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Customer Review

TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 11 December 2013
The author tries to cover a very wide spectrum of information on the armed forces of various European nations, as well as their joint forces (where present) in this book. He largely succeeds in this, providing an overview of the overall organization, the setup of individual countries' forces, and the main equipment types.

After a brief introduction on the genesis of the European Union and then on the joint military projects, the author proceeds with the main body of the book. Here each country is covered individually, with some basic socioeconomic data, the information on their armed forces and the current military committments (either to joint forces with other European nations, or on actual combat deployments abroad). A basic OoB is given for each country, followed by the types of equipment and a rough estimate of the numbers in use (and numbers stored). This section is certainly useful as a reference source, even if not all of it is really up to date.

The final important part is a quick overview (data sheet style) of the main equipment types in use by the European armed forces. Again one gets some basic information but not a lot of detail is provided.

The title - including the timeframe 2012-2013 is probably somewhat misleading. While the odd piece of information may actually pertain to this period, the book includes entries that are more up to date for a 2010 period. Even for this there are exceptions - with the author talking about reorganizations that will hopefully happen by the end of 2007. Put differently, an update would definitely be in order.

In spite of the brief coverage of most aspects, the book is certainly useful as a reference source, especially at the low asking price. It is nowhere near as comprehensive, up to date and well researched as the annual World Defence Almanac 2012 and definitely does not cover the equipment aspects as thoroughly as more specialized sources would do. At the same time if you only have a passing interest in the subject matter or want a first quick overview, it will do just fine.
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