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BLT (France)

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King Tiger vs IS-2 (Duel)
King Tiger vs IS-2 (Duel)
by David Higgins
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Improper title, 26 Sept. 2011
I was disappointed (deceived ?) by what the title entitled to. I expected more of an action account with veterans' experiences and testimonies. I thought I'd get the feel of what it was like to serve in one of these two emblematic machines.

Instead I found myself amidst the obscure meanders of operation "Sonnenwende". My interest in the Tiger II and its opponent quickly dissolved into the encirclement of Arnswalde and its disencirclement.
The expected and heralded tank duel is replaced by tank corps battles, Germanic corps against Guards corps, attacks and counter-attacks.
I do not see how General Wenck's tactics and the confrontation between King Tigers and IS-2s corroborate.

The choice of photos is modest to say the least. Also I do not see the relation between the title of the book and the publication of three photos depicting "Panzerknacker" combat techniques. What's more, against T-34s.

Four stars is generous in my view. Four not to encourage the author to keep up his standards but to ameliorate them in respect to avid but nonetheless demanding readers.

Bon courage.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 28, 2011 11:39 AM BST


Operation Archery (Raid)
Operation Archery (Raid)
by Ken Ford
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A concise read, 12 July 2011
A very good resumé of a not very-publicized commando raid involving the three arms. The text is concise and the narration pleasant to read. Ken Ford the author, is to be congratulated on a job well-led.

As always I will lament on the extremely poor paintings depicting phases of the raid, taking a full two pages which add absolutely nothing to the story. I'd rather have more photos or have some enlarged. For example to see that Major "mad" Jack Churchill (always an original)is leaning on the scottish broadsword he's taken with him for the raid (p.46).
The colour plates are also extremely poor. What used to make the reputation of Osprey's sadly vanishing these last few years while prices never bow. Give the artwork to M. Chapell for example. If only Kevin Lyles came back ...

The cover page shows British commandos armed with Lee Enfield rifles n°4 though none are seen throughout the duration of the raid (the type had hardly started to be issued). Page 29 colour plate purports that the rifle which is painted is a Lee Enfield rifle n°4 though it is actually depicting an SMLE mark III.


Us Small Arms in World War II: A Pictorial History (General Military)
Us Small Arms in World War II: A Pictorial History (General Military)
by Tom Laemlein
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £21.29

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's all there, 28 Mar. 2011
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The author's already published two books; one dedicated to the M 1 Garand rifle the other to the M 1 carbine.
Once again presented in this book, the author's had the decency and honesty to display new photos of theses two weapons. So if you as I do, own his two previous works you can get this one without hesitation.

Excellent photos of WW II US armed forces guns, ranging from the revolver to the heavy machine-gun in both theatres of operations. ETO and ATO.

A book of fine-quality.


The Pacific: The Complete HBO Series [DVD] [2010]
The Pacific: The Complete HBO Series [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ James Badge Dale
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £21.21

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not half as good, 13 Feb. 2011
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Not half as good as "Band of brothers". Far from it.

If you think the Marines' lovelife has something to do with the campaign of the Pacific, you should enjoy the serie a little bit more.

War scenes are all very similar whatever the battlefield.


Sharpshooter of the Crimea: The Letters of the Captain Gerald Goodlake VC 1854-56
Sharpshooter of the Crimea: The Letters of the Captain Gerald Goodlake VC 1854-56
by Michael Springman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sniping without scopes, 10 Feb. 2011
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Though a good account of the conflict in the Crimea do not expect anything about marksmanship, sharpshooters or sniping techniques there.

A first-hand accound of this bungled and bloody campaign through personal letters of a subaltern officer of the Guards (Coldstream)to his parents. A very good inside view of this war, humane and pertinent.


Rangers Lead the Way  Pointe-du-Hoc D-Day 1944 (Raid)
Rangers Lead the Way  Pointe-du-Hoc D-Day 1944 (Raid)
by Steven J Zaloga
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A perfectible account of the famous raid, 12 Jan. 2011
A good summary of the raid.

Osprey with its limited number of pages and hefty price persists in including a double-page painting showing the raid whether it is the Bruneval raid, Pointe du Hoc, etc ... I find those paintings of poor quality, cheap, unnecessary, and useless.
The map depicting the succeeding steps of the operation is confusing because of too much information crammed on one page. Especially the counter-attack and relief phase.

