Books & DVDS
By: Pete Moore
The Bookshelf Military books & DVD reviews.
SNIPER ON THE EASTERN FRONT.
This book is described on its back cover as: ‘…a rare first-hand account by a ruthlessly efficient German sniper…’ which sounds dramatic. There are plenty of photographs supported by identifying captions but unfortunately this is not enough to keep one from questioning the veracity of this book which at times reads more like a war novel. The text is based on the memoires of Josef Allerberger who served on the Eastern Front in Russia and became a sniper after being wounded. Fighting on the Eastern Front was brutal and unforgiving and sections of the book contain graphic accounts which must almost certainly have happened. However, whether or not Allergerger was in a position to witness them personally is questionable. Nevertheless, this remains a very readable book and the sections dealing with types of ammunition and rifles will be of great interest to weapon enthusiasts and shooters alike. But be warned, read it with an open mind.
Author: Albrecht Wacker.
Publisher: Pen & Sword Books, tel. 01226 734555 www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
ISBN: 1781590044Price: £9.99.
JERSEY WAR WALKS
The Channel Islands are best known as being the only part of the British Isles that Hitler captured during the Second World War. Each island in turn was fortified out of all proportion to its military significance. This work looks at the largest of the islands, Jersey, which has a land mass of 45 square miles. Packed onto the island the Germans, using slave labour from other occupied countries, built hundreds of tunnels, coastal defences, bunkers and gun emplacements. The author has put together a series of twenty walks of varying length to suit all levels of walking capabilities from easy to ‘challenging’. Visitors to the island today only see those fortifications which are obvious but there are many more and using this book they can explore some of these sites on their own. Together with a local map to put one in the right spot this handy book can be used to walk around and examine many features overlooked and provides explanations. Even for those who have been to Jersey before this will open new sites to explore and provide a fresh insight to the defences of an island which has a history stretching back thousands of years.
Author: Ian Ronayne
Publisher: Seaflower Books tel. 01225 865191 www.ex-librisbooks.co.uk
ISBN: 978106641443.Price: £7.95.
THE 1940S LOOK
The period of the 1940s has never been more popular, which is reflected by the fact this book has been re-printed three times since it first appeared in 2006. With so many 1940s dances being organised at events and women becoming historically fashion-conscious means this book will be in great demand in order to get things right. The author is a well-known and respected authority on the Home Front and has written a number of other titles on the subject. This is an indispensable book for gathering together male and female civilian wardrobes for re-enactors. From underwear to outer wear and the sundries including jewellery, handbags, gloves and hats all are covered in this single volume which leaves nothing out. The text is interesting and informative and the illustrations from original magazines of the period show what it was like. Every Home Front re-enactor should have this in their reference library.
Author: Mike Brown.
Publisher: Sabrestorm Publishing
tel. 01732 452505. www.
THE ALGERIAN WAR (DVD)
Many countries have military campaigns which they prefer to conveniently forget. America has learned to come to terms with Vietnam, Britain is uncomfortable about Kenya and the skeleton in France’s cupboard is the Algerian War, an end of empire struggle which lasted eight very bloody years. Recently France has come to terms with the war in Algeria and this film reminds a new generation of what happened in North Africa between 1954 and 1962. The narration is delivered in a good clear manner and explains events and reactions to keep the viewer informed. The film uses extensive original footage along with interviews from all sides of the conflict from the soldiers, civilians and politicians to present a well balanced view of what was a brutal conflict. It shows tactics which would come to be adopted by other countries, such as the use of the helicopter ten years before America’s use of the aircraft in Vietnam.
Distribution: Beckmann Visual
Publishing tel. 01624 816585. www.beckmanndirect.com
Running time: 260 minutes.
Price: £17.35. Special on-line purchase price £13.35.
DEVON AT WAR (DVD)
The county of Devon is the fourth largest in Britain covering an area of almost 2,600 square miles. Today it is best known for its cream teas and as a seaside holiday destination but in 1939 it was a much different place at this film reminds us. Almost from the very first day of war the county of Devon was involved and it would continue to be involved and become a hive of activity through its naval installations, airfields and as a training area for troops and tanks. Things became even busier after the Americans arrived and this film takes the viewer on a journey to some of the locations left over as legacy from those war years. Some are well known, such as Slapton Sands where Exercise Tiger came to grief in early 1944. All across the vast yet remote county there is something to see and the bombing of Exeter may come as a surprise to viewers who may not have heard about the attack on the city. As with other such productions this film will make the viewer want to take a trip to see some of the sites for themselves.
Presented by Henry Buckton,
Produced by: 1st Take tel.01454 321614. www.1st-take.com
Running time: 95 minutes.Price: £14.95.
BRUNEVAL RAID (DVD)
In the years before D-Day the British mounted a number of raids on the French coast against German installations. Most remembered are the larger operations such as St Nazaire and Dieppe, but the ‘Operation Biting’ raid against Bruneval, in February 1942 was a resounding success, gaining much information about German radar capabilities. It showed how the Allies could successfully raid using highly trained elite forces such as airborne troops. This production uses highly respected military historians to explain in great detail the events leading up to the operation and the actual raid itself. They take the viewer onto the very ground where the action took place with additional input from locals. This is another ground-breaking production, and after looking at a tourist map and seeing how easy it is to get to Bruneval and the surrounding area, the viewer may well want to visit the area themselves, and tread in the footsteps of the Allied troops.
Distribution: Pen & Sword Books Ltd, tel. 01226 734679. www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
Running time: 105 minutes.Price: £16.99.
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates