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HardnutZ Helmets Hi Vis Yellow Road Cycle - Yellow, 54-61cm
HardnutZ Helmets Hi Vis Yellow Road Cycle - Yellow, 54-61cm
Offered by HardnutZ Helmets
Price: £39.99

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HardnutZ road cycling helmet, 19 Aug. 2012
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This was a new brand to me and, as a frequent road cyclist, I was taken by the Hi-vis colour (as well as a very good price). My order arrived extremely quickly and the helmet fitted straight out-of-the-box thanks to the dial-fit system, which I have only previously seen on climbing helmets. It is a very good, comfortable fit for me and, so far, I am very pleased with it.


War North of 80: The Last German Arctic Weather Station of World War II (Northern Lights)
War North of 80: The Last German Arctic Weather Station of World War II (Northern Lights)
by Wilhelm Dege
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One for the Arctic enthusiast, 23 Nov. 2010
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William Barr has done a superb job in translating and editing this account of Wilhelm Dege's experiences as leader of the 'Haudegen' weather detachment. This was the last German arctic weather station of WW2, situated on a remote corner of Svalbard (Spitzbergen). The book benefits from the author's access, via his son, Eckhart, to Dege's original 1954 typescript and to Dege's journal, hidden at the base when the station surrendered in September 1945 but recovered by Eckhart in 1985. There are also interesting maps and photos and a useful summary of the other manned German arctic weather stations of the period.

One of the main uses of the 'Haudegen' weather data,transmitted by the station from the end of September 1944 for just short of 12 months, was to assist in weather forecasting for Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe attacks on Allied convoys taking supplies to Northern Russia. The reader is left to speculate as to the other main battles to which it might have contributed. This reviewer, despite the Nazi services' well-known reluctance to share information with each other, speculates that the weather information could have played a part in the planning, begun in September 1944, of the German offensive in the Ardennes. The attack had to take place in bad weather when Allied air superiority could not effectively be brought to bear. Thus, having reliable data from the weather-forming Polar areas would have been important. The order for the offensive was signed off on 10 November 1944 and eventually started - in weather perfect for the attack - on 16 December. It had failed by 26 December after clearing skies on Boxing Day enabled Allied tactical air power to be fully deployed.

Dege was a well-educated, cultured man. A geographer, he spoke Norwegian and had made previous field visits to the region. His strong, indeed protective, feelings for the Arctic come across and he succeeded in transferring such feelings to his men. In an appendix, Eckhart refers to his father's exclamation to his comrades, as they finally left Svalbard on a Norwegian vessel: `Look back just once more, we have spent a year together here, which we mastered only through our superb camaraderie. When you later think back to this year, you will agree with me that it was the toughest, but also the finest year of your life'. Eckhart states that their in post-war re-unions the living members of the detachment unanimously agree that his father was right. On reflection though, such a statement seems very much aligned with the Nazi notion of Volksgeimeinschaft - the 'national community', whose social unity and political authority rested on the integration of people regardless of class.

This account tells us little of Dege's personal politics, though a footnote refers to his reading, in November 1944, from Hitler's 'Mein Kampf' to the men and discussing its content. Possibly, this was just part of a Wehrmacht officer's duties but one wonders what political discourse there must have been after 8 May 1945 when the detachment knew of Germany's unconditional surrender and faced such an unknown future. There is no direct suggestion of any contrition or feelings of collective shame for the crimes of the Third Reich, which were all too clear at the time the original journal was published.

Dege, however, appears to identify with Norwegian rage at alleged post-liberation destruction of German supply depots by British forces at a time when so many Norwegians had been left destitute by German policies. Ultimately, this reviewer feels that Dege was, most likely, a fundamentally decent, caring human being; critics of German soldiers in these circumstances, should always ask themselves `what would I have done?'

This is a compelling read and strongly recommended as an addition to the library of anyone interested in either any aspects of the Arctic regions or the Second World War.