Also a confusion between the caliber of the western flak bunker is repeatedly blurted out, 37 mm to 20 mm then reverting to 37 mm and back again. A fact which certainly does make a difference in the damage such guns can cause as well as in the firing rate and range.

Once again as others in this series, first hand accounts are sorely missed.

The participation of 5th Rangers as well as other companies from 2nd Rangers that landed on the western end of Omaha beach doesn't really find a place in the story of the raid. Certainly not in my view, three and a half pages (out of the 56 pertaining to the story)plus those cheap double page paintings ...


War in the Pacific - Hell on Earth 1941-1945 [DVD]
War in the Pacific - Hell on Earth 1941-1945 [DVD]

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Re-enacment footage ?, 4 Dec. 2010
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Alas not what I expected.

On some CDs re-enacting supersedes by and large wartime footage. Some re-enacted scenes being used and re-used and abused on different CDs.
Veterans interviews are a bonus. A pity that all are Americans. Was the Pacific war one-sided only ? Having more historians intervening remains a pious wish. The loud, nagging and over dramatic music gets annoying after some time.

If you want to know how Private Smith won the Navy cross, then this is it. The encirclement of his sandbagged foxhole will be explained in detail, how he held up though wounded, how he escaped, etc ... Forget about the battle in itself, as for the campaign ...
In fact war video game fans would feel at home watching this series. Simple maps, red arrows, explosions flash symbols, robot-like advancing enemy charging in digitalized coconut groves, well you know ...

To sum up, this is definitely not a documentary on the battles and fighting of the Pacific war. Far too little war footage, but an abundance of low-budget squad-size re-enacted scenes of combat.

This series must have been segmented by numerous adverts inserted every now and then when shown on TV. Which explains the fact that every 15 minutes or so there's an instant-flash black-out followed by a brief summary of what you were just watching minutes ago ... before being interrupted.


The Rocket Propelled Grenade (Weapon)
The Rocket Propelled Grenade (Weapon)
by Gordon L Rottman &
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.41

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff, concise and neat., 18 Nov. 2010
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Had there been pictures of the precise firing procédures and steps, manual-like instead of putting it in prose with never-ending sentences like the one I've just written I would have given the book five stars.
A picture or diagram of the safety catch, hammer-cocking lever would have been nice. Just like showing us what the firing pin and warhead cap look like in situ.

I still deplore Osprey's insistance in inserting double page(cheap)paintings depicting worthless battle scenes instead of treating us with more photographs which would be a welcom addition to realism and drama...

A good book no doubt.


The Thompson Submachine Gun (Weapon)
The Thompson Submachine Gun (Weapon)
by Martin Pegler
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff, 4 Oct. 2010
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It's all there. A concise story of the "Tommy gun".

I still can't grasp the reason why the editor persists in printing, what's more on a double-page, a colour plate.
In this number, a bunch of gangsters is depicted fighting it out with police officers in some street. The painting of poor quality doesn't bring anything to the book. Photos would have done the trick by and large.
Another shows gritting US Marines pouring a hail of lead, without any aiming whatever the weapon into whatever's upfront. It looks like it was picked off from some pulp-comic book destined to schoolboys in the 60s.
Maybe is it cheaper than publishing photos of the fighting in Guadalcanal, Anzio, St.Lô, Tarawa, Eindhoven, Saipan, St. Vith, Okinawa, you name it ?!


The Bruneval Raid Operation Biting 1942
The Bruneval Raid Operation Biting 1942
by Ken Ford
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.29

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's all there, a good summary of a successful raid, 2 Oct. 2010
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Osprey at its best. A good overall view, factual, simple down-to-earth war account. Maps are good and helpful. No flaws or wild guess comments. The book is serious albeit not too academic.
A view of the raid from the German side would have been a very welcome addition, though. First-hand accounts from the participants would have been the icing on the cake. A dozen more pages wouldn't have been a luxury. Colour plates on the actors from both sides is sadly missed. The large double-page "paintings" depicting action scenes are pointless and especially weak (cheap ?).

All in all a short, concise story of a historical raid.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 30, 2010 12:09 AM GMT


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