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  • NEW VIKING IMAGES ON
    Fair Oaks makes it actually a prequel to all these events This book covers the background to the campaign the landings and the advance to within five miles of the Confederate capital of Richmond Then we have the battle itself which takes us almost to the end of the book excepting only J E B Stuart s famous cavalcade right around the Union army After which the author appears to leave himself or his publishers ideally poised to resume the tale of the Seven Days Battles in a subsequent volume My treasured volume of the American Heritage history of the Civil War records Fair Oaks as inconclusive Later more scholarly works have expended that assessment somewhat recording the event as mostly inconclusive taking note of the wounding of Confederate General Joseph E Johnston which led to his replacement by Lee However this author is a more enthusiastic proponent of the battle s importance And his enthusiasm gives the book much of its interest In the first 61 pages of the book we have separate sections covering respectively the political and military background to the campaign its chronology a detailed Order of Battle for both sides thumbnail biographies of key commanders and an account of the advance up the Tidewater Peninsula past Yorktown and Williamsburg over the Chickahominy and on towards Richmond The result of the Fair Oaks action is mentioned several times we are not to be kept in suspense as to its outcome Then we have twenty pages detailing the battle itself and the author warms to his subject with lavish illustrations maps and detail One wonders if the author would have preferred to give still more detail to the eponymous battle itself Even so the story is absorbing and informative Wargamers will find good coverage of small scale

    Original URL path: http://www.wargames.co.uk/Pending/Archive/Feb04/Feb04/OSPFairOaks.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • NEW VIKING IMAGES ON
    the photographic material comes from the UK Imperial War Museum and the Tank Museum and a cutaway drawing of a Mk V tank the cover illustration is hardly revealing to a western audience Equally someone with any acquaintance with the main works in English on the Russian Civil War will have to search hard to find a great deal of new material in the narrative There are some snippets of information about the tactical use of armour in the RCW including an account of a duel between a MkV tank and an armoured train and another describing how four Whippets were camouflaged as haystacks emerging to machine gun charging Red Cavalry Details of the amount of Allied armour present in Russia are perhaps rather surprising There were over 70 tanks MkVs and Whippets on the Southern Front in November 1919 while Medium Bs and Renault FT17s Renos to the Russians saw combat elsewhere Even J F C Fuller visited on a tour of inspection perhaps dreaming of a Russian version of his Plan 1919 Certainly there were green fields beyond aplenty but that was part of the problem With the technology and reliability of 1919 the tanks were still effectively bound to the railways so it was hardly surprising that the armoured train found so much favour in Russia This part of the book is quite well covered with information on the organisation and operation of armoured trains on all fronts I suspect modellers would have liked rather more illustrative material the coloured plates do not really add much to the black and white photographs and it would have been interesting to see more of the splendid titles of these trains eg St George Bringer of Victory and Victorious Thunder rendered into Cyrillic script It may be that the available

    Original URL path: http://www.wargames.co.uk/Pending/Archive/Feb04/Feb04/OSPRCW.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • NEW VIKING IMAGES ON
    get feedback I could use And this suprises me because the Vis bellica system is very playable and good fun and in my view far superior to the WRG rules though I cannot comment on WAB My Midland pals have pored over the lists and find them both detailed and extensive and as they put it little to quibble about though I know this is a serious matter of opinion

    Original URL path: http://www.wargames.co.uk/Pending/Archive/Feb04/Feb04/VisBellica.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • Recessional By Rudyard Kipling
    actions around three main sieges Cuidad Rodrigo Badajoz and San Sebastian And herein lies the problem these three actions have received the attention of numerous writers over the last few years indeed Ian has produced a number of such works himself So does this work add anything new to our knowledge of the subject And I am afraid the answer is no not in my opinion True there are some new photographs and the section covering the Allied siegeworks outside Cuidad Rodrigo is interesting in cannot really be termed new information Having said that I would not with to detract from the excellence of this volume when looked at in isolation and if I was looking for a book to recommend to someone new to the subject this would be the one I just wish though that the British publications on the Peninsular War would widen their scope to include the actions that took place without the benefit of Wellesley s presence The Spanish fought the majority of the actions of this war and receive damn little recognition in the UK Also the war was fought on more than one from and the campaigns of Suchet and the British on

