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Apache Warrior vs US Cavalryman: 1846-86 (Combat)
Apache Warrior vs US Cavalryman: 1846-86 (Combat)
by Sean McLachlan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.08

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On the latter point McLachlan makes a very good case for the idea of a distinct Kiowa Apache ..., 25 Aug. 2016
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Sean McLachlan has produced a very interesting book which fills some significant gaps in Osprey’s coverage of the US Army and the various groups of Apaches involved in the war for the southwestern USA.
When I saw that this tile was being released and read the topic summary I was quite sceptical on two grounds. First, the author covers three distinct Apache groups with very different specific methods of warfare even if fighting under a generally accepted principle of maximum gain for the minimum loss etc. I thought the author might be trying to cover too much diverse topic material. Second, I thought that focusing upon the Kiowa-Apaches was potentially over-stating a Kiowa-Apache identity within the wider Kiowa and Comanche Plains Indians.
On the latter point McLachlan makes a very good case for the idea of a distinct Kiowa Apache identity, particularly in the photo caption on p.57. I am not as familiar with the detail of the relevant Plains Indian cultures but the key point is that McLachlan addressed my pre-reading concern.
My former concern was also largely addressed and I will use a point where I disagreed with a point made by McLachlan to show why I think he does a very good job in tying together three different Apache cultures and an evolving US Army.
My disagreement was with a statement on page 27 is the statement that the Apaches targeted officers and Apache scouts. I would argue that, if one examines the rate of losses between horses and humans, the Chiricahua Apaches were targeting the horses rather than the humans. But this highlights a more general issue about this book; which Apache grouping are we talking about in this instance and this is not always made clear in the text. That being said I must stress that, on the whole, McLachlan does a very good job in pulling together three different Apache groups (Jicarilla 1850s, Kiowa-Apaches 1860s and Western Apaches 1880s) and their equivalent and evolving US Army opponents from those time periods. So the targeting of horses may be specific to the Chiricahua Apaches whilst other Apache groups such as those covered by McLachlan may have used different techniques.
Moreover, there is quite a lot of information given on the 1850s Dragoons but less so on the 1860s-1880s US troops. Yet it occurred to me that Osprey already covers the 1860s through 1880s US Cavalry very well in other titles and that McLachlan is concentrating on adding to the coverage of Osprey’s US Cavalry on the Plains.
However, for me the book’s key strength is to have brought three lesser known battles out into the light of day. In particular, the Battle of Cieneguilla in 1854 is a battle which should be far better known to the public; I really liked the combination of first-hand accounts from both Apache and US points of view and the use of modern archaeology to add to the interpretation of the battle. I would state that some of the most interesting recent accounts of battles between Apaches and the US Army have been produced by archaeologists. The account of this battle alone for me merits giving the book five stars.
The same can be said of the other two battles; first Adobe Walls is oft overshadowed by the second battle in 1874 (covered in Osprey’s Forts of the American Frontier: The Southern Plains and Southwest) and I have long-suspected that the reason for this is the US Army did not wish to draw detailed attention to this encounter. The Cibecue Creek battle is probably the best-known of the three battles but still tends to be overshadowed in the popular imagination by the follow-up attack upon Fort Apache (again accounted in the above Osprey title) and the Battle of Big Dry Wash in 1882.
I have the occasional quibble over detail, I suspect that the ambush referred to on p.14 occurred in the Sierra Uvas rather than the Black Range but the detail of the event is accurate.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this work and think that McLachlan has made a very significant contribution to Osprey’s coverage of the Apache wars.

In Search of an Elusive Enemy: The Victorio Campaign
In Search of an Elusive Enemy: The Victorio Campaign

1.0 out of 5 stars Good idea - Very Poor Execution, 16 Sept. 2015
The intent behind this book is a very good idea; drawing lessons from the Victorio Campaign and applying them to modern insurgencies. However, this effort is fundamentally crippled, on the historical account front, by:

• a failure to understand the culture and motivation of the Apache warrior/guerrilla.
• over-reliance upon secondary sources when outlining events.

This leads to an account of the Victorio which is riddled with errors as follows:

p.1 Apache warriors were not fanatical in outlook; they lent support on the basis of the successful leadership of Victorio. Part of the secret of their success for so many years despite their few numbers is that they were not fanatics. The analogy with Islamic extremists is about as wide of the mark as one can get.
p.2 It could be very strongly argued that the U.S. Soldier did not adapt to this warfare as Apache scouts were the decisive weapon in this warfare.
p.2 If the author is referring to Col. Benjamin Grierson here he is stretching a point. Victorio was very unlucky not to elude his enemies when he was caught and killed at Tres Castillos. At the time Grierson did adopt an effective strategy but he himself expressed great chagrin that he had not brought Victorio to a decisive battle. He also did not understand the decoy technique being deployed by Victorio, It was only after Victorio was killed that the U.S. Army strongly advanced the cause that Grierson’s campaign had prepared the ground.
p.3 ‘Chihennes’ or ‘Tchihennes’ not ‘Chilhennes’
p.3 The Apaches did not adopt the tomahawk. They used a ‘flop-headed’ war club.
p.4 Springfield Rifles and Carbines are not repeating rifles; they are breech-loading weapons. The importance of this distinction between Springfields and, for example Winchersters is that the archaeological evidence shows that the Apaches appreciated the different effective ranges of these weapons and deployed accordingly.
p.4 The Apaches were not the only risible shots; the US Army did not institute formal target practice till 1880 and were informed that to institute such formal practices they would have to wait until the US Army had significantly increased their ammunition holdings.
p.4 Apaches would very rarely launch attacks across open ground. They would launch probing infiltration attacks with maximum utilisation of the available cover. Ambush yes but this did not have to be limited to mountain passes. I have visited a number of ambush sites from the Victorio campaign which are not located in mountain passes and are no less deadly using the absolute minimum of terrain to launch deadly point-blank range ambushes.
p.5 Apaches adopting scalping is nonsense. Apaches very rarely scalped and this was under extreme provocation. The perpetrator had to go through a four day purification ritual due to their beliefs concerning contact with dead human material. I would very much like to see the source of this statement.
p.6 ‘east’ instead of ‘ast’.
p.10 The author does not understand the designation 45:70. The first number denotes the weapon calibre. The second number indicates the number of grains of powder contained in the cartridge case. Thus the Springfield rifle fired a 45:70 round whereas the Springfield Carbine fired a 45:55 round. Either round could be fired in the carbine or the rifle a useful feature where the Apaches were concerned. It was also a veteran cavalryman’s joke to give a new recruit a 45:70 cartridge to fire from the carbine because of the added kick the unfortunate recruit would receive.
p.11 Gott gives the impression of a single Apache tribe when talking about Apache scouts. There were a number of tribes of Apaches and it was principally these divisions which Crook took advantage though there were reasonably frequent cases of Apaches from the same tribe playing out internal feuds by serving with the scouts.
p.12 The term ‘Buffalo Soldier’ was not in wide usage during the Indian Wars. I personally have only seen three references to this from contemporary sources from the Victorio Campaign. Two were from the Territorial press and were not complimentary. The other was from the Army & Navy Journal.
p.14 Again Apaches were not fanatic and they were nowhere near 400 in number during this campaign.
pp.14-15 No these reservations i.e. Chiricahua near Fort Bowie, Arizona and the Warm Springs Apache at Old Fort Tularosa, New Mexico, were agreed upon before Crook’s campaigns much to Crook’s disgust.
pp.15-16 No the Warm Springs or Eastern Chiricahua as a rule usually got on with the other Chiricahua bands. They did not get on with other Western Apache such as the San Carlos and White Mountain Apaches.
p.16 Most of the damage inflicted upon the Warm Springs Apaches during their 1877 flight was done by San Carlos Apache police and Apache scouts attached to the Sixth Cavalry. The Ninth Cavalry were sent out after them but as far as I can tell there was only one inconclusive skirmish between that Regiment and Victorio’s warriors.
p.16 The map is wrong. Fort Bayard, Fort Stanton, Canada Alamosa, Hillsboro, Silver City, the Candelaria Mountains and the Mimbres mountains are all incorrectly placed.
p.17 Victorio appeared at Ojo Caliente in Feb 1879 after successful raiding in Mexico. He fled in April 1879 and appeared at the Mescalero Reservation near Fort Stanton in July 1879
