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Motorcycles at War: Images of War, Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives Paperback – 20 Jul 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Military (20 July 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844154084
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844154081
  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 1 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,030,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J.G. on 13 Dec. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good read for those with a general amount of enthusiasm in wartime bikes, it is fairly comprehensive; but you are certainly left with more interest in the subject matter.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. Guyver on 6 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback
I found that book was poorly written and not worth a star as all the photos in it can easily be found on the internet.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
More Accurate Title Would Be "British Motorcycles of World War II" 2 Jun. 2007
By Mr. Truthteller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is not as advertised. It is not a well-rounded survey of the motorcycles used by the major nations involved in World War II. Instead, it is primarily a survey of the development and use of British motorcycles in World War II, with brief chapters on American and German bikes thrown in for good measure. There are no chapters, or even any discussion, much less even a single picture, for example, of motorcyles used by the Japanese or the Soviets.

In addition, not that many of the motorcycles are depicted in actual use in wartime conditions.

For example, there are over a hundred photos of British motorcycles, but the majority of them would not be classified as actual war photos. Most "action" photos are of motorcycles used on the home front or in training exercises.

An exception is the brief chapter on German motorcycles but even then the picture selection is rather tawdry and the captions are often absurd. An obligatory picture of a dead German motorcyclist is provided. A picture of German refugees with horse-drawn carts is even shown. There are a few pictures of the Kettenrad, the half-track motorcycle popularized in "Saving Private Ryan," but they are all of damaged or captured vehicles. The touted pictures taken by German "General Erwin Rommel himself" are not discussed in the book. If there actually are any photos by Rommel in the book, they are not identified as such.

The chapter on American bikes focuses, as it must, on Harley-Davidsons and Indians, the only major U.S. motorcycle manufacturers during World War II. The pictures in this chapter, as in all of the other chapters, are primarily well reproduced and the editing is excellent. Also, all photos in this chapter, as in the other chapters, are taken from the archives of the British Imperial War Museum.

From the perspective of British motorcyles at war, the book deserves a 4+ star rating and provides a good introduction to the history of their use and development. As for the motorcyles of the other nations at war in World War II, the chapters on American and German motorcycles are okay, a 3 star rating, but the book falls far short of the mark as to motorcycles used by other combatant nations and here the book only deserves a 1 star rating.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
"British" Motorcycles in "Testing&Training" War ! 30 Dec. 2010
By Wolf-Dietrich Bipp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Rezesion vom/from 30. März 2008 in amazon.de->
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Motorcycles at War: Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives: Images of War, Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives (Taschenbuch)
Das Buch hat zugegeben recht interessante Bilder und sogar begleitende Worte aber das meißte geht hautsächlich über britische Motorräder. Die Bilder sind dann auch wiederum eher vom Training und der Ausbildung und weniger wärend dem echten Einsatz an der Front. Das Welbike ist recht ausführlich beschrieben und bebildert.
Enttäuschend waren die Kapitel über die amerikanischen und deutschen Motorräder. Zusammengenommen noch nicht einmal ein drittel des gesammten Buches.
Besonders störend und unnötig waren die teilweise sehr polemischen und an den Haaren herbeigezogenen Bildbeschreibungen von deutschen Motorrädern.
Und wenn man eine BMW R12 als BMW R75 ausgibt (Seite 97) dann sollte man sich doch eher nur auf sein Spezialgebiet konzentrieren und die Amerikaner und Deutschen aus dem Buch raußlassen! Da fragt man sich was bei den anderen Beschreibungen so zugedichtet wurde.
Fazit:
Als "Bilderbuch" einigermaßen OK aber als "Referenzbuch" eher ungeeignet.
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Although the Book has quite interesting pictures and even some additionaly describing words, most of the content is about british motorbikes. The pictures are then mainly about drill and training and less about actual frontline use. The welbike is in comparison well featured.
Disappointing are the sections about the american and german bikes. All together not even a third of the whole book.
The very polemic and out of the blue comments under some german bike pictures are very disturbing and unnecessary. And if you call a BMW R12 a BMW R75 (page 97) then you should stick to things you know and leave the Americans and Germans out of the book.
Makes one wonder about the value of the other comments.
Conclusion:
As a picture book more or less OK but not of great value as a refrence book!
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