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Profile for Mr. Michael J. Fiddes > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Mr. Michael J. Fiddes "mikefiddes" (UK)
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German Armoured Cars and Reconnaissance Half-Tracks 1939-45 (New Vanguard)
German Armoured Cars and Reconnaissance Half-Tracks 1939-45 (New Vanguard)
by Bryan Perrett
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Basically just a reprint, 23 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you once purchased and still own the original Osprey Vanguard title for goodness sake do NOT - as I foolishly did - spend money on this in the belief that it would be a re-vamped and improved version of the original. With the exception of an added diagram of the Sdkfz 234/4 and a minor re-jigging of the coloured illustrations this is the same book.


A Bridge Too Far [DVD] [1977]
A Bridge Too Far [DVD] [1977]
Dvd ~ Sean Connery
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £2.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Stopped for tea...., 15 Feb. 2015
There are some gems in this film - Edward Fox as Brian Horrocks, Paul Maxwell's dignified portrayal of Gen Maxwell Davis, Maximillian Schell and Hardy Kruger are great as always, the cinematography, the soundtrack, but you really have to wonder what was going on in Attenborough's head in respect of this film. In addition to the the now notorious character assassination of 'Boy' Browning, the British are digracefully portrayed at best as quaint eccentrics and at worst - and for the most part - as bungling incompetents obsessed with drinking tea rather than getting on with the business of winning the war. By contrast the Americans are portrayed as dynamic and effortlessly 'cool'. Even Patton - who of course had nothing to do with this battle - is mentioned in tones of hushed awe by none other than von Rundstedt (who I seriously doubt held such feelings about anyone!). Some of the dialogue is cringeworthy and Attenborough would have been far better employed spending money on the script rather than on the movie stars - most of whom were far too old to have been in the actual battle. The film is probably worth seeing - just, but wait for it to be shown on TV.


Jagdpanther vs SU-100: Eastern Front 1945 (Duel)
Jagdpanther vs SU-100: Eastern Front 1945 (Duel)
by David R. Higgins
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.08

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good - when it actually deals with the subject, 1 July 2014
This is one of the poorest of the 'Duel' series. The parts of the book that actually deal with the Jagdpather and the SU-100 are very good indeed but it's almost as if the author had run out of things to say about these vehicles, because the narrative repeatedly shifts to the combat between the Wehrmacht and Red Army in Hungary in early 1945. Whilst there is some mention of both these types of AFV in these chapters these are incidental rather than core components of the text. The comparisons between these vehicles and what it was like to fight in them respectively could have been described in much greater detail than this.


The Long Ships: A Saga of the Viking Age
The Long Ships: A Saga of the Viking Age
Price: £5.24

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece, 30 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is quite simply one of the best books I have ever read. Frans Bengtsson captures absolutely the essence of the Viking age - not least the very unique attitudes to life and death which made the Vikings such formidable warriors. But it is not just a story of blood and carnage, there is a thread of humour which runs throughout the text and makes this such an enjoyable read. If you have any interest in the Vikings, this book is a must


True Detective - Season 1 [Blu-ray] [2014] [Region Free]
True Detective - Season 1 [Blu-ray] [2014] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Woody Harrelson
Price: £14.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An acting masterclass, 30 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
From the opening bars of the soundtrack to the last image on screen this is a masterpiece. Woody Harrelson is brilliant and Matthew McConaughey is simply spellbinding throughout. The supporting cast are also superb - the fantastic Michelle Monaghan in particular. Also outstanding is the cinematography which does much to create the mood throughout the film. And finally- one of the Bonus Features is an aerial sequence tracking across the Louisiana landscape - also one of the 'stars' of the film. Watch this - you will not be disappointed.


Silverline 427552 Soldering Iron Stand Base, 85 x 125 mm
Silverline 427552 Soldering Iron Stand Base, 85 x 125 mm
Price: £4.62

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cheap doesn't HAVE to mean cheap rubbish, 30 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It was very cheap and if it hadn't been I would have returned it. As it was so cheap I couldn't be bothered. The nut needed to hold the bolt connecting the frame to the base was missing so I shall have to find a replacement because until I do, the whole thing is useless. Not exactly life-threatening, bur a damn nuisance. The sponge is far too small - even when wet - so that will also have to be replaced. I might actually just throw the whole thing in the bin and buy something much more substantial - and reputable. If you are tempted by this item - don't waste your money.


