Miscellaneous

Reviews of products for scale miscellaneous models.

Latin American Wars 1900-1941

Published: July 10th, 2018     
Latin American Wars 1900-1941
Author: Philip S. Jowett
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Company: Osprey Publishing

This publication is another edition to Osprey's "Men-at-Arms" series, and follows author Jowett previous Osprey books, Men-at-Arms 306: Chinese Civil War Armies 1911-49; and his three-part sequence, "The Italian Army 1940-45 (Men-at-Arms 340, 349 and 353)".

This book is illustrated by Stephen Walsh. Walsh has worked as a professional illustrator since 1988. His projects for Osprey include such diverse subjects as the battle of Otterburn, the Chinese army from 1937 to 1949, and the US Home Front in World War II.

The author lays out the primary goal of this publication as being, "to introduce the reader to the armies and wars of Mexico, Central America, and South America in this period." He easily achieves that goal and much more. Mr. Walsh also provides an in-depth look at the root causes of these conflicts such as military influence, the power of oligarchies, and weak or divisive governments.

The German Soldier’s Pocket Manual, 1914-1918

Published: July 4th, 2018     
The German Soldier’s Pocket Manual, 1914-1918
Author: Compiled and Edited by: Stephen Bull
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Company: Osprey Publishing

With the centennial anniversary of the end of the "war to end all wars" approaching on November 11, Stephen Bull adds this new pocket manual to the list of Osprey publications covering this period. This new book, which is compiled using excerpts from the German Army as well as from the intelligence sections of the British and American armies, describes German tactics throughout the war. It is an interesting read on a fascinating period in history as the militaries of the world were developing new weapons and tactics at an incredible rate.

After the Introduction, the chapters are Der Spatenkrieg: The Spade War, Proposals for Technical Methods, German Instructions for the Employment of Flame Projectors, Trench Raid Report, Machine Gun Instructions, Nahkampfmittel, Minor Tactics, Notes on Recent Fighting, Anti-Tank Rifle Instruction, and The Attack in Position Warfare, followed by the Index. In addition to color drawings on the inside of the front and back covers, there are 30 figures/illustrations and eight photographs (all in black and white) included in this book.

Instrument of War: The German Army 1914-18

Published: June 22nd, 2018     
Instrument of War: The German Army 1914-18
Author: Dennis Showalter
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Company: Osprey Publishing

There's a sort of strange fascination within modeling circles for World War 1, which is hardly surprising. Taking place a hundred years ago now, it was a transitional period for the world at large on a number of levels - monarchies and ancient empires were crumbling, most of Europe was evolving sluggishly from a agricultural to an industrial base, and militarily, generals were still fighting 18th century wars with 20th century weapons.

Dennis Showalter delves into one major aspect of this war with intense academic furvor - the actions of the German high command and the ways and means of their decisions that hammered a generation of Germans and paved the way for the following war with a certain grim inevitability. If you're looking for a light skimming over the topic of the German war machine for the First World War, this ain't it.

US Airborne Soldier versus German Soldier

Published: June 22nd, 2018     
US Airborne Soldier versus German Soldier
Author: David Campbell; Illustrator: Steve Noon
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Company: Osprey Publishing

During the earlier stages of WW2, the German military demonstrated a new approach to warfare never really encountered before - the airborne assault force. In hotly contested battles in places such as Norway, Denmark and Belgium, they proved the effectiveness of a shock force that could appear virtually anywhere at virtually any time.

It wasn't that long before the Allies took note and created their own versions of this elite force. Two units in the United States - the 82nd and 101st became the first large-scale units to develop the tactics and weapons necessary to serve as effective combat units in areas where they were likely to be surrounded and outnumbered by the enemy with little chance of immediate reinforcement.

David Campbell walks us through three of the major engagements by these forces in that war - the Sicilian campaign, the D-Day invasion and Operation Market Garden. All of these employed substantial numbers of airborne troops and show their effectiveness in sowing confusion within the rear ranks of enemy-held territory.

Gebirgsjager versus Soviet Sailor: Arctic Circle 1942-44

Published: June 20th, 2018     
Gebirgsjager versus Soviet Sailor: Arctic Circle 1942-44
Author: David Greentree; Illustrator: Johnny Shumate
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Company: Osprey Publishing

The grim conflicts that occurred along the edge of the Arctic Circle during World War Two are perhaps one of the least-publicized theaters in that sad war. It's a fact that for someone like me who THINKS he knows history fairly well, virtually everything in this book by Osprey Publishing came as a surprise. Who knew that such struggles were suffered in this treeless, roadless, virtually empty region along the northern edges of Lapland, Finland and Norway?

Of course the protagonists are fairly well known - the German Mountain Troops with their famous "Eidelweiss" badge, and the Soviet Naval Troops - the "Black Death" as they were sometimes called by their enemies. However, I for one did not know that they were directly involved in a number of obscure battles in even more obscure places during the course of the war. Minsk, which figures heavily in any strategic planning in this region, was one of the more important destinations for Allied convoys bringing vital supplies from England and the United States - hence the decision to fight it out in some of the most hostile terrain on the planet.