The Armed Forces of the Gulf States – Oman 1921-2012

Published: March 1st, 2020     
Author: Cliff Lord
Reviewed by: Marc K. Blackburn - IPMS# 42892
ISBN #: 9781912866069
Other Publication Information: 90 pages, 11.75 X 8.25 inches, 73 b/w photos, 26 page color section, 4 maps, 26 tables
Price: $29.95
Product provided by: Casemate Publishers

Casemate Publications has brought a series by Helion and Company that provides a broad overview of the armed forces and conflicts of the Middle East to the attention of Hobbyists. This particular book is part two of a series that focuses on the history and modern composition of the armed forces of Oman. This is number twenty-two of this series. It is a paperback publication with maps, contemporary black and white photographs as well as a smaller collection of color photographs. You will also find a series of color plates highlighting color schemes of modern and vintage vehicles. The plates and color photographs are helpful, but some of the plates are far too dark. The text is dense, and for my old eyes, a wee bit too small. Regardless, if you are interested in a broad overview of one of the Gulf States, this is a nice overview.

The book is split into two parts. The first part is a broad overview of the country. It only encompasses a small part of the book. Most of the text concentrates on the Dhofar conflict which dominated the history of Oman in the modern period. For those of you who would like to take a deeper dive into Oman's turbulent history, the work includes an extensive bibliography. The balance of the book is a detailed look at the modern Omani military - the army, navy, and air force. It is a thorough examination of the tables of organization of the fighting and service arms as well as an overview of the primary units that make up the army. This is not an examination of weapons systems; it focuses on the composition of the kingdom's armed forces. 

The author spent time in the Arabian Gulf, so he writes with a degree of authority. I have not had the opportunity to see other editions in this broad series, but the author does the reader a service in revealing a bit about an important ally on the Arabian Peninsula. While I would have liked to see more color photographs, in particular of uniform parts and badges, this is a great introduction to Oman's armed forces. Casemate publishing appears to be the distributors. If you go to the Helion and Company website (www.helion.co.uk) you can see the additional titles in this series.

My thanks to IPMS and Casemate Publications for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

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