Print Page | Contact Us | Report Abuse | Sign In | Register
Historical Book Reviews
Group HomeGroup Home Blog Home Group Blogs

Book Review: South African Air Force Fighter Colors: Volume 1 - East African Campaign 1940-1942

Posted By Russ Lockwood, Monday, May 13, 2019

by Piet van Schalkwyk and William Marshall.

History of six South African squadrons in WWII using leftovers of aviation history except for a few Hurricanes. Lots of biplane actions against Italian CR.42s would make for interesting dogfighting scenarios. Repetitious text as if transcribed from squadron reports, but info contained is golden for an obscure, at least to me, front.

Includes 139 black and white photos and 23 color illustrations of various British aircraft -- great resource for modelers.

Tags:  Air  Modeling  WW2  WWII 

PermalinkComments (0)
 

Book Review: The Japanese Destroyer Shimakaze

Posted By Russ Lockwood, Monday, May 13, 2019

by Mariusz Motyka. Number 62 in Kagero's Topdrawings line of illustrated ship guides for modelers. About a page of history notes ship was launched July 18, 1942 and sunk November 11, 1944.

The Shimakaze was the only ship built in a class of 16 planned ships. Of note, it carried 15 torpedo tubes in five turrets that could fire off either side. Black and white drawings are of the entire ship as well as particular sections and systems.

Also includes separate 19x27-inch chart of 1:200 scale drawings of topdown, sides, and system details. A delight for modelers building this ship.

Tags:  Modeling  Naval  WW2  WWII 

PermalinkComments (0)
 

Book Review: The Russian Destroyer Spravedlivyy 1956

Posted By Russ Lockwood, Monday, May 13, 2019

by Oleg Pomoshnikov and Jan Radziemski.

This latest addition to Kagero Super Drawings in 3D series offers six pages of history and 76 pages of 3D color photo-realistic illustrations of the ship, particular sections, and specific systems. Another delight for modelers building this ship.

Tags:  Modeling  Modern  Naval 

PermalinkComments (0)
 

Book Review: Wade McClusky and the Battle of Midway

Posted By Russ Lockwood, Monday, May 13, 2019

by David Rigby. Air Group Commander McClusky led the US dive bombers that sunk two of the four Japanese aircraft carriers at the Battle of Midway. Apparently, modern historians re-examining history claimed he 'guessed' right when he had to decide whether to turn south or north when looking for the Japanese fleet. Also apparently, he's come under some criticism for concentrating on sinking only two of the four Japanese carriers instead of trying to sink them all.

This book repudiates both those contentions with a minute-by-minute analysis that also steps us through US Navy doctrine and McClusky's own extensive experience flying just about every aircraft the Navy fielded. In many ways, it's an academic pursuit of minutiae, and sometimes reads that way, but I admired the research that went into this 372-page book -- especially the consideration and analysis of variables and sometimes conflicting reports and recollections.

As for the 'guess' of north or south, the book contains a quote from McClusky to the effect that he would have heard about any Japanese ships south of him, which made turning north the only logical option. I suppose he could have continued west, but he was facing fuel constraints. O

f wargaming note, McClusky was hired by Avalon Hill as a paid consultant for their 1960s game Midway, which he played with his son. He also played the AH game Bismarck, although he apparently complained that his son would ahistorically 'hide' the German ship in the English channel. Enjoyed it.

Tags:  Air  WW2  WWII 

PermalinkComments (0)
 

Book Review: The Spanish-American War 1898

Posted By Russ Lockwood, Monday, May 13, 2019

by Albert A. Nofi.

Well-written book by historian and SPI alum Al Nofi covers the war, including analysis of campaign strategy and operational actions, from beginning to end. Nice maps of land and sea battles. Great OOBs and other wargame-appropriate info in appendices. Enjoyed it.

Tags:  19th Century  Spanish-American War 

PermalinkComments (0)
 

Book Review: 1916: The Easter Rising

Posted By Russ Lockwood, Monday, May 13, 2019

by Tim Pat Coogan.

Being Easter time, I figured I'd read about the rising, the Irish effort to create a Republic during WWI. Quite the debacle overall with incompetence on Irish and British sides. The Germans sent a U-boat and a transport ship with firearms, MGs, and ammo and the Irish left the recognition lights in the local pub. An Irish leader rode around telling supporters not to rise on the given day. British troops marched down the street on parade to quell the rebellion and only met slaughter. It's a pity this book wasn't better organized and written, for tangents wander in and out of the main narrative to distraction.

Tags:  WWI 

PermalinkComments (0)
 

Book Review: Air Combat: Dogfights of World War II

Posted By Russ Lockwood, Monday, May 13, 2019

Edited by Tony Holmes. I thought this was going to be yet another first-person account compilation, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover this is essentially an edited compilation of four Osprey Duel books: Spitfire II/V vs Bf 109F; F4F Wildcat vs A6M Zero; La-5/7 vs. Fw-190; and F4U Corsair vs. Ki-84 'Frank.'

Each pairing gets aircraft development, flight and weapon analysis, pilot training and experience, and overview of the air campaigns that pitted the aircraft against each other. It's all illustrated in that Osprey way with period photographs, charts, and occasional color illustrations.

This contains few first-person accounts, but does weave pilot experiences through the narrative to highlight particular idiosyncrasies of the aircraft and dogfights. Enjoyed it.

Tags:  Air  WW2  WWII 

PermalinkComments (0)
 

Book Review: Fighting in Hell: The German Ordeal on World War II's Eastern Front

Posted By Russ Lockwood, Friday, May 3, 2019
edited by Peter G Tsouras. A trio of WWII German generals (Rauss, von Greiffenberg, and Erfurth) explain in post-war debriefs how the Germans fought the Soviets. This edited reprint of US Army historical publications explains strategy, tactics, tendencies, and techniques on the Eastern Front, including how the Soviets became smarter as the war went on. One meme throughout is how overwhelming Soviet quantity of men and material kept the Germans from victory until smarter use of such quantity led to Soviet victories. Enjoyed it.

Tags:  Eastern Front  reviews  WW2  WWII 

PermalinkComments (0)
 

Book Review: Tanks Illustrated # 19: US Tank Destroyers of World War II

Posted By Russ Lockwood, Friday, May 3, 2019
by Steven J Zaloga. This 64-page book contains two or three photos per page with short captions tracing various models of US Tank Destroyers, predominantly the M-10. Captions tell date of photo and the TD in it, but otherwise are almost entirely devoid of data. For modelers, however, photos can be helpful showing what crews carried on the vehicles.

Tags:  reviews  Tanks  WW2  WWII 

PermalinkComments (0)
 

Book Review: Bridgebuilding Equipment of the Wehrmacht: 1939-1945

Posted By Russ Lockwood, Friday, May 3, 2019
by Horst Beiersdorf. Translated by Ed Force. Another 48-page booklet full of photos and extended captions. Like the other booklets, suffers from a lack of detail about deployments and operations, with almost nothing about how long it took to build a pontoon bridge, what a 4-ton, 8-ton, and 16-ton bridge could hold, and other quantitative data. Even at half-price, fairly useless for information and wargaming purposes. Modelers might get some use out of it.

Tags:  reviews  WW2  WWII 

PermalinkComments (0)
 
Page 8 of 11
 |<   <<   <  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11

Fall In! Toys for Tots Sponsors