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Updated: 4 hours 31 min ago

Scale Aviation Modeller (Dec 2019)

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 00:15
Product Image Review Author:  Rod Lees MA Publications, Ltd.

IPMS/USA appreciates the opportunity to review this periodical and report on the content!

OK, I am one of "those guys" who really enjoys reading periodicals/magazines.  They provide a method to weed out the potential poorly manufactured models out there (a rare occurrence these days with modern molding techniques) and highlight the benefit of a given kit.  A win for me as I therefore know of and don't buy poorly executed plastic.  And if I do, it's because it saves me a lot of scratch building.  Plus, I learn a lot of technique and history from modeling.  What is not to like?  

My first experience with hard-core modeling magazines was the few produced here in the United States in the late 1960's. Royal Air Force Review, a predecessor to many of the magazines currently produced in the UK, was difficult for me to obtain.  I distinctly remember a German F-104G being launched on a "Zero Length Launcher" as a cover feature on one of them.  (I wonder if it's in the stash out there?)   After finding magazines like the now-defunct Scale Modeler, and the occasional UK magazine sold for book-like prices in what used to be bookstores, I determined there were others like myself who were attempting to do a better job than the kid down the street who always seemed to have plenty of support and cash for his hobby.  

I learned about IPMS USA, read the R/C modeling magazines as well (now there's a hobby that can eat your paycheck), and learned of UK magazines.  Some specialty magazines began to feature major reviews and modifications, and those still exist in one form or another today. 

Fast forward to this issue of Scale Aviation Modeller International.  The cover features the Zoukei Mura 1/32 DO-335 "double arrow" two seat review item, and the builder did a really great job of a complex kit with masterful airbrush work. The review went in to a lot of "how" detail with decent photos for those of us interested in the kit.  

Two other aircraft share time on the cover... Airfix's 1/24 Hellcat (you have to see it to believe it) and a Trumpeter MIG-3.  The second item seems to be a scale down of their 1/32 kit and is painted in the attractive red-wing with white snow distemper effort.    Both are excellent short tomes with sufficient detail to make me interested in building one and acquiring the other. 

The last major photo is the one I was interested most in... IPMS' own Floyd Werner's build of the Kitty Hawk 1/35 MH-60L.... just seriously well researched, presented, and done, I might add.   

Surreal detail and effort obviously went into this kit and Floyd's review of the build along with corrections (and of course, a quiet nod toward his resin improvement could not be bypassed).  All is forgiven, as the final result is I now have a "free" list of improvements for the Lima I intend to build one of these days.  A grand review, Floyd!

The much reported on F6-F hellcat is touted and included as eight profiles, along with the usual list of new releases and book reviews.  These I find particularly worth my time to peruse. 

And on the cover, the sales line:  "New Look" as a corner banner.  Fortunately it was not the radical "new look" that some magazines have taken, where four or five subjects are highlighted, photos splashed edge to edge, and little to no narrative.  

A Note here:  I don't personally care for the "Cleaned up" look that seems to be taking over the current Magazines out on the news-stands.  I buy and read a magazine because I read and learn, and the photos support the effort.  In this case, this particular magazine (and one other from the UK with a very similar name) meets my requirement for sufficient editorial content along with photographic excellence.  There are others (one which starts with an M) which are able to provide wide-spread photography with sufficient notes to describe what is going on, particularly with aftermarket and scratchbuilt details.

All it all, I understand marketing.  But sometimes that Marketing fails with me.  In this case, SAMi (as it is described) still scratches the itch... and so far I look for it and two other magazines to coerce me from my hard earned dollars.  Well done SAMi and thank you from me and IPMS USA for providing us an excellent magazine to review!

Case White - The Invasion of Poland 1939

Wed, 04/29/2020 - 21:24
Product Image Review Author:  Pablo Bauleo Osprey Publishing

Osprey Publishing has recently released a book by Robert Forczyk covering the Invasion of Poland. He is a well-known author and superb researcher of military topics. Certainly, this book is not an exception to his well-earned reputation.

The book is broken down in the following sections

  • Poland is not lost
  • Poland prepares for the next round
  • The Threat Emerges
  • Countdown to War
  • Opening Moves
  • Total War
  • Apotheosis
  • Occupation
  • Epilogue

Plus several appendices covering military ranks, glossary, etc.

I would argue that this book is two sub-books in one single binding. The first sub-book covers the political history of Poland during the 1920s and 1930's (the first 3 chapters) while the second sub-book covers military history of the actual invasion of Poland in 1939. 