Red Dragon [DVD] [2002]
Red Dragon [DVD] [2002]
Dvd ~ Anthony Hopkins
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £2.40

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A waste of a good cast, 28 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Red Dragon [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
This was a completely pointless film which entirely lacks the style and tension of Michael Mann's brilliant 'Manhunter'. The very good cast try their best, but it doesn't look right and it doesn't sound right. 'Manhunter' was an 80's film - and it looks it - but it remains a classic and in a different league to this venture.


Extreme HandHeld Garment Steamer Perfect for Travelling 0.9 KG, 1500W
Extreme HandHeld Garment Steamer Perfect for Travelling 0.9 KG, 1500W

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Product, 14 Mar. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Based upon some quite extreme reviews I debated whether or not to order this item but I am very glad that I did. It is easy to use and does an excellent job removing creases from Jackets and trousers. It is rather on the large and heavy side for air travel hand baggage but I am considering taking it with me on a future trip as it is seriously useful - much more so than any travel iron. I find the negative reviews amazing. If a particular steamer was faulty then that is another matter but otherwise if anyone seriously cannot get good results using this gadget by simply following the instructions then they really should not be playing with electrical equipment.


Garmin NiMH Rechargeable Battery for Oregon 600 Series
Garmin NiMH Rechargeable Battery for Oregon 600 Series
Price: £19.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Useless, 29 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The batteries I received would not hold a charge. Upon inspection I found that they bore a date stamp '03/2013' although whether this is an expiry date or not I have no way of knowing. Unfortunately I didn't have an opportunity to try to charge these until after the returns expiry date. My fault, but I don't order thinks with the intention of returning them. The fact remains that the batteries were useless.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 4, 2015 2:42 PM GMT


Luftwaffe Victorious: An Alternate History
Luftwaffe Victorious: An Alternate History
by Mike Spick
Edition: Hardcover

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Luftwaffe Victorious - well not quite!, 28 Mar. 2005
This is well written, the narrative flows and this is a largely entertaining book although not the 'leap of faith' it might have been. The Luftwaffe is spared the influence of Goering but still sets out to make many of the same mistakes as in real life. The provision of a heavy bomber in the form of a DO19 is a logical step but this aircraft then reappears with almost monotonous regularity in every theatre. I find some of the author's predictions hard to accept. The allies proceed with 'Overlord' even though they have not gained air supremacy -something deemed an absoloute necessity by an allied high command well aware of just how formidable the Wehrmacht would be in battle on mainland Europe. Then in spite of the greater deployment of the ME262 in a fighter role the US daylight bomber offensive continues even in the face of catastrophic losses. Records reveal that in reality USAAF bomber crews' morale was often at the point of collapse and gave their commanders real cause for concern well into 1944 by which time their escort fighters were achieving dominance over the depleted Jagdwaffe. Finally in the face of a stalemate the allies use nuclear weapons against Munich & the Wolfshanze. Unless in direct retaliation I do not believe that the Allies would have acted thus & to imagine that they would is to totally misunderstand US public opinion and the detestation of the Japanese which made the atomic bomb attacks on Japan so acceptable. The 'Germany First' policy was not universally popular in the US and there was a real concern in Britain that the US would abandon the war against Germany if such a stalemate occurred. Without the atomic bombs - and in 1945 the allies only had two - how was a Japanese surrender to be achieved and at what cost? I feel that the ending is unrealistic and just too convenient. I would like to have seen some of the interesting themes expanded upon and what of the aircraft that Germany was developing and almost flying operationally as the war ended? This could have made for some startling and entertaining scenarios. As in reality and in spite of its title, the Lufwaffe is not victorious in this book. We can be grateful for the reality but as a work of fiction I think there is an opportunity missed here.


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