Book Review – Images of War, Armoured Warfare in the Vietnam War, Rare Photographs form Wartime Archives

B2157

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When readers think of Vietnam, many will have a picture of dense tropical rain forest, rocky streams, close country and everything that makes armour an unlikely weapon system in that theatre of conflict. That is very far from the reality. The form of warfare engaged in was largely column warfare where armed vehicle convoys had to fight their way between strong points, or be used to set up a new strong point or fire-base. At night the Viet Cong could flow back into the areas that had been painfully cleared during the day. Armoured fighting vehicles made reasonable heavy escorts for road convoys and could become mobile armed bunkers. As with other titles in this excellent series, this book contains concise text, much in the form of photo captions, and extensive photographic illustration. Most photographs are rare and some are published for the first time in a book available to public readership. A remarkable amount of information has been packed into the pages and this book will satisfy, professional, enthusiast and novice equally.

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Book Review – Modern Warfare, The Afghan War, Operation Enduring Freedom 2001-2014

B2156

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A worthy addition to a fine series of books reviewing Modern Warfare. As with other titles in the series, this book features concise text and lavish illustration that includes full colour images. For enthusiasts and professionals, this will be a useful and interesting addition to available knowledge about the Cold War and its many hot local wars, fought through proxies. It is well-timed as Russia once more plunges the world back into a cold war that will be all the more dangerous and unpredictable than the first Cold War. The book also provides an excellent entry point for those wishing to develop their knowledge of modern warfare at and affordable price.

This book sets out the history and the prospects in a clear and easily followed way. The information gap that has existed in very dangerous as international relations become more fragile and unpredictable. Books like this new title provide a valuable service in correcting the knowledge gaps. Highly recommended.

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Book Review – Modern Warfare, The Vietnam War, The Tet Offensive 1968

B2155

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A worthy addition to a fine series of books reviewing Modern Warfare. As with other titles in the series, this book features concise text and lavish illustration that includes full colour images. For enthusiasts and professionals, this will be a useful and interesting addition to available knowledge about the Cold War and its many hot local wars, fought through proxies. It is well-timed as Russia once more plunges the world back into a cold war that will be all the more dangerous and unpredictable than the first Cold War. The book also provides an excellent entry point for those wishing to develop their knowledge of modern warfare at an affordable price.

There is much to learn from the Tet Offensive and this book is a good tutor.

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Book Review – British Military Operations in Aden & Radfan, 100 Years of British Colonial Rule

B2153

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The author has established a reputation for finely drawn reviews of ‘small wars’ and this new book is a worthy addition to his portfolio. The territories at the south end of the Suez canal were very important to the British communications between the home country and the huge colonial areas East of Suez. This was particularly true in the age of sail and the early age of steam when a safe base in the area was important for vessels coming round Cape of Good Hope and then through the Suez canal when it opened. The author traces the long period of colonial rule and its ending during the dash from Empire that followed the end of WWII. It was a period where the US and the USSR both put pressure on the British Empire, the USSR as part of its plan for world domination and the US as part of its plan to take over markets previously enjoyed by Britain and its Empire. A well written account, illustrated by an interesting photo plate section.

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Book Review – Sparta Unfit for Empire

B2151

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The title suggests a contentious review of Sparta. The author shows how Sparta turned a commanding position, built through 200 years of warfare,in the space of only 40 years, into a second-rate power. The review and conclusions are well argued and very effectively supported by illustration in the form of maps, charts, and photographs. An interesting and informative read that will be enjoyed by many.

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Book Review – Logistics in the Falklands War

B2152

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This is an opportune publication at a time when politicians are responding to increasing conflict threats by savagely cutting defence spending. The brilliant victory in the Falklands in liberating the islanders from Argentine bandits cloaks the disasters in Government policy that encouraged the Argentines to think they would get away with aggression that increased risks for the Falklands Task Force. This book is the first to look in depth at the logistics, the risks and how the British Forces overcame obstacles to defeat a much larger enemy that also enjoyed the advantages that a defender has against an amphibious landing. This book should be compulsory reading for the morons in Parliament who deprive the British Forces of the equipment they need to do their jobs. It will certainly be well-received by enthusiasts and professionals. Highly recommended.

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Book Review – The Waterloo Archive, Volume VI: British Sources

B2150

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The publisher has written a fine and comprehensive list of leading books covering military history from ancient to modern times. Of particular value is the fine list of primary source information. When Gareth Glover embarked on his epic research of primary source material to relate to the Battle of Waterloo, he may not have envisaged such a comprehensive and effective gathering of information. This book is the last volume in his endeavours and any reader who has purchased one volume is sure to have eagerly awaited the next volume to be published. This presents something of a challenge for a reviewer. With most books, there is a clear primary readership, who would purchase a book because it directly filled their need for entertainment or information. This book has what may be an irregular readership. The core readership will be those who want to be able to draw their own conclusions about an incredibly important battle in a history filled with battles. There will be enthusiasts who like to challenge some of the conclusions set out by authors and historians. There will also be those who descend from people who were in some way involved in the events and who are trying to understand those who were their direct ancestral predecessors. Then there will be many enthusiasts and professionals who normally cover a different genre but want to learn about how the events leading to and following from Waterloo have affected their special niche of interest. There will be many more who find this comprehensive work applicable to their interests.

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Book Review – Inside Wellington’s Peninsular Army 1808-1814

B2149

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The centuries of Anglo-French warfare concluded with the three defeats of Napoleon. Nelson and the Royal Navy conclusively defeated the Franco-Spanish navies at Trafalgar in 1805. From that point the Royal Navy became the dominant sea power for a hundred years, but the final defeat of Napoleon required soldiers on the ground. That led to two defeats for Napoleon at the hands of Wellington. The authors have provided a penetrating picture of Wellington and his Army in the Peninsular to explain what was so special about the commander and his troops. This is a very important book that should be widely read, especially by those French historians who have difficulty in understanding how thoroughly Wellington thrashed Napoleon.

The authors have established reputations that are complimentary to each other and they have based their work on the foundation of Osman’s epic study. This virtually guarantees their success and the resulting work is a pleasure to read with a seamless blending of contributions from the authors with the foundation provided by Osman. An excellent work that is highly recommended and essential reading for anyone with an interest in the period and the deployment of arms.

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Book Review – Aden Insurgency, The Savage War in Yemen 1962-67

B2147

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A very workman-like account and review of the Aden insurgency of the early 1960s. By reading this engaging new book, it is possible to see not only how the British left Aden, but why it is an on-going disaster with the potential to create wider threats. Read and learn.

This is undoubtedly the best review of this part of history as the British Empire faded into the mists.

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Book Review – Gilgit Rebellion, the Major Who Mutinied over Partition of India

B2145

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The history of the British involvement with the Indian sub-continent contains many extraordinary and contradictory stories. The relationship between the local inhabitants and the British is special and complex. This new book tells the story of Major William Brown and his personal mutiny. It provides insights in the dash from Empire in the late 1940s and 1950s and shows how tensions today could have been avoided had the British taken a more careful approach to independence in India. The author took great personal risks and this is a book that demands to be read. It is provoking and moving, a great read.

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