For history buffs and modelers interested in artillery warfare during WWII, the folks at Pen and Sword have come through with an offering that provides extensive coverage of all manners of artillery. The different types of artillery, including the gun, howitzer, and mortar are covered in detail for all participants in the war as well as rockets that were used. Over 400 photographs and illustrations are contained in the book so that nearly every page contains one or more photographs or black and white drawing, all of which are well produced.
In the Preface, Simon Forty mentions his late father-in-law Barry Hook, who was a gunner during the Second World War serving in France, North Africa, and Germany. The importance of Allied artillery in the European offensive is mentioned, along with the book being based in photographs to show the equipment as well as the tactics employed. The Abbreviations and Glossary section does a great job of thoroughly describing the types of artillery, ammunition nomenclature and types, and types of fire before providing the Glossary and Abbreviations themselves.
The Introduction begins with some discussion of world War I and the artillery ending with the limitations imposed on the German army by the Treaty of Versailles. The seven chapters of the book, in order, are titled Field Artillery, Self-Propelled Artillery, Anti-Tank Artillery, Anti-Aircraft Artillery, Big Guns, Rockets, and Ammunition. Chapter Six, Rockets, is seven pages in length, and the shortest, while Chapters One, Field Artillery, is the longest at 46 pages. The Appendices cover Observation, Gun positions, Towing weapons, and Mountain warfare, and conclude with Photo Credits and suggestions for Further Reading.
As mentioned at the start of this review, artillery fans of all types will enjoy this publication, so I can highly recommend it! The wonderful photos of both Axis and Allies weapons will be appreciated by modelers and will be of interest to artillery aficionados.
I always like to close by thanking the person in charge of the Review Corps, so hats off to Phil Peterson for his work, and to the folks behind the scenes like Bill O’Malley, who mails out the lion’s share of the review items, and the folks who place our reviews on the IPMS web site. In closing, an incredibly special thanks to the folks at Casemate Publishing for providing this book for review.