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  • The Union Army 1861-65

    Author: Ron Field

    Publisher: Osprey, Oxford

    ISBN: 9781472855763

    Price: £12.99

    The American Civil War holds a fascination for military historians and enthusiasts alike. Re-enactors demonstrate encampments and battles, while photographs, weapons, and uniforms are collected. This excellent book covering the uniforms of all branches of the Union Army, will satisfy the interests of these groups and military modellers. This is a very serious work on the uniforms of the North and deals with each branch in turn, including those which are often overlooked in favour of the fighting forces, such as engineers, medical services, and signals. Black troops are included in the text, as well as a little-known unit called the 'US Indian Home Guard', which was comprised of native tribes. Unfortunately, barely half a page is given over to it and it would be interesting to learn more about this most unusual unit. If the follow-up to this is just as absorbing it will be worth adding to your reading list.

  • The Soviet Infantryman on the Eastern Front

    Author: Simon Forty

    Publisher: Casemate Publishers, Oxford

    ISBN: 9781636243634

    Price: £24.95

    This is a book that is not short of hard facts and figures, a point which historians always find absorbing. Within the first four pages, the author provides figures that are staggering. The Red Army expanded to become the largest fighting force of the war and supplying and training such a force was never going to be easy. The author explains how it recovered from the initial attacks of 1941 and developed new tactics, weapons, and specialised units that would push the German army back all the way to Berlin. One type of specialist unit was the sniper, which features throughout the book. No aspect has been overlooked in this comprehensive work and the chapter on ‘life in the field’ is very much from the ordinary soldier’s point of view. Using first-hand accounts, this is a terrific reference book, telling a remarkable story of survival and a turnaround that made them the victors.

  • Port Arthur 1904-05

    Author: Robert Forczyk

    Publisher: Osprey, Oxford

    ISBN: 9781472855633

    Price: £16.99

    Over time, some periods of military history have become almost forgotten and it takes military historians to bring them to light as a reminder. This is one such case and for those who have never heard of the Russo-Japanese War, this is a revelation. Fought between two imperial nations in the remoteness of China, but hardly noticed by Western nations, yet from this conflict Japan would emerge to become the dominant power in the Pacific region for the next 40 years. Russia was humbled by its defeat at Port Arthur as explained in this fine work. Lessons could have been learned from the war, such as trench warfare, machine guns, and artillery, which should have taught Western military thinkers something they could apply 10 years later on the Western Front. The big surprise comes at the end of the book, which informs the reader that the battlefield has many preserved and restored sites that can be visited.

  • Coalition Armor versus Iraqi Forces

    Author: Chris McNab

    Publisher: Osprey, Oxford

    ISBN: 9781472855749

    Books on armoured warfare appeal to the widest possible range of enthusiasts with an interest in military history. This includes vehicle owners, re-enactors, modellers, but especially war gamers, who will seize on this latest title in the ‘versus’ series as an irresistible work. The almost three-year period covered in this volume is a reminder to those who saw the nightly news broadcasts, and for younger readers, it is a lesson in modern history. Iraq had a large, ageing armoured force composed of various designs from different countries, including Britain, which made it vulnerable to modern weaponry. More modern tanks such as the Asad Babil were severely limited against the US M1A2 Abrams. All types of AFVs are compared and contrasted in this overview, from MICVs and APCs to self-propelled anti-aircraft systems such as the ZSU-23-4. Tank gunnery skills, ammunition ballistics, and efficacy are discussed, as too are tactics. Overall, a great work looking at modern armoured warfare.