWII history then this book is a must. For the military modeller the wealth of contemporary photos give a very good idea of how the vehicles and troops looked at this time. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  21. Dornier Do 22 Design, Development, Testing & service with the Yugoslav, Greek and Finnish Air Forces ISBN : 9788365437617 Kagero via Casemate UK When you think of flying boats Dornier is a name which stands out, however the Do 22 is not one of their Aircraft which immediately comes to mind. Never adopted by the Luftwaffe the Do 22 was developed at a request by the then Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The parasol winged monoplane was fabric over metal with bracing struts to the fuselage and the floats from the wing. Only 29 examples were manufactures for Yugoslavia, Greece, and Latvia. The Latvian examples were never delivered due to occupation by the Soviets and were transferred by Germany to Finland. The Greek examples were all destroyed during the German invasion, but eight Yugoslav machines managed to escape to Egypt where they flew under RAF control until lack of spares grounded the Aircraft. The Greeks would convert some of their aircraft to land machines, and the Finnish would use them in both land & sea configurations. The book is hardback A4 about 160 pages long. It is illustrated throughout with black and white photographs, technical drawings, and scale plans of the aircraft. There are 20 colour profiles at the rear of the book for all the operating nations. An addition is a set of loose A2 sized plans of the aircraft. Conclusion Up until this book there has been no publication dedicated to the Do 22. The depth of knowledge inside in the writing, inclusion of many technical diagrams and plans shows the dedication to this work by the author Djordje NikoliC as I am sure not much of this information was easily obtainable. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  22. Topdrawings 45 - Henschel Hs 126 ISBN : 9788365437600 Kagero via Casemate UK The HS 126 was a two seat reconnaissance / observation aircraft / Army cooperation aircraft developed by Henschel from their Hs 122. The pilot had an enclosed cockpit where as the gunner/observer had an open one. The aircraft entered service in 1937/38 and was used initially by the Condor Legion in Spain. However by the time WWII arrived it was found to be outclassed even though a the time it was the backbone of the Luftwaffe's reconnaissance squadrons. Even though the aircraft served in Europe, Africa and the Eastern front it was realised by 1941 that its front line service was over and it was relegated to training and hack roles. Some surviving aircraft were later pressed into service like many others at the tail end of the war. This book is not a reference book on the 126 per-say, but a collection of plans and colour profiles designed to help the modeller all the plans are in 1.72 & 1.48. In the centre of the book are 3 double sided A2 Plans in 1.32. As an extra there is one set of 1:48 & 1/72 masks. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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