Like many modelers, my knowledge of history is never as complete as I want it to be, and when MMP issued The Sino-French Naval War, I found a great opportunity to learn more about the conflict that occurred in 1884-1885.
For those of you unfamiliar with these actions, during this time colonization was the policy that many countries pursued to expand growth, secure mineral and trade rights, and protect their people and interests. In this case, the French wanted Vietnam also to protect their Catholic Missions.
Piotr Olender has researched the war in depth, including the ships and people involved and also the reasons behind the start of the war. The book starts with a description of the actions leading up to the start of the conflict, including the bombardment of Hue and the vessels involved. The text follows the start of the war, including all the major battles and counter attacks, and has many maps describing the action both at sea and on the many rivers. Finally, the end of the hostilities is covered.