I applaud the author for taking the the time to research and explain the issues going back to the early 1920's which setup the invasion of Poland in 1939. The author covers how the political situation in Europe, plus the League of Nations lack of significant response to German and Italian expansionism in the 1930's unintentionally bolstered Hitler's expansionism in Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe. That is not often found in history books. Nor is the level of detail on the military actions during September and October of '39. There are descriptions of individual battles or even individual air sorties, if relevant to the action being narrated.

While you can tell the author went into painstaking research to collect all the details, reading the book is not painstaking at all. It has the proper balance of detail, references and narrative, without loosing the "big picture" of what the military operation was all about. 

Regarding the military operation details, the author makes very clear that while it was a German/Soviet victory, the Polish armed forces fought courageously and in several cases were able to delay and even counterattack the invading armies. It was just the lack of more modern tactics, combined with the overwhelming superiority of numbers and having to fight on two fronts that sealed the fate of Poland. 

Perhaps the best endorsement I can provide is that I was having a hard time putting down the book at the end of each chapter. That is how well written it is.

Highly recommended.

I would like to thank Osprey Publishing and IPMS/USA for the review sample.

Return Rollers for Pz.IV Type 3

Wed, 04/29/2020 - 13:45
Product Image Review Author:  Dick Montgomery OKB Grigorov

OKB offers three very similar products, all in 35th scale, for use on a Pz.IV . These items are "return rollers" for the Type 2 (product S35007), the Type 3 (product S35008), and the Type 4 (product S35009). This review will focus on the rollers for the Type 3 (product S35008).

The roller parts are contained in a small zip lock baggie. A paper label is stapled to the baggie which serves to identify the "Type" for which these parts are engineered, and to provide a secure closure so that none of the parts go astray.

Even in 35th scale these roller parts are rather small measuring just about a 1/4 inch in diameter. But there is nothing "delicate" about the parts. The molding is very crisp and the detail, although very small, is very well done. The detail is well molded and very small. Look at the image labeled "Close-Up" and one can see the "rabbit ears" of the retaining ring that is used to secure the roller to its axle. For those who are more familiar with instrument panels in aircraft, think in terms of a single instrument dial face in 1/72nd scale. No assembly instructions come with the OKB product and none is needed. Each roller consists of an "outer" and "inner" piece which fit together very well.

Mentioned at the beginning of this review, OKB provides three different roller sets for different variants of the Pz IV. One of the chief differences in these roller sets is that fine detail mentioned in the above paragraph.

This product is highly recommended for its quality of manufacture, clean and crisp detail, and attention to the slight differences in the detail across the roller product range. Thanks to OKB for providing this sample to IPMS for review.

S35009 Return Rollers for Pz.IV Type 4

Wed, 04/29/2020 - 13:38
Product Image Review Author:  Dick Montgomery OKB Grigorov

OKB offers three very similar products, all in 35th scale, for use on a Pz.IV . These items are "return rollers" for the Type 2 (product S35007), the Type 3 (product S35008), and the Type 4 (product S35009). This review will focus on the rollers for the Type 4 (product S35009).

The roller parts are contained in a small zip lock baggie. A paper label is stapled to the baggie which serves to identify the "Type" for which these parts are engineered, and to provide a secure closure so that none of the parts go astray.

Even in 35th scale these roller parts are rather small measuring just about a 1/4 inch in diameter. But there is nothing "delicate" about the parts. The molding is very crisp and the detail, although very small, is very well done. The detail is well molded and very small. With detail that is somewhat larger than the Type 2 and Type 3 return rollers, the retaining devices on the Type 4 rollers are much larger and can easily be seen. No assembly instructions come with the OKB product and none is needed. Each roller consists of an "outer" and "inner" piece which fit together very well.

Maintaining the same level of quality as the roller sets for the Type 2 and the Type 3, the size and detail of the rollers for the Type 4 are well manufactured. This roller set will definitely add "detail" to your model.

This product is highly recommended for its quality of manufacture, clean and crisp detail, and attention to the slight differences in the detail across the roller product range. Thanks to OKB for providing this sample to IPMS for review.

