1.) Trench - The recently released paperback offering a definitive and comprehensive guide to trench warfare. Available to buy now at £14.99.
'We have already seen a publishing explosion about World War 1 and, as each succeeding anniversary passes, the older books will be discarded. However, Trench by Stephen Bull will stand the test of time and be an invaluable companion to all the rest. Trench warfare was part of a soldier's life for nearly the whole of the conflict and this book explains how it happened and how it was possible that a line of defences 450 miles in length could have been constructed on the Western Front, lived in and fought over for so long.
In association with the Imperial War Museum (IWM) Dr Bull tells his story through chapters about the opposing armies; the beginning of the trenches; the routine of trench life; new weapons and tactics; the use of gas by both sides; raiding and sniping; mining; the use of concrete and improved German fortifications; the tank and Over the Top. It is extremely well illustrated, with pictures, drawings and maps (including coloured trench maps of some of the better known areas) from the archive of the IWM and from the author's own collection.
This is an excellent resource at a very reasonable price for any individual interested in the First World War and for the library of any educational establishment studying it.'
(Major Edward Green, The Historical Association, May 2014)
2.) US Marine Corps Fighter Squadrons of World War II - recently released, loaded with details and anecdotes about the famous 'flying leathernecks'. Available for £20.00, click here to read a fascinating blog post by the author
'Osprey can be relied upon to turn out aviation books of the finest quality and this 272-page hardback is no exception. It is expertly written by Barrett Tillman, an authority on the Pacific air war.
The book has a wonderful summary of US Marine Corps fighter aviation in World War Two, and around this the author has supplied detailed summaries of the aircraft types used, their weapons and the leading characters who flew them. There is also a unit-by-unit breakdown of wartime activity.
Medal of Honor citations, a reproduction of Major Gregory Boyington's Combat Strategy and Tactics document and a wartime interview with leading ace Captain JJ Foss add to the work's authenticity, as do the plethora of first-hand accounts gathered by the author.
A staggering 24 appendices add yet further information, and reference is aided by a six-page index so detailed that it fits only in a rather small point size. Four sections of plates, the last of them bearing four colour photographs and a wide selection of unit badges, carry a total of 201 images, all of them well captioned in a separate List of Illustrations section.
At £20.00, this latest Osprey title represents exceptional value.'
(Aviation News: Classic Aircraft, June 2014)
'This is a fast-paced and engrossing account of the fall of Hong Kong and its aftermath (guerrilla warfare). […] There is a lot to offer the wargamer, with a good range of map and tabletop scenarios and without the need for a vast investment in figures and equipment. Recommended.'
(Chris Jarvis, Miniature Wargames, June 2014)
4.) American Tanks & AFVs of World War II - A very exhaustive exploration of all of America's WWII armoured fighting vehicles and visually stunning. Out next month, and available for pre-order now for £30.00.
'Inevitably there is lots of technical detail in this book but Michael Green tells his story well, backed up by excellent colour photographs, and it should entrance any reader with an interest in 20th century warfare.'
(Major Edward Green, Historical Association, June 2014)
5.) British Infantryman versus German Infantryman - number five in the wildly popular Combat series, all of which are subject to a 20% discount this month. So instead of £11.99, it's currently priced at £9.59!
'[…] Osprey's Somme 1916 British Infantryman versus German Infantryman is a nice primer for anyone interested in the makeup of British and German units on the Western Front during this period. The opening pages cover the origins and recruitment of the British and German units, along with training, weapons, and tactics. There are some nice period photos that compliment equally nice drawings and paintings showing standard uniforms, weapons, etc. The leadership characteristics of the opposing officers are covered, as well as a section on "Morale, Motivation and Logistics."
Following this introduction, the book is then divided into three sections covering separate sub-battles during the overall Battle of the Somme: 1 July 1916, the Battle of Serre; 30 July, the Battle of Guillemont; and 26-27 September, the Battle of Thiepval. Each of these is broken down into an initial discussion covering the background of the battle, including the individual units on each side that took part and how the battle transpired. Again, the written narrative in each section is well-illustrated with appropriate period photographs, colored maps, and suitable color artwork.
[…] I would like to thank Osprey Publishing for providing this very interesting book to IPMS/USA for review. I recommend it highly for anyone wishing to understand what soldiers on both sides had to endure during World War I.'
(Andrew Birbeck, IPMS/USA, May 2014)