p.17 Tiswin is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented corn. Author needs to clarify what he means by ‘wheat’.
p.17 Victorio left the reservation with 43 warriors.
p.18 No civilians were killed as there were only five Ninth Cavalrymen guarding the herd. I can find no evidence at all from the primary sources as to the presence of these three civilians. Do not rely upon secondary sources concerning the Victorio Campaign they are notoriously inaccurate.
p.18 Ten soldiers were not killed a few days later. Morrow himself corrected his very ambiguous telegram within a day of its sending. There is also no trace of such losses in the monthly regimental or bi-monthly company muster rolls. The victims were from a hastily organized civilian posse from Hillsboro.
p.18 Two Apache scout companies were brought in from Arizona under Lt.’s Blocksom (the senior in rank and experience (just)) and Gatewood. It was Major Morrow who took direct command. Hatch did not take over until Jan/Feb 1880 and only then was the Ninth Cavalry fully committed to the campaign.
p.18 Lt. Smith did attempt to pursue the Warm Springs Apaches from the Mescalero Reservation but was not attacked in a ‘rolling rock’ ambush nor did Victorio enter Chihuahua at this point.
p.19 Mexican militia were a lot better organized than the author gives credit. They did suffer defeats but were often more effective and sometimes better armed than their U.S. equivalents.
p.20 Baylor had good relations with the local Mexican authorities in Chihuahua and did not go uninvited into that territory.
p.20 Neither Company E nor Captain Hooker was present at the battle in Las Animas Canyon not having the horses to mount his company at the time. Col. Dudley was not present either being on that day several hundred miles to the north. It was Company A Ninth Cavalry which was the fourth company present at this battle. Don’t rely upon Leckie for source material on the Victorio Campaign!
p.20 Lt. Emmett tried to flank the Apaches and covered the retreat of the flanking venture with five men before escaping themselves.
p.21 I am not aware of any records concerning Dudley’s attempt to have Lt. Day court-martialled.
p.21 The primary records (Monthly Regt Returns, Bi-Monthly Muster Rolls and Post records) indicate that, at most, six men were killed; 2-3 Ninth Cavalrymen, 2 Navajo scouts and 1 citizen scout.
p.21 There is no indication of any casualties being inflicted upon the Apaches.
p.21 The 73 dismounted men may have been as a result of Victorio’s actions however the regimental returns and company muster rolls show that the Ninth Cavalry between 1879 and 1881 were rarely able to mount all of its available men throughout this period.
p.21 Lt. Blocksom not Captain
p.22 Map completely wrong. Morrow came through the southern foothills of the Mimbres Mountains via Gavilan Pass from Fort Bayard whilst Blocksom and Gatewood also left Fort Bayard but passed through the higher and more northerly part of the Mimbres Mountains.
p.23 The author has confused a bloodless and failed attempt to surround a camp with the skirmish which occurred on the 29th of September
p.23 What mounted outposts? The Apache scouts camp with its Sixth Cavalry escort was located further up the canyon
p.24 Capt. Dodge may have won a Medal of Honor but he did so against the Utes in Colorado in Sept 1879 it was not against Victorio. I really would like to see the source of this statement.
p.25 Victorio attacked Lloyds Ranch not Masons Ranch
p.25 Victorio ambushed two civilian parties coming west from the village of Colorado each making for the relief of Lloyds Ranch in ‘Eyebrow Canyon’. Twenty men from La Mesilla and who had passed through Masons Ranch were ambushed near the opening of Horse Canyon to the west and south of Lloyds Ranch.
Victorio then moved south in pursuit of these men and ransacked an abandoned wagon train which was either in or had just passed through Magdalena Gap from Masons Ranch. Finally 10-12 Carretas (Mexican two-wheeled Ox carts were ambushed to the west and north of Magdalena Gap and 11-12 men killed in this attack.
p.25 The events in paragraph two happened after paragraph four. The battle on the Corralitas/Corralitos actually occurred at least sixty or seventy miles inside Mexico
p.26 Victorio did not enter the U.S.A. until early January 1880. There was, however, evidence that small parties of Apaches were travelling back and forth between the Apaches in Mexico and the Mescalero Apache reservation in New Mexico.
p.27 As far as I can tell from the Diplomatic papers General Trevino was sent to Chihuahua principally to stabilize the volatile political situation in that state. The operation to confront the Apaches came as almost an afterthought when the internal revolution had been stabilised with Trevino’s support. At least one column of mixed state and federal troops followed Victorio to within sight of the Florida Mts (which are some miles inside the U.S.A.) before breaking off the pursuit
