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Atlas Of Tank Warfare From 1916 To The Present Day

We are fast approaching the centenary of the presence of the tank on the battlefield. Like other weapon systems it has been around for so long that it seems to have been with us for a lot longer. One reason is perhaps because tanks have been filmed and photographed in so many conflicts from 1914 until present day. The author and his colleagues have assembled a book which looks at the very first deployments and brings the reader right up to date with present conflicts such as Afghanistan. They have resisted the temptation to speculate on Da Vinci’s ideas and concentrated instead on hard facts. They write with confidence and clarity which takes the reader through almost a full century of tanks in battle. Some conflicts will be familiar and others will have the reader sitting up and taking notice. The illustrations are very good but it is the maps which really make this work stand apart and compliment the text, and have you reaching back to it as a reference book.

Author: Dr Stephen Hart, et al.
Publisher: Amber Books, tel. 020 7520 7600 www.amberbooks.co.uk
ISBN: 9781908273796.
Price: £19.99.

Operation Market Garden. Arnhem The Battle For The Bridges.

Much has been written about this operation and many films and documentaries made about the fighting. This two-disc set is very comprehensive in its approach to telling the story of one of the greatest episodes of the war. By using a panel of highly respected historians, many of which are battlefield tour guides, interviews with veterans and re-enactment groups, the viewer is presented with probably the most informative documentary film to date. Weapons, uniforms and tactics are all explained along with how and why they were used. This film will be of great interest to many different interests such as modellers, war gamers, re-enactors and people wishing to visit the places where family relatives fought in this tough action. Personalities are examined, even at the highest level, and their actions are discussed to give a perception of why things were done in the order they were and the way the were. For example, the expression, ‘A Bridge Too Far’ is believed to have been said by We are fast approaching the centenary of the presence of the tank on the battlefield. Like other weapon systems it has been around for so long that it seems to have been with us for a lot longer. One reason is perhaps because tanks have been filmed and photographed in so many conflicts from 1914 until present day. The author and his colleagues have assembled a book which looks at the very first deployments and brings the reader right up to date with present conflicts such as Afghanistan. They have resisted the temptation to speculate on Da Vinci’s ideas and concentrated instead on hard facts. They write with confidence and clarity which takes the reader through almost a full century of tanks in battle. Some conflicts will be familiar and others will have the reader sitting up and taking notice. The illustrations are very good but it is the maps which really make this work stand apart and compliment the text, and have you reaching back to it as a reference book. General Browning but is still open to debate. The failure of the operation is well known, but had it succeeded it could have led to so many other possibilities and for that reason alone the operation remains one of the greatest ‘Ifs’ of the war.

DVD Presented by: Mike Peters, Richard Hone, et al.
Distributor: Pen & Sword, tel. 01226 734679 www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
EAN: 5060247620145.
Price: £19.99.

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Barbarossa Through Soviet Eyes; The First Twenty-four

The three authors who co-operated in this work are experienced historians and each made valuable contributions to this most unusual book. Using personal accounts of those who were there on that fateful day in June 1941 they present the reader with a history of the first hours of the campaign which changed the course of the Second World War. The first hours of any military operation are vital to its success or failure and this book tells how the Soviet army fought desperately against overwhelming odds. The fact that Russia had any form of cohesive fighting force after the Stalinist purges of the 1930s which saw some 35,000 officers killed. The tank force may have been impressive on paper but they were wholly inadequate and the weaponry left much to be desired against millions of Germans and thousands of tanks. This work will leave the reader asking ‘What happened next?’ and also make you realise that it was not a complete walkover for the Germans as the Soviet soldiers fought on. The reader will come to understand how the soldiers functioned in their roles and did their best, but it was the suddenness of the attack and rapidity of the German advance which were the shock factors. It is good to see a familiar battle being treated in a new way to give a whole new dimension to the war in Russia.

Author: Artem Drabkin, Alexei Isaev and Christopher Summerville.
Publisher: Pen and Sword Books Ltd, tel. 01226 734679. www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
ISBN: 9781844159239.
Price: £19.99.

on Eagles Wings

The title may sound as though it was inspired by the USAAF but it is actually Biblical and taken from Exodus. The sub-title ‘The American Air Force in WW II in Colour’, however, says it all. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the USAAF in Britain to carry the war to Germany with the intention of smashing the enemy’s industrial capability and thereby end the war. It sounded so simple, break the ability to wage war and you have won. But to the pilots and aircrew of the B17, B24 and fighters who had to fly the missions it was not that clear-cut. This film uses veterans’ memoirs, some of which sound very naïve at the beginning of America’s war, and is intercut with footage which is in colour. It may be a bit grainy in places but the archive film really makes this film worth watching time and again. Some footage is familiar but it is the up close and personal imagery which is fresh. It was a hard campaign the airmen fought and the price they paid was high. Re-enactors will find much useful material in this film and modellers will find more ideas for dioramas than they could imagine.

DVD Narrator: Dick Glover.
Distributor: Timereel, tel. 0844 556 530 www.timereel.co.uk
EAN: 5060175909060.
Price: £10.99.

Ypres; Slaughter Of The Innocents 1914-1915.

Walking around the Belgian town of Ypres and the surrounding countryside today it is hard to image that war has been within a thousand miles of the place. Back in 1915 the town and its environs were smashed by German artillery as the British held on tenaciously to secure the northern flank of the Allied lines. Many fierce and bloody battles raged around Ypres and this documentary film tells the story of the first few months of the war on the Western Front. In the company of guest historian Nigel Cave the viewer is taken on a walking tour of the area. The beautiful countryside has returned to all its former glory and the farming area makes it look like a travelogue. Back in 1915 things were hugely different and the scene looked like the mouth of Hell. The fact that men survived in all this slaughter is testimony to their determination. Walking the ground gives an entirely different perspective to things and keeps it personal. The presenters take one on a journey of discovery and show the locations in a way which makes one want to visit the battlefield personally. There is a lot crammed into this very moving film and whether one knows a lot or very little about the battle, it makes for fascinating viewing.

DVD Presented by: Ed Skelding
Distributor: Pen & Sword, tel. 01226 734679 www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
EAN: 5060247620046.
Price: £16.99.

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