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on 17 October 2013
Over the summer I introduced my 11 year old daughter to CW whilst she was researching the Battle of the Somme for a school project. That she has anticipated the arrival of Volume 10 on our doorstep as eagerly as her father is testament to the quality of the writing and most especially Joe Colquhoun's superlative artwork. How many other comic strips written 30 years ago could affect both a mature adult revisiting powerful memories of their youth and their offspring, raised in a completely different and much more demanding age? That's how good it is.

British intervention in the Russian Civil War was relatively unknown, yet went a long way to explaining the paranoia of the Soviet State still extant when this story appeared. (It has also been covered by one of my favourite authors, Derek Robinson, in his novel A Splendid Little War - go buy and enjoy that too). This is an episode in British history that is typical - we did not commit fully and intervened half-heartedly and ultimately ineffectively. The worst of all worlds.

Buy this - in tribute to Colquhoun - but make sure you have the preceeding 9 volumes. And hope to goodness that Titan eke out the remaining two volume's worth of WW2 stories so that we have the full set of Joe's artwork to pore over.

Last word - Pat Mills again does not disappoint in his final commentary.
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on 15 October 2013
So here it is... the final instalment in the most influential comic sorry it was ever my privilege to read. Covering the final days of World War One, with a slight and fantastically well written and illustrated prison camp aside, the action then moves on to the story of allied troops fighting a counter revolutionary war in Russia. The artwork is, as always, fantastic and the scripting keeps up the pace throughout, although the final episode does seem rather rushed (as Mr Mills himself admits in his notes). And those notes do raise their customary smile...

Except it's not really the end, is it? Joe Colquhoun went on to pencil the second series, featuring Charley in action in the Second World War. And Pat Mills didn't write it, but to be honest I didn't notice at the time. And I wouldn't care now, so hopefully Titan will release this next year...

So if you own any of the other books in the series, this won't disappoint..on any level. And if you don't, go back to Book One. Wonder at what our great grandfathers did, and be amazed they did it so well.
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on 26 January 2017
This was a strip I first read in 1979 and continued to enjoy right though to the early 1980's - It is also the one comic story that made me sit up and realise that maybe War was not such a glorious thing after all , and made me not want to join the Army ( and see the World )
The main reason this story is so good is due to Pat Mills ( a genius in writing ) and the genuine class art-work by the late Joe Colquhoun
who never really got the recognition he deserved - certainly when I read the comic , I realised the art was special even at an early age -
recommended reading - It is also one of the very , very few books to mention the forgotten British part in the Russian Civil War and our failed military intervention
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on 22 August 2016
superb series, I have them all and have read them all, the quality of reproduction does vary due to what issues of the original comic were available to be scanned. don't let that put you off buying them as its still really good and tracking down those individual issues would take forever. I understand a better quality combined version is going to be released at a later date, so I would ask why it was not issued like that in the first place or is the expectation that we would all buy it again?
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on 23 September 2014
This is the final collected volume of the classic British war comic story first published in Battle Comic from 1979 to 1985. This in my opinion was the finest war comic story ever created. Both for the depth of the writing by Pat Mills and the fantastic art work by Joe Colquhoun.

This volume covers the end of the First World War on the western front and the British intervention in north west Russia in 1919. By this stage Charley has been promoted to a Corporal and has been Married. Yes unlike most other characters in this genre he progressed and developed, not been stuck in a ground hog bubble, and had a home life.

The story lines are gritty and of a social commentary value and are far more mature than the usual story in this genre. However the portrayal of Germans is still quite clichéd and of a British propaganda style. Given the left leaning politics of Mills one would have thought he would have slotted in a couple of sympathetic German characters. An ideal opportunity for this would have been with the German miners Charley works with as a POW. The Red Commander was a bit of an archetypical baddie in the Russian story line as well.

But heck, this was still a boys comic story and taken in that light, reading it once again all these years later as a middle aged man I still find it quite mature and suitable for adults. This story had a profound effect on me as a child and helped shape many political and social views I carried into adult life. I really feel it should get more attention. Crumbs, if I won the euro millions I would like to do a "Band of Brothers" type TV series based on it.

The volume ends poignantly with a time skip from Charley's last combat in Russia to life on the dole in 1933. He meets his old Sarge and after he buys Charley a drink in a pub Charley walks off musing "We fought the war to end all wars so ours kids won't have to do the same", meanwhile a newsvendor proclaims the latest headline "Hitler elected in Germany". It's always just really got me right in the heart that one, like no other comic strip panel ever.

One has to thank the good people at Titan Books for this. It is a nicely produced hard back volume. There is an introduction by Steve White and an afterword by Pat Mills himself. The former is quite good the latter, and I say this as one who generally agrees with Mills, is a bit ultra leftist for my taste.

Anyway I imagine this volume like all other nine will be a treasured possession of mine for the rest of my life. Thanks again Titan Books, you do good work.
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on 16 October 2013
The last volume of Charley's war and one of the best covering the return of Snell, Charley's time in a POW camp, the last British offensive and the Russian civil war all brilliantly told and drawn.

This is the last volume that Pat Mills worked on but Charley continued in to World War two right up to Dunkirk. I hope Titan publish that volume too. That would be the last volume and it deserves to be reissued and shown.
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on 30 October 2016
These books are super. I remember the comic strip as a child and I introduced our youngsters to these books after visiting the Western Front. They were engrossed in the stories but also learned a lot from the extremely well researched storylines.
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on 11 March 2014
I have soaked up every page of Charley's War in these volumes, with a huge variety of emotion; usually at the incompetent, rock-hreated generals and politicians of the War years. Charley's War's strong anti-war theme is backed up by factual references and statistics. However, I thought the end was a bit of a let down. I felt that extending Charley's journey to the Russian Civil War was a way of milking the story for a bit longer. Perhaps it's understandable, given the series' incredible popularity when the story was first told many years ago. In saying that, the Civil War is part of the anthology. So, the collection - and Vol 10 - wouldn't be complete without it. Is the end a bit of a let down? Possibly. Was "let down" how the soldiers felt, coming back to mass unemployment, after years of serving their country? Absolutely. Would I still buy this book after reading it? Definitely.
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on 2 December 2013
I've always had a soft spot for Charley's War ever since reading Battle comics as a kid. The 10th and final installment see's Bourne taken prisoner, settling scores with the menacing Schnell and being sent off to the Arctic to fight the Bolshies. The most interesting aspect, as always, is the accompaniment text by writer Pat Mills who doesn't mince his words regarding the British Empire, Churchill and most WW1 historians.
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on 7 June 2015
The final part in the Charley's War story. The world war one story ends, Charley's entire war is also reproduced when he goes onto fight in Russia. Once again nice illustrations showing the harsh realities of war. Its a good book for the series to end.
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