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Eric le rouge (London, UK)

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Andalusia South: Costa Del Sol - Costa De La Luz - Sierra Nevada. Rother Walking Guide
Andalusia South: Costa Del Sol - Costa De La Luz - Sierra Nevada. Rother Walking Guide
by Bernhard Plikat
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.73

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent but flawed on the areas, 20 Oct 2013
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We have a couple of these Rother guides and always find them very helpful, clean and concise.

HOwever, this one may be a bit flawed as the area described on the cover may be a bit misleading.
If you can, have a look at the map showing the walks location first and then buy it if relevant to your trip.
Toward Tarifa or Cadiz, there is not much walk and the walks for these are actually probably just included so they can justify selling it for the entire Andalucia.
Plenty of walks in Grazalema, etc. and beautiful as well.

Cannot judge for the walks in the Sierra Nevada.

In conclusion, this probably could have been divided in two books to deal more specifically with a localised area.


Alan Rogers Spain and Portugal 2007: Quality Camping and Caravanning Sites (Alan Rogers Guides)
Alan Rogers Spain and Portugal 2007: Quality Camping and Caravanning Sites (Alan Rogers Guides)
Price: £6.57

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sparsely populated, 20 Oct 2013
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Does not have much information in reality. Not many campings are included and depending on where you are going, you could have only 1 or 2 camping for an entire region of spain.

The other thing is that you will have to buy the latest version (= most expensive) to get the updated information. Quite a few campings have closed or relocated.

Useful to plan your trip in advance but not to use as a kind of survival tool when you are there and looking for campings for the next day.


The Kingtiger (Osprey New Vanguard)
The Kingtiger (Osprey New Vanguard)
by Thomas L. Jentz
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Neat artwork and packed with information, 20 Oct 2013
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A very good book from osprey. Its packed with information despite being only 48pages, has very fine and neat coloured plates and also has some valuable information on the tiger specs.

(+)
- Colour plates
- Detailed information given on the various parts of the tank: transmission, cooling, deep fording techniques, etc.
- Specs and performance tables which gives you a range of Tiger II vs others tanks likely outcome (e.g. at which range a Churchill could take a tiger on the side, etc.)
- Very detailed specs e.g. petrol comsumption ( 500 l of benzin per 100km for the Tiger II !)
- Probably one of the best tank cut/away section I have seen in an osprey book. Its clear and very detailed. Although the folding of the page in the middle ruins a bit everything.

(-)
- Description of the Tiger II in operation which is a bit dull and not very informative in the end
- No lively battle account or extract of tanker journal, etc.
- The start of the book where the author explains at lengths why this or this turret was chosen. Found it unclear and perhaps not the place in such a book for such detailed information.

Overall a decent purchase and overall good presentation/introduction to the Tiger II King Tiger Heavy Tank


U-boats of the Kaiser's Navy (Osprey New Vanguard)
U-boats of the Kaiser's Navy (Osprey New Vanguard)
by Gordon Williamson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.52

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent, 10 Oct 2013
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Very decent book and very informative but lacking "life" a bit.

I have read few books from the author and I find his style a bit flat. Saying that, the author does deliver a lot of books on very interesting subjects and always pack a lot of useful info in his books.

The plates are of good quality.

Overall a decent book but unfortunately relatively short and quickly read.


Campaigns of the Norman Conquest (Essential Histories)
Campaigns of the Norman Conquest (Essential Histories)
by Matthew Bennett
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Well balanced and highly informative, 10 Oct 2013
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One of the finest osprey I have bought until now.

One of the reason why I bought this book is that it includes post-Hastings campaigns which are not always well treated in available litterature. Most of the time, books on the subject stops at the Battle or very quickly deal with the last bit of the conquest.

Being from Normandy, I enjoyed that the author did not take sides as it is common in these type of books on the subject. Quite often, authors lean on one side not perhaps because of pure chauvinism but to please their readers.

The big plus of the book are the maps, the beautiful "Bayeux Tapestry" reproductions, the biographies, plates, etc.
The structure is quite different from the usual linear chronological Osprey series and that worked for me here.

In conclusion a very good book for amateur historian or for people who have the slightest interest in medieval history and the conquest.


Qadesh, 1300BC: Clash of the Warriors (Osprey Military Campaign)
Qadesh, 1300BC: Clash of the Warriors (Osprey Military Campaign)
by Mark Healy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.19

4.0 out of 5 stars The clash of two superpowers and of two kings, 7 Oct 2013
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A decent title in the Osprey series.

Deals decently and with good focus on the subject.

Here we have the first recorded battle in history, the clash of two superpowers of the time, the clash of two great king in northern Syria.
After a good half of background description, scene setup, and political context, the author describes the battle with great help from the Egyptian records (from Ramses). The Hittites do not have much attention in this book and you may have the feeling that they are the enemies are the Egyptians the good guys.

The 3d view are very good and really clarify the battle unfolding.

Well explained by the author is that "we still dont know much" about this battle. For example, the number of chariots involved is still not know for certain as explained. the author brillantly make a point that the numbers of warriors were probably rather limited given the timescale for crossing narrow river crossings, etc.

In the end, the author seems to think that this was actually a Hittite victory since Ramses's forces are brought to a halt and are actually in the following years stuck dealing with rebellions in the near east.

I enjoyed this book. The colours plate were very good and detailed and maps very clear. Not many negative points overall.