Montgomery’s Rhine River Crossing Operation PLUNDER

Wed, 04/29/2020 - 13:30
Product Image Review Author:  Dick Montgomery Casemate Publishers

Overview as found on the website: After the Normandy break-out, the Allies' headlong dash east came to a halt in the autumn with the ill-fated MARKET GARDEN operation and over-extended supply lines short of the Rhineland. After repulsing the Nazis' daring Ardennes offensive, Montgomery's and Bradley's Army Groups cleared the Reichwald and Rhineland and closed on the Rhine.

With both sides aware of the strategic significance of this physical barrier the stakes could not have been higher. Eisenhower's plan involved a vast airborne assault by General Ridgway's XV11 Airborne Corps (codename VARSITY) and the simultaneously coordinated river crossing by Monty's 21 Army Group codename PLUNDER with Dempsey's British Second Army and General William H. Simpson's US Ninth Army.

This superbly illustrated and researched book describes the March 1945 assault crossing involving naval amphibious craft, the air and artillery bombardment and diversionary attack by the British 1st Commando brigade at Wesel. In concert with VARSITY and PLUNDER, Patton's US Third Army Group crossed further south.

As a result of this triumph of strategic planning and tactical execution, the fate of Hitler's 'Thousand Year Reich' was finally sealed

About the Author

As presented on the Operation PLUNDER flyer and website, Jon Diamond MD is a kidney specialist in the USA with a deep interest in the Second World War. He is a keen collector of photographs. His Stilwell and the Chindits, War in the South Pacific, Invasion of Sicily, Invasion of the Italian Mainland: Salerno to Gustav Line, 1943-1944, Onto Rome 1944; Anzio and Victory at Cassino and Beyond Rome to the Alps; Across the Arno and Gothic Line, 1944-1945 and Op Plunder The Rhine River Crossing are all published by Pen and Sword in the Images of War series.

Table of Contents
  • Chapter 1 - Strategic Prelude to the Campaign
  • Chapter 2 - Terrain, Fortifications and Weapons
  • Chapter 3 - Commanders and Combatants
  • Chapter 4 - Clearing the Rhineland
  • Chapter 5 - The Rhine River Crossings and Airborne Assault
  • Epilogue and References
A Closer Look
  • Chapter 1 - In two pages of well written text, the author summarizes the strategic position of the Allied forces and identifies the points in the three-phase plan set forth by the Supreme Allied Commander. A map (page 8) helps the reader to get a sense of the geography of the opposing forces, and the locations of the various towns and cities that are mentioned. On the next 28 pages, black and white photographs draw the attention of the reader to the view of the campaign as seen by individual combatants or small groups of soldiers as they either attacked or defended various locations seen on the map as the Allied forces drew near the Rhine, crossed it, and began to push the Axis forces away from the river.
  • Chapter 2 - The fighting was (as is always the case in combat) by the terrain, the fortifications located on that terrain, and the weapons at hand. The author describes the terrain as quite varied as one follows the course of the Rhine. In one location, the Rhine passes through a gorge with cliffs approaching 600 feet. In another location the Rhine is a quarter of a mile wide with floodplains that could expand up to one mile wide. Weather has a major impact on the ability of the forces to relocate, receive supplies, and establish lines of transport and communication. In many of the images in this chapter the reader will notice the mud, which was in abundance as the winter snow disappeared. The Siegfried Line is detailed by the author. He addresses the construction of the wall, and how the Axis planned to use it, as it had passed its prime as a defensive barrier. The author describes some of the weaponry used such as the Hobart's "Funnies", the Panther and Tiger tanks verses the Allies M4 Medium. The 56 pages of black and white photographs focus primarily on the foot soldier and the armor in use. For the reader who is also a modeler who focuses on armor or figures, this chapter is an excellent resource.
  • Chapter 3 - In this chapter the author provides a discussion regarding those in charge of the Allied and Axis forces, as well as 40 pages of photographs of those leaders and of the soldiers they led. Of course, there is a brief mention of the intense rivalry between Patton and Montgomery. And again, for those who are modelers, and especially for figure painters, the images are rich in detail showing the various uniforms and bits of gear carried by the combatants.
  • Chapter 4 - This chapter covers the time span of February thru March 1945, as the Allied forces pushed the Germans back and out of the Rhineland. Operations Veritable, Blockbuster, and Grenade are highlighted. Attention, in detail, is given to the capture of the Ludendorff Railway Bridge, a major event in the effort to take control of the Rhineland.
  • Chapter 5 - This, the final chapter of the book, focuses on Montgomery's set-piece battle plan. Those operations revolving around the crossing of the Rhine are described including the Plunder, Widgeon and Varsity operations.