p.27 Morrow had been explicitly placed in direct command of these operations by Gen. Pope in Nov/Dec 1879. While Hatch was ordered to take direct control in January 1880 he did not take personal control until he arrived in the field during mid-Feb 1880. Therefore the measures described in this work were not put into motion until after Morrow’s pursuit of Victorio ceased in mid-Feb 1880.
p.27 By the time Morrow caught up with Victorio he had five companies of Ninth Cavalrymen plus Apache scouts with him.
p.27 Rio Percha not Rio Puerco
p.27 The Rio Perchas skirmish occurred on the 12th of January not the 9th of January.
p.27 The skirmish on the 30th of January occurred in the Caballo Mountains not the San Andres Mountains.
p.27 Morrow’s forces returned in the first instance to Ojo Caliente not Fort Bayard when he ceased his pursuit.
pp.27-28 During Morrow’s pursuit of Victorio in Jan 1880 very few ranches were attacked and there were few civilian casualties. It was during March 1880 that Victorio lashed the Rio Grande Valley ranches and settlements.
p.28 Victorio’s trail was lost near the Mescalero Reservation it was not making for the Warm Springs Apache Reservation. The first paragraph is full of references to ‘Mimbres’ or ‘Warm Springs’ Reservations. These should all read ‘Mescalero’. I can only speculate that the reason for this confusion is that in 1873-1874 Victorio and the Warm Springs Apaches were moved from Ojo Caliente to the Tularosa Reservation near present day Aragon in New Mexico. The closest settlement to the Mescalero Reservation is also called Tularosa. These are two very different locations. In fact the ‘Mimbres’ reservation was based around Ojo Caliente which was closed in 1877. The Mescalero Apaches lived to the east of Victorio’s people who were known as the Chihenne Apache. The latter were also known as ‘Warm Springs’ and ‘Mimbres’ Apaches. The author has clearly become confused over the identity of ‘Mescalero’ and ‘Mimbres’ Apaches.
p.30 ‘Mescalero’ reservation not ‘Mimbres’ Reservation.
p.30 The 10th Cavalry had a company of Pueblo scouts which was being recruited around this period. It did not enter service until June 1880.
p.30 Grierson had a detachment of 25th Infantry, which, if I remember correctly was left guarding a temporary supply depot in or near the Guadalupe Mountains in preparation for the second half of his return journey to Texas. Morrow would have had infantrymen from the 15th Infantry.
p.30 The poisoned water story involving Carroll’s battalion is a complete fiction. See Laumbach 2001
p.30 Carroll was trapped in Hembrillo Canyon on the 6th and 7th April
p.30 Carroll was not specifically ordered into Hembrillo Canyon. It is clear from the US army correspondence that they did not know the location of Victorio’s camp
p.31 Three Apache bodies were found on the battlefield
p.31 For ‘Mimbre’ read ‘Mescalero’
p.31 For ‘Warm Springs’ read ‘Mescalero’.
p.31 Grierson also clearly acknowledged that Hatch was in a ‘no win’ situation whatever option he adopted.
p.31 Only one Mescalero warrior was killed at the agency the others were killed during that day and in the following days at various points in and around the reservation by Apache scouts and Ninth and Tenth Cavalry detachments.
p.32 Victorio did not go to Mexico but was trailed to the San Mateo Mountains from which he launched a series of devastating raids into the Mogollon Mountains and San Francisco Valley. The Army knew of these raids by early May as Hatch and Morrow were once again on their trail between the 3rd and the 5th of May.
p.32 It was ‘Chief of Scots H.K. Parker’ not ‘Captain H.K. Parker’.
p.32 Parker had no US Cavalrymen with his command. The battle was fought by approximately 62 Apache scouts and Parker.
p.32 Parker covered Victorio’s camp from three sides not two.
p.32 Parker also withdrew because he was running out of ammunition.
p.33 3rd paragraph - ‘Mimbres’ read ‘Mescalero’.
p.33 Two wagons attacked on the 12 May which hardly constitutes a wagon train.
p.33 The 30th May and 5th June skirmishes were conducted by Apache scouts attached to Morrow’s command. I’m also not convinced that the former skirmish occurred at all.
p.34 Col. Valle’s men did not cross the border. Only Valle and some of his officers crossed to socialise with Grierson and some of his officers at the site of old Fort Quitman
p.34 The encountering of gunfire comment is very ambiguous as the author then covers these episodes in more detail below. As it stands this gives the impression of an earlier series of encounters which did not take place.
p.37 Lt. Flipper’s ride was prior to Tinaja de las Palmas. The Apaches were spotted by Corporal Weavers scouting party.
p.37 Corporal Weaver’s detachment pursued the Apaches not vice versa and it was not towards Eagle Springs.