    Original URL path: http://www.wargames.co.uk/Pending/Archive/Feb04/Feb04/PWFortsOsp.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • Please remember to mention Wargames Forum when contacting traders
    south and southwestern fronts under men like Marshalls Budenny and Timoshenko and Lt Gen Kirponos who alone commanded over 907 000 men This book is excellent when it comes to describing the build up to Barbarossa and the strengths and weaknesses in the two military machines which faced each other in July 1941 The book then does an excellent job of focusing in on the southern front describing the early frontier battles the battles around the Stalin Line and the fighting for Kiev and the Uman Kessel Later actions in the Crimea the battle of the sea of Azov and Sevastopol and the drive to Kharkov and Rostov are covered with a final section on Timoshenko s counteroffensive in November 1941 and von Runstedt being relieved of command If this all sounds a little dry then I should add that the book is liberally sprinkled with photographs and maps and of course the fantastically inspirational pictures this time painted by Howard Gerrard that Osprey books are well known for The picture of SS Liebstandarte fighting in the snow in November 1941 is truly atmospheric and full of detail This book may not be of great value to the well read

    Original URL path: http://www.wargames.co.uk/Pending/Archive/Jan04/Barbarossa.htm (2016-02-16)
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    of European immigration As always with this series the aim is to give the reader an informed overview of a subject that has had much written about it and for which far more scholarly works are available And in this Robinson succeeds admirably Setting the historical scene from the arrival of the Spanish and their settlement of the far south west through to the beginnings of the great movement westward that saw the bitter conflict of the Indian Wars Briefly covering the warring sides their training and weaponry and introducing us to some of the characters on both sides Robinson quickly takes us into the campaigns of the plains he describes methods of fighting and the hit and run nature of the fighting a problem that tied up the US forces in protecting civilian interests As you may expect a fair proportion of the book is dedicated to the battle of Little Bighorn and the consequences of that action One surprising omission to me was an account of the Nez Pearce campaign perhaps Mr Robinson does not regard this as strictly part of the Plains Wars but given the range of Chief Joseph s travels and the units of the

    Original URL path: http://www.wargames.co.uk/Pending/Archive/Jan04/OspPlainswar.htm (2016-02-16)
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    also that the Royal Navy engaged the fledgling American in a series of frigate actions Readers of C S Forrester and more recently Patrick O Brien will be familiar with the story of early and repeated defeats shaking the self confidence of a Royal Navy accustomed to victory This book deals with the weapons that achieved this feat Heavy Frigates can be divided into four distinct and roughly equal sections The first quarter offers a succinct story of the design and development of the American frigates In a mere dozen pages we learn answers to key questions Why did the Americans build their big frigates Because they had a vision of a national naval strategy and the appropriate tactics and weapons to execute it How did the Americans build longer and faster frigates Design innovation Why did the British not Cost men and materials until it became necessary to invest in copying the enemy a familiar tale The second quarter of the book is an operational history which necessarily focuses on the frigates role in the war of 1812 And surprisingly does not include the familiar action between Shannon and Chesapeake though quite correctly since Chesapeake was not one of the heavy Humphreys frigates of the title This section is short but adequate anyone desiring more detail will have no difficulty finding it Thirdly in true Osprey style we have a series of plates offering everything from a detail of boarding axe and pike through to a magnificent cutaway illustration of Old Ironsides from main brace bumpkin to martingale which illustration also graces the cover Finally we are presented with a listing of all ships in the class with key dates statistics and thumbnail history for each Overall this is an informative and useful volume presented in a businesslike and

    Original URL path: http://www.wargames.co.uk/Pending/Archive/Jan04/Heavfrig.htm (2016-02-16)
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    the subject though his expertise in the area of aerial bombardment will bring insights to this aspect of the battles Maps and photographic illustrations are adequate rather than lavish but well chosen and positioned Indeed it was a surprise to count the maps and find only six they are so clear and well positioned that the reader is rarely in doubt as to locations mentioned in the text Also alongside the text are occasional helpful sidebars highlighting statistical organizational or biographical details The first third of the book sets the Cassino battles in the context of the overall campaign Indeed the author s stated theme is that the Cassino battles are the Italian Campaign in microcosm In a battle area comparatively compressed in space and time these battles involved mountain warfare river crossing operations and urban fighting The unfolding story is therefore accessible to readers with limited prior knowledge of the Italian Campaign This reader certainly found it an extremely helpful introduction to the subject A great deal of military history especially when dealing with specific battles tends to follow the normal course of a battle It starts with order the big picture the grand strategy and descends through the operational to the tactical level as plans come in contact with the enemy and become more or less unravelled if not chaotic This work is no exception We find ourselves following the action at corps level then division and ultimately the actions of individual battalions By the end of the story we even find the Polish Kresowa Division s 13th 16th and 17th Battalions so weakened by heavy casualties that the total number of troops engaged was in reality little more than the equivalent of a single battalion Below battalion level there is little detail you will not find here

    Original URL path: http://www.wargames.co.uk/Pending/Archive/Jan04/BRCassino.htm (2016-02-16)
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