This book is highly recommended due to the excellent maps, large number of black and white images, and detailed coverage of the subject. Thanks to Casemate for providing this copy for review by IPMS.

IDF F-CK 1C/D

Wed, 04/29/2020 - 13:21
Product Image Review Author:  Pablo Bauleo Scale Aircraft Conversions

Scale Aircraft Conversions specializes in white metal replacement parts. Its line of replacement landing gear has been expanded to include a set for the Freedom Model F-CK 1/C/D.

The set is very comprehensive, including 12 parts covering the main landing gear, the nose landing gear and even the nose wheel well. These parts are drop-in replacements for the plastic parts. In addition to the actual landing gear, you get an nose landing gear wheel well. That should help with mitigating the chance of a tail sitter.

You can see from the pictures the parts are very cleanly molded and formed, without any visible molding lines (typical of plastic parts).

Recommended to modelers of all skill levels.

I would like to thank Scale Aircraft Conversions and IPMS/USA for the review sample.

Sea Vixen Faw.2 Landing Gear

Wed, 04/29/2020 - 13:16
Product Image Review Author:  Pablo Bauleo Scale Aircraft Conversions

Scale Aircraft Conversions specializes in white metal replacement parts. Its line of replacement landing gear has been expanded to include a set for the Trumpeter 1/48 Sea Vixen.

The set is including 7 parts covering the main landing gear struts and fork. These parts are drop-in replacements for the plastic parts. Considering the size of the Sea Vixen, investing on a sturdy landing gear is likely to be a good idea.

You can see from the pictures the parts are very cleanly molded and formed, without any visible molding lines (typical of plastic parts).

In addition to the listed advantages, when using white metal landing gear you can always 'tweak' the landing gear strut for an improved alignment of the parts, which again in a large model airplane is an extra advantage.

Recommended to modelers of all skill levels.

I would like to thank Scale Aircraft Conversions and IPMS/USA for the review sample.

Top Drawings #83 – Sukhoi Su-27/Su-33

Wed, 04/29/2020 - 00:38
Product Image Review Author:  Paul R. Brown Kagero Publishing

The Su-27 family was originally designed as a heavy interceptor to counter US fighter designs such as the F-14 Tomcat & F-15 Eagle.  It originally entered service as a long-range interceptor against American heavy bombers such as the B-52 and the B-1B.  The design has been refined and has resulted in several variants such as the SU-30 multi-role fighter, the Su-34 bomber and the Su-33 shipboard fighter.

This TopDrawings book provides a very brief history of the Su-27/Su-33 in both English and Polish. There are twelve pages of line drawings of the Su-27 and Su-33 variants in both 1/72 and 1/144 scale and the primary air to air weapons carried by the Su-27 family.   The color side profiles illustrate markings for Ukrainian, Russian, and Angolan Flankers, but only provide one side view for each aircraft (other than the Ukrainian Su-27UB) and no topside views.  My only issue with the color profiles is that the ones for the Su-33 appear to have been greyed out a bit as the colors are a bit dark and the whites are more grey than white.

The last section of the book are several black and white photographs of a Ukrainian Su-27 in a three-color splinter pattern.  

I enjoyed the book and the comparisons of the various versions of the Su-27/Su-33.   Thank you to Casemate Publishing for the review sample and to IPMS-USA for letting me review it.

Naval Fighters Number 110 – Douglas A-4C/L in Marine Service

Wed, 04/29/2020 - 00:02
Product Image Review Author:  Paul R. Brown Ginter Books

This book is the seventh book in Ginter's Naval Fighters series and looks at the 23 Marine Corps units that flew the A-4C/L Skyhawk.  The book opens with a brief discussion of the development of the A-4C as an all-weather version of the Skyhawk and some of the structural changes that were made to accomplish this.  While the A-4C was intended as an interim design, 638 aircraft constructed.

The bulk of the book consists of brief squadron histories of the USMC units that operated the A-4C, many of which can trace their origins to Marine fighter squadrons of World War II and Korea.  The unit histories also include brief descriptions of aircraft losses for the unit.  Each history also includes an illustration of the unit's patch or patches and multiple photographs of the unit's aircraft in various settings showing variations of the unit's markings over the years.  Some of the photographs are staged publicity shots, but most of the photographs are not and show Marine Skyhawks in normal operations including carrier operations.  Several of the photographs show some of the various weapons loads carried by the A-4C.