p.37-38 The 10th Cavalry made one epic march of approx. 65 miles not two marches of 58 and 65 miles
p.38 The wagons with provisions did not arrive until late afternoon of the 6th of August. It was two ambulances and possibly a light wagon which followed Grierson’s cavalry to Rattlesnakes Springs. As far as I am aware the ambulances/light wagon were not carrying significant amounts of supplies.
p.38 Victorio’s scouts spotted the Tenth Cavalry and thus none of the Apaches approached to close range. When the officers realised they had been spotted they ordered their men to open fire at extreme range doing no damage.
p.38 The Apaches did not need water desperately having just come from Fresno Springs to the south. So the comment about the lack of water sources made on p.37 is also inaccurate.
p.38 The attack on the wagon train was not one day later but was part of the Rattlesnakes Springs skirmish.
p.39 Capt. Lebo did not prevent a band of Mescalero Apaches joining Victorio.
p.39 Victorio’s supply camp in the Sierra Diablo was captured by Capt. Lebo on the 1 August.
p.39 Byrnes driver was not killed.
p.40 Candelaria Mountains not Candileria Mountains
p.40 Buell and Carr had not been given permission to cross the border. Neither Federal Government had sanctioned this operation.
p.40 Col. Valle refused to join this venture probably because his loyalty rested with the Mexican Federal Government and not with the State of Chihuahua.
p.41 Victorio appears to have adopted a clear strategy to run his opponents into the ground and was desperately unlucky when this failed. Once you work out what Victorio was up to Tres Castillos as a destination makes a lot of sense.
Thrapp may be a good source generally but on this point he is off the mark!
p.41 At the time of year he was caught at Tres Castillos it has between 1 and 3 substantial waterholes. I visited the spot in Sept. 2005.
p.41 The Tres Castillos probably don’t rise much above 300 feet above the surrounding plains. They are not mountains. The author acknowledges this point immediately but if so why refer to a ‘mountain range’ in the first place?
p.41 Map wrong.
Eagle Springs and Tinaja de las Palmas wrongly placed.
Going by the map titles this map might be map three and vice versa.
p.41 Col. Terrazas had lost Victorio’s trail and it was a small scouting party led by Terrazas which decided to check out the Tres Castillos and on arrival spotted 3 dust trails coming up from the south. Terrazas then retreated to join his main force and they attacked the Apaches as they were setting up their camp at Tres Castillos. Terrazas’ party were mounted so they could not have been Tarahumara scouts as these men were deployed as foot soldiers. The impression of discovering an established camp is also incorrect.
p.42 Nana and Geronimo did not ambush as stagecoach in Quitman Canyon Texas in January 1881. Geronimo was on the San Carlos Reservation until September 1881 and Nana was operating between Fort Cummings and Ojo Caliente in January 1881 where among other incidents a stagecoach and wagon were ambushed and their occupants killed in the Goodsight Mountains..
p.42 To dismiss the Apache Wars of 1881-1883 as minor affairs is simply wrong. I suspect the Mimbres/Warm Springs/Chihenne Apache leader called Loco would take issue with this argument. The author is closer to the mark for the 1885-86 period but even there such small numbers could still cause major physical and psychological damage. Again leaders such as Chihuahua and Jolsanny might take issue with the author over leading such ‘small affairs’.
pp.42-43 Completely misses the key point that because of his feud with the San Carlos/White Mountain Apaches, Victorio could never accept a settlement on the San Carlos Reservation. He knew he would have been either killed or spent the rest of his life looking over his shoulder. The author makes the point that Victorio’s warfare had passed the point of no return re peace with the USA. However, US army, Dept of War, Dept of the Interior correspondence shows that even after May 1880, there was strong support within the army for Victorio’s cause as they understood that the only reason the Apaches were fighting was for the return of the Ojo Caliente. There was also 1) an appreciation that there was a lot of hostility towards Victorio and his followers and 2) frustration among these same army officers whenever Victorio outmanoeuvred them etc.
The ‘Victory or Death’ option is accurate but it was more specific to Victorio’s particular situation with the San Carlos Apaches combined with the failure of the US authorities to act upon returning the Ojo Caliente Reservation
pp.43-44 I agree broadly with Gott’s key points One and Three, though I cannot agree that the Ninth Cavalry actually defeated Victorio. This statement needs some clarification by the author rather than being wrong per sé
Points Two and Four are problematic:

Point Two only holds up if one fails to account for what Victorio was up to during this campaign. Victorio did not need the water at Tinaja de las Palmas, he needed to attract as much of Grierson’s forces to that point so that he could pass his dependents through to the east undetected. At least one party of Apache warriors unaccompanied by women or children did penetrate his defence lines and Nana did the same thing in 1881 prior to his famous raid. Key point is that Grierson’s scouts found Victorio’s dependents camped across the border well to the south of where he encountered Victorio at Tinaja de las Palmas. He had already been tipped off to their approximate location by the Mexican Army.

Point Four: Grierson did not seek relentless battle with the Apache as he is on record as saying that he did not want to go the way the Ninth Cavalry had gone in New Mexico when they had tried the same tactic. Indeed, Grierson sat around for approximately six days after Rattlesnake Springs as he had lost Victorio completely. He sent out various companies to various waterholes but did not pick up the trail for some days which strongly suggests that the Apaches had a water source of which Grierson was unaware.

I do agree with the author that Grierson’s operation had a key effect upon the outcome of the campaign i.e. preventing the Apaches from reaching a major re-supply point; the Mescalero Reservation. This has been underemphasised previously. Equally it shouldn’t be overemphasised. Grierson was luckier than his official report suggests and archive material written by Grierson himself supports this.

Overall I like the idea of this project and with a lot of revision this would be a very good book. Apart from the problems above in general I really think Gott draws a completely inaccurate comparison between the Apaches and Islamic insurgents. Apaches do not think the same way.
The vital lesson to be drawn from the Victorio Campaign is not in a comparative analysis between Islamic and Apache guerrillas

If he was to argue that the Victorio Campaign was an example of where the U.S. came up against a very different set of warfare techniques and had to adapt to them by trying to get inside the minds of their opponents then I think he has a much more convincing case. One could then draw a number of interesting conclusions with today. One could even argue that how Afghanistan was first approached in 2001/2 may have been down to reasons of economy but was an accidental case of doing it how the Apache wars were won i.e. letting Afghan opponents of the Taliban do the bulk of the fighting etc. with logistic support and reinforcement (Special forces and Air support) from the US

As stated earlier, despite my mass of problems with the content, I do like the idea of drawing a comparison between the Apache wars and the War on Terror and accordingly would strongly encourage the author to re-write this book.