Imperial Japanese Navy Aircraft Carriers, 1921-45 (New Vanguard)
Imperial Japanese Navy Aircraft Carriers, 1921-45 (New Vanguard)
by Mark Stille
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.68

3.0 out of 5 stars Decent and informative, 17 Aug 2013
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A decent and informative book but more simply a detailed list with basic stats of of IJN carriers.
The author does a good job in describing the evolutions in design of the carriers. It also give some insight on the the "tricks" used by the Japanese to get around the pre-war treaty that limited the tonnage allowed (e.g. constructing fast oil tankers during peace time that could in future be refitted and armed as carriers).

The photographs are good enough but perhaps a bit repetitive (you get a shot for each carrier). I would have liked to see different shots showing anti-aicraft armament from close angles, etc.

This book is doing what its meant to do but for aircraft carrier tactics, procedures, etc you will have too look elsewhere. Do not expect to grasp the whole concept of WWII Pacific warfare with this title. This is purely a description of the IJN carriers and nothing more.


World War II Jungle Warfare Tactics (Elite)
World War II Jungle Warfare Tactics (Elite)
by Stephen Bull
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.35

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative and dense with information and sketches, 11 Aug 2013
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The second or third book I read from this author. Not dissapointed for the moment. I must admit that the author makes perhaps 50% of the quality of title from my point of view.

In this title, jungle warfare is presented in some degree of details that are probably sufficient to give an introduction to the reader. The chronological approach works well and we go from the early british defeat, to the development of the "chindits", to the end of the war.
What I really liked, were the numerous sketches presenting the tactics, etc.
Everything is there really.

Perhaps what I not always like in the author's book is the over-reliance on textbooks and infantry manuals, etc.
Quite often, the author will say that the manual was outdated for the reality of the war, etc. but will keep taking extract of these and adding them to the text. Sometimes, I wish the author was giving more on actual battle experience and proven tactics. Not tactics from the pre-war manuals that did not work anyway.
I found this out in the author's other book on infantry tactics of WWII.

What is well done is the presentation of the Japanese tactics and approach to the war. Of course, the book is too thin to really get an overview but you get insights of the Japanese school of mind.

Perhaps, missing is a good map showing where all the combat took place. We are told this happened there, this here, etc. but nothing really clear to help you with geography. The far east is generally not familiar to most readers.

To conclude, a very good title providing a solid and colourful overview of WWII jungle warfare.


Francis Bacon: 'Taking Reality by Surprise' (New Horizons)
Francis Bacon: 'Taking Reality by Surprise' (New Horizons)
by Christophe Domino
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.15

3.0 out of 5 stars Packed with info and paintings, 11 Aug 2013
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I always find books from this collection very clear, simple and well presented. They usually have very good painting reproduction on a very good quality glossy paper. I cannot recommend this collection high enough. It seems they are published in other countries like France under "Decouvertes Gallimard" collection.

These book usually are presented in a chronological order. The social origins, the painter's carreer development, etc. are usually very well detailed.
But above all, its the sheer number of painting reproduced here that makes the book really worth a buy.
Personally, I particularly liked the Nazi Propaganda paintings. His early paintings were really powerful. Also, countless of Bacon's famous sayings are included such as "I you can talk about it, why paint it?" not sure if this was definitely from him but that probably resumes what painting is about.
The painting series are also foldable. The addition of the "temoignages and documents" at the end that form some sort of appendix are also great. They do not look very appetising to read given their dull appearance but are wonderful piece of text to read.

A great book for a great artist. Buy, you will not be dissapointed. These makes perfect gift as well.


Sherman Firefly Vs Tiger: Normandy 1944 (Duel)
Sherman Firefly Vs Tiger: Normandy 1944 (Duel)
by Stephen A. Hart
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.39

3.0 out of 5 stars Good writing style and illustration but very little on the duel, 6 July 2013
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I somehow enjoyed the book, enjoyed the photographs and illustration. Also enjoyed the writing style of the author which was not too dry as some other osprey can be.

However, the thing thak annoyed me was the lack of material and substance on the duel itself. Perhaps, there was not many duels in normandy between Tigers and Firefly.

Being aware of the flawed concept of tank duels as these were rarely taking place between purely two tanks, with the same experience, without any supporting weapons such as a AT guns, infantry etc, I take this duels titles with caution. One thing that most of people know is that the aviation was dominating the sky and gave little chance to tank versus tank battle to take place in Normandy.

Being born in Normandy, I one day had the chance to talk to an old local historian who assured me that the Tigers were highly feared by the allies and could destroy tanks at very long distances.

With regards to the book itself, I was waiting for a series of engagements between the two with different situations and environment. But the only thing I got was one lucky tank well hidden and positioned that managed to shot three tigers that were crossing an open field in a desperate counter attack. Unluckily, one of the leading german tank ace was one of them. I dont think you make a book with that.
Nevertheless, the first part dealing with development, background, etc. is relatively well done. And the author style is quite good and relatively lively but his choice on a single engagement is poor.

You feel the story is repeated so many times and you get the feeling that space is filled with unnecessary details such as the other battle that took place afterwards. Only Panzer IV and Panthers were involved with the Firefly. No Tigers. So why this book?

I feel sorry being harsh with the book and the author's choice but in the other hand, if you buy this book full price, you may get very disapointed. Its my duty as a customer to warn future buyers.


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