I enjoyed the book as I was not aware that so many Marine units flew the A-4C.  The crisply printed photographs and the informative captions provide a lot of incentive to build a Marine Scooter, so now it is off to raid the kit stash to see if I have one!

Recommended!  Thank you to Ginter Books for the review sample and to IPMS-USA for letting me review it.

USMC SBD-1 “Pearl Harbor”

Fri, 04/24/2020 - 00:47
Product Image Review Author:  Chris Smith Academy Models

With the recent release of yet another Battle of Midway film, it seems appropriate for Academy to release this version of the venerable Douglas Dauntless in Marine colors. This package starts off with Accurate Miniatures excellent kit of the Dauntless. In addition, we get a photoetch fret of seat belts and pre-cut masks for the extensive canopy framing. The marking options include a USMC SBD-1 based in Hawaii on December 7, 1941 and another Marine SBD-1 based at MCAS Quantico, Virginia around the same time. 

I've always been a fan of the Accurate Miniatures line and this kit is no exception. Fantastic surface and interior details are hallmarks of the brand.  The cockpit is packed with detail but I used some online reference photos to make sure I was putting parts in the right locations.  The instrument panel is cast in clear plastic but the dial faces have raised detail on them so I used the decal provided and settled it in with some Solvaset.  

Things moved quickly once the fuselage was closed up. I needed a bit of putty on the bottom wing joint trailing edge at the fuselage. The airframe is all one color with the wheel wells in white. After preshading with dark grey the aircraft was painted with Vallejo Model Air 71.046 Pale Blue Grey. After sealing the paint with some clear semigloss, I applied the decals which I found very easy to get off the sheet and settle into the details on the model. 

A highlight of this kit for me is the dive flaps that can be posed open in dive mode (top and bottom) or landing configuration (just the bottom). I chose the latter. Make sure you paint the inside of the flaps red as they are on the real thing. The torque tube actuators for the flaps is a nice touch.  Fear not the multi-framed canopies. The precut masks are easy to apply and fit perfectly. Aligning the landing gear is a bit tricky. There is a detail drawing in the instructions but you will have to work with it as the glue sets to get the angles right. Separate hubs both inside and out make for easy wheel painting.

Academy rates this kit a four of five on the skill scale and I would agree with that. If you don't have one of these in your collection or you've never built an Accurate Miniatures kit, this is a good place to start. Thank you, Academy, for keeping these excellent Accurate Miniature kits on the market and supplying the sample to IPMS.   

The Trieste Crisis 19 - The First Cold War Confrontation in Europe

Sun, 04/19/2020 - 17:29
Product Image Review Author:  Frank Landrus Helion & Company

Bojan Dimitrijevic is working as a historian and is Deputy Director of the Institute for Contemporary History, Belgrade, Serbia. Educated at the Universities of Belgrade and Novi Sad, CEU Budapest, and the University of Bradford, he has also worked as the custodian of the Yugoslav Aviation Museum. During the period 2003-2009, Dimitrijevic served as advisor to the Minister of Defense, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the President of Serbia, and as Assistant to the Minister of Defense. He has published over 50 different books and more than 100 scientific articles in Serbia and abroad. His professional interest is in the military history of the former Yugoslavia and Balkans in World War Two, the Cold War as well as wars in the 1990s. This is his second installment for Helion.

Helion is a UK based company that produces books on many aspects of Military History from the Late Medieval period through to the present day. Helion was established in 1996, and since then they have published almost 1,200 books, with 100 or more new titles coming out every year, for readers around the world.

Helion's first book in the Europe @ War series is a square back soft cover and includes 80 gloss paper pages. Another six books in the Europe @ War series are planned for 2020.  The cover features a black and white photograph of Yugoslav soldiers with their distinctive German style helmets in the trenches at the edge of Zone B.  The color side view by Tom Cooper is of a Republic F-47D Thunderbolt (13054/54) of the 111th Fighter-Bomber Regiment of the JRV.  A color side profile by David Bocquelet of a M4A3/76 Sherman tank on the rear cover can also be found on page 32ii.  The rear cover also depicts an Italian Air Force Republic F-84G Thunderjet by Tom Cooper (this side profile can also be found on page 32vii).   I counted no color pictures and123 black and white photographs.  There also 10 aviation color side profiles by Tom Cooper, 8 armor color side profiles by David Bocquelet, 4 color 'uniform' figures by Anderson Subtil,  one black and white map, one full color map, and 10 tables.

The port city of Trieste became one of the