The Battle of Kursk 1943: The View through the Camera Lens
The Battle of Kursk 1943: The View through the Camera Lens
by Stuart Britton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £55.00

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Companion volume to 'Demolishing the Myth'., 18 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is an outstanding collection of photographs and should be of interest to anybody interested in the Russian-German conflict in general. I have seen some before in other publications but the vast majority are new to me. I particularly liked the photo of the small dog carts used to evacuate Russian wounded on page 334. The emphasis of the book is upon the Red Army and while many of these shots may well be posed, most give a very good impression of summer 1943 Soviet forces. Indeed Zamulin does point out some Soviet propaganda techniques in the book (see for example p.190). This is littered with 'interesting' photos: one the crewman of a 45mm AT Gun wearing 'jigsaw' pattern cammoflage clothing (p.213); the use of a captured Marder by Soviet troops (p220). One of the best juxtapositions is on p.318 which shows a column of dusty Red Army troops on the march and a clear propaganda shot of a Soviet officer distributing cigarettes to captured German troops. The photo on p.192, again clearly posed, clearly shows the way Red Army troops would construct a trench to render the maximum of concealment from attackers. On the German side there are some very good photos which were captured by the Soviets. Again I have not seen these before
Zamulin's earlier book 'Demolishing the Myth' was very critical of the Soviet Army's performance at Kursk. This book was littered with mainly portrait shots of Soviet participants. This volume has some excellent portaits of the participants but emphasises the participants in the field. It also comes as a welcome counter to the myriad of published photo collections which focus upon the German side of the war.

Chronicles of War: Apache & Yavapai Resistance in the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico, 1821-1937
Chronicles of War: Apache & Yavapai Resistance in the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico, 1821-1937
Price: £19.10

5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Research, 22 Dec. 2014
This is an outstanding record of the conflict between the Western/Chiricahua and Mescalero Apaches and their American and Mexican opponents. The work gives an enormous amount of detail on individual raids, battles and skirmishes. The detail is fascinating and Berndt Kuhn goes out of his way to give the names of the participants if possible. Each entry is also sourced and thus provides the serious researcher with a guidance point for their own studies. What I found particularly interesting was 1) the information about the conflict in northern Mexico and 2) that those of us who might assume that the Apache wars ended in 1886 might be in for a bit of a shock.

However, if you are new to Apache Wars history you will need to read Dan Thrapp's 'Conquest of Apacheria' and then move on to Ed Sweeney's 'Cochise', 'Mangas Coloradas' and 'From Cochise to Geronimo' to get some of the background to each of the extensive entries in this work. Nevertheless, once you have a good idea of the broad progress of this conflict, this book is a must have for anybody with a serious interest in this subject. I thoroughly commend this book.

Cochise: Firsthand Accounts of the Chiricahua Apache Chief
Cochise: Firsthand Accounts of the Chiricahua Apache Chief
by Edwin R Sweeney
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £49.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 19 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book is a wonderful addition to the history of the Chiricahua Apaches in general and in particular to the record of Cochise, one of their truly great leaders. The key attraction to me, as a historian, is that the book gives us a wealth of eyewitness accounts of Cochise ranging from friends through some surprisingly neutral on to some quite hostile accounts of the Chiricahua Apache leader. For those of you deeply interested in the Chiricahua Apaches I don't need to tell you to read the notes accompanying each eyewitness account - they are simply packed with additional information.

For those of you new to this topic I would recommend that you read Dan Thrapp's Conquest of Apacheria which will give you a good overview of the general topic. Move on to Sweeney's biography of Cochise as the immediate background to reading this book. You will not regret the effort.

Dr Robert N. Watt
University of Birmingham, UK

Demolishing The Myth: The Tank Battle at Prokhorovka, Kursk, July 1943: An Operational Narrative
Demolishing The Myth: The Tank Battle at Prokhorovka, Kursk, July 1943: An Operational Narrative
by Valeriy Zamulin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £45.00

