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BLT (France)

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German Tank Destruction Badge in World War II
German Tank Destruction Badge in World War II
by Rolf Michaelis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Only barely, 1 Dec. 2012
If the quality of the paper is superior, the content does not compare.

With a mouth-watering title the author does not deliver. Although the prospect should be promising I am left dissatisfied.

Though this is a monograph some errors are to be found, which is inexcusable. Here are some examples:

p.30 A photo purports the anti-tank rifle to be a Pzbüsche 38 when it is actually a Soviet-made Degtyarev PTRD. (expertise is found wanting to say the least)

p.9 The photo of a Luftwaffe airman fails to show what the comment is stating. (due to hurried and botched publishing ?)

To add insult to injury, some spelling mistakes are to be found here and there.

Now for photo novelty your expectancy will wane as quite a few photos are only too-well known.

Also I have to differ when the author declares German close anti-tank combat program a "marginal" success, as would most military historians and Allied tank crews.
By 1945 it is hard to find Sherman tanks that aren't adorned with sandbags, layers of timber or reinforced with concrete. The same applies to Soviet armour, festooned with screens of meshwire, in the streets of Berlin.

The real bonus turns out to be the reproduction of the close range tank attack manual "Panzer Knacker" in its original version. Alas the translation is unprofessional as it is too rigid often clumsy if not plainly awkward.

When I think of it, two stars is a mighty generous rating ...


Sniper One: The Blistering True Story of a British Battle Group Under Siege
Sniper One: The Blistering True Story of a British Battle Group Under Siege
by Sgt. Dan Mills
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars True grit, 8 July 2012
Impressive story of a British sniper unit besieged in an Iraqi city under the rule of Chiite extremists, followers of the infamous Mollah Moqtada Al Sadr.

A very down to earth and honest narration is a credit to the author. Exactly what you'd expect from a sergeant , a true NCO all the way, who's always where the action is.

As a French NCO myself I have to say we all look up to British snipers, their skills and training. We still have a lot to learn from our British counterparts.

An excellent and lively read.

Hats off to you Dan Mills (chapeau bas, sergent).


Run The Gauntlet: The Channel Dash 1942 (Raid)
Run The Gauntlet: The Channel Dash 1942 (Raid)
by Ken Ford
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the few successful ops of the Kriegsmarine, 12 April 2012
The epic escape of three major German battleships through the Channel under the very nose of all of Great Britain's poised forces.

Thoroughly well documented, a captivating narration which takes you to the very core of a succession of dramatic events. Ken Ford is to be complimented on the fast pace he has managed to instil. A real adventure with real soldiers with their faults, fragility and bravery.

Another operation which proves that audacity invariably (almost) pays.

As always I will regret the omission of colour plates depicting at least some of the protagonists be it the heavy cruisers, the destroyers and MTBs instead of those insipid double-page comic-book "paintings" for juveniles which add nothing but waste a couple of pages pointlessly. When we recount the price of Osprey books, every single page should be accounted for.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 29, 2014 8:21 AM BST


Gladiator: The Roman Fighter's (Unofficial) Manual
Gladiator: The Roman Fighter's (Unofficial) Manual
by Philip Matyszak
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.95

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hail Caesar, and "to those about to read this I salute you", 16 Jan. 2012
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Informative as well as enjoyable, you'll read it through as you would a novel. Probably it is its "unofficial" side that renders the reading easy and fluid. Historically its thorough research is impeccable and exhaustive all the same.

It never tries to pull you on the sensational side but adhers to the title.

An excellent series. For beginners as well as experts.

Bravo.


The Pocket Hercules: Captain Morris and the Charge of the Light Brigade
The Pocket Hercules: Captain Morris and the Charge of the Light Brigade
by M. J. Trow
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Only for Crimea specialists, 31 Oct. 2011
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The life and participation in the famous cavalry charge of the cdr of the 17th Lancers. Written from scratch with very few sources, scarce documents and rare archives which leaves the reader somewhat unsatisfied.
I still can't believe how the author managed to write a book with so little.


King Tiger vs IS-2: Operation Solstice 1945 (Duel)
King Tiger vs IS-2: Operation Solstice 1945 (Duel)
by David R. Higgins
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

2 of 3 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: The Commandos and the Vaagso Raid 1941
Operation Archery: The Commandos and the Vaagso Raid 1941
by Ken Ford
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

16 of 18 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 photographic history of the weapons in action (General Military)
US Small Arms in World War II: A photographic history of the weapons in action (General Military)
by Tom Laemlein
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £25.00

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
Price: £18.23

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.


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