Luftwaffe Over Scotland: A History of German Air Attacks on Scotland, 1939-45
Luftwaffe Over Scotland: A History of German Air Attacks on Scotland, 1939-45
by Les Taylor
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.88

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neglected WW2 topic brought to light, 25 Jun. 2010
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In this very welcome volume, Les Taylor throws light on a neglected subject. Much of the information, though it has appeared elsewhere, deserves to be much better known, such as story of the Luftwaffe's last ever attack - attempted on 21 April 1945 by KG 26 against shipping off north-east Scotland. The narrative is complemented by tables, including a comprehensive list of air raids on Scotland and a list of most of the Luftwaffe's losses. Many of the well-selected photographs appear to be previously unpublished. Minor quibbles are over the hyphenation of German aircraft designations (e.g. He-111 instead of He 111) and `Shetland Fighter Flight' rather than Fighter Flight, Shetlands and Fighter Flight, Sumburgh. It would have been useful to have had referenced sources in the text but there is an index and a bibliography. Surprisingly, the author does not seem to have refered to primary sources. Whilst I suspect the author may not be responsible for the fanciful cover art, which superimposes a Fw 200 Condor over the Forth Railway Bridge, he is to be congratulated on his work, which represents excellent value for money and is a `must have' for anyone interested in Scottish, British or simply WW2 history.

Sniper Ace: From the Eastern Front to Siberia
Sniper Ace: From the Eastern Front to Siberia
by Bruno Sutkus
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Grim and rare., 3 Nov. 2009
Bruno Sutkus' Scharfshutzenheft (sniper's log) recorded his killing of 207 Soviet soldiers between May 1944 and January 1945 and formed the basis for a book published in Germany in 2003, the year in which Sutkus died, after a life which can only be described as very harsh by today's standards.
The first part of the book contains sparse detail of his early life and is mainly about his career as a sniper with Grenadier Regiment 196 on the Eastern Front. It is a grim kill-by-kill account, he was clearly an exceptional shot, 'winning' 52 sniper duels. It is a bit repetitive though, besides narrative on each shooting, it reproduces the log entry for each kill. There are also 18 pages of plates reproducing parts of his handwritten log. To me, in this English language edition, it would have been more interesting to have a just a couple of log samples then perhaps some previously unpublished photos germane to the topic. The narrative tell us little of Sutkus' obviously excellent fieldcraft or weaponry other than that he used the ZF-K98k rifle. On both tactics and German sniper weapons, Albrecht Wacker's book, 'Sniper on the Eastern Front: The Memoirs of Sepp Allerberger (Pen & Sword, 2005) provides more detail and a more interesting read. Sutkus' book reflects what was in his log and his memory of subsequent events but would benefit from more editorial narrative and explanation of the circumstances. Ultimately, one gets the impression that Sutkus showed little contrition for the fact that his country had started the war, or the way it proceeded to wage a war of annihilation. He was clearly an extremely tough character and when you read of his apalling treatment in post-war Soviet labour camps you can understand his rabid anti-communism. Of course he takes this too far stating, for example that "[B]efore the Bolshevik Revolution the Russian people were wealthy and propertied. They harvested so much that their barns overflowed with wheat to the extent that they were at a loss what to do with it all" (p132). That said, this book will interest historians of the Second World War, not for its writing but the comparative rarity of such accounts in English.

Red Road from Stalingrad: Recollections of a Soviet Infantryman
Red Road from Stalingrad: Recollections of a Soviet Infantryman
by Mansur Abdulin
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uncommon account, 1 Sept. 2008
Published wartime memoirs by former Soviet soldiers are comparatively rare (compared to British, US or German ones), which is unfortunate given the huge scale and utterly ruthless nature of the land war in Russia, of which many today are unaware. In my view, this is a remarkable, unassuming account of one man's experience of WW2. The author shows loyalty to Communist ideals (not unusual in Russia) but it is also an emotional account, demonstrating the fortitude and suffering of the Soviet people. Well worth a read.

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