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Demolishing the Myth in Style, 7 Nov. 2011
Zamulin's study of the southern element of the Kursk Campaign is an in-depth study which is not for beginners and I shall return to this point below. However, being very interested in the Russian point of view of the Great Patriotic War, this book highlights the fact that the course of the campaign did not run at all smoothly. Thus giving a clear indication that the Red Army still had a lot to learn even though they ultimately won this campaign. These lesson were still being learned at the highest levels and I had not realised that the senior Red Army command present had to take the risky, but in this case successful, step of deflecting Stalin away from taking too close an interest in how the defence of the southern approaches to Kursk had been undertaken. Zamulin also doesn't lose sight of the German side of the battle and gives some very interesting details from the German point of view. In particular he constructs a strong argument that the almost mythic tank battle at Prokhoroka was not a meeting engagement and that the 5th Guards Tank Army crashed into an enemy which was ready for the attack and well supplied with anti-tank artillery which combined with their own tanks wreaked significant havoc on the attacking Russian tanks. He also makes the point that to focus upon Prokhorovka is to miss the overall dogged defence mounted by the Red Army to blunt the German offensive between the 5 and 15 of July. Finally he makes a good case for the battle not being the largest tank battle of WWII.
There is a wealth of detail in the book and it is essential for the reader to keep a bookmark placed in the map section. It is very easy to get lost in the deatil but I found that most of the time if I referred back to the maps I could keep track of events. However, it should be noted that there are three topographical maps as well as the operational maps. If you can't find a location on the operational maps it pays to check the topographic maps as, in most cases, if they were not to be found on the operational maps, I did find them on the topographic maps.
Two other features I thought were very good. Zamulin has provided a number of colour photographs of the battlesite today. The one which shows the ridge defended by the Red Army where the 3rd SS Panzer Division forced a passage across the River Psel shows exactly what maps fail to show; the ridge might not be particularly high but is clearly a significant obstacle to overcome. Zamulin also includes many photographs of both Red Army Officers which I had not seen before. This was a nice touch as many operational studies mention names without providing a face to the name and I thought this a nice touch. There are a small number of typos on the captions. (p.181 claims the photo dates from 1941 when the officer concerned is wearing the uniform decreed from 1943 onwards) These errors are minimal and it is a rare military history book which gets the captions 100% correct. Most of the action photos (whether posed or not) were also new to me.
Overall, this book was well worth the effort. However, if you are new to the Kursk battle I would recommend you read 'When Titans Clashed' by Glantz/House (to get a very good overview of the Russo German War of 1941-45) and 'The Battle of Kursk' by Glantz & House for an overview of the battle of Kursk before you engage with this book. If you have the time (and money) Zetterling and Frankson's book 'Kursk 1943' and the Soviet General Staff Study (translated by Glantz & Orenstein) are also worth reading; the latter in particular makes an interesting contrast when reading Zamulin.
Overall, there are some faults as noted above, but this is a fantastic labour of love and I look forward with great interest to see this author's treatment of the northern element of the battle when (I hope) it is published.
Robert N. Watt
University of Birmingham, U.K.

The Amber Treasure: A saga of battle and betrayal in Dark Ages Britain (Northern Crown Book 1)
The Amber Treasure: A saga of battle and betrayal in Dark Ages Britain (Northern Crown Book 1)
Price: £0.00

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Faction at its Best!, 31 Jan. 2011
As both a historian and wargamer I find the mixture of fact and fiction (faction) a good way of bringing history to life. Faction can be very badly done but in this case Richard Denning has brought alive a key but relatively unknown period in the history of the British Isles where rival British and Germanic kingdoms enter into periodic conflict over territory. He does so on two levels; one gets a good idea of the politics of the situation in general and how particularly this affects the main characters involved in the story. One gets a vivid recreation of Saxon/British life and the adrenaline rush of the danger involved in living on the borderlands between hostile warlords.

I read this book in one sitting as it kept my interest engaged throughout and left me wondering what is going to happen next. There is the odd 'typo' but this did not detract from the enjoyment of the book. Very much in the tradition (if not quite as ruthless in the telling) of George Shipway.

RN Watt

Northwest Passage [DVD] (1940)
Northwest Passage [DVD] (1940)
Dvd ~ Spencer Tracy
Price: £5.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor Quality version of Classic Movie, 16 July 2010
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The first 15 to 20 minutes of the film version I have on VHS have been cut from this DVD. The picture quality is also very poor. Very disappointed as this is an excellent picture which should be released on DVD. Anybody reading this should wait for a much better quality product.

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