Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
A great edition to a fantastic series
on 7 November 2013
I must say that I have found this series surprisingly seductive. I first started out buying the volumes on the Vickers-Maxim and Martini-Henri rifle for a historical project I was working on and was struck by the concise combination of technical detail and historical information that they provided. A couple more volumes on German automatic weapons of WW2 followed and now this, my first Cold War purchase. I have to say that, while all have been excellent this is perhaps the best. Maybe it is the fact that the FN FAL is so ubiquitous and yet so understudied; the Western European equivalent of the M16 and AK47/74 it is the poor Belgian cousin that seems to have been everywhere and yet no one seems to pay it much attention. In fact, so ubiquitous was it that it was even used by both sides in the Falklands War, a fact which did not escape Billy Bragg's attention in his song 'Island of no Return'. Once more, the combination of technical detail and historical context are excellent but what really makes this volume stand out is the superb artwork by Steve Noon (who, incidentally, seems to get very little credit on this listing). As most readers of Osprey titles will appreciate, each volume tends to stand or fall by its artwork and in this case I think Steve Noon has produced some of the most captivating illustrations I have yet seen in an Osprey publication. All three plates, the 'Bush War' in Rhodesia, the ANZACs in Vietnam and, perhaps most spectacularly of all, the image of the Falklands War, are so vivid and kinetic as to really capture the imagination. All, in all, a great addition to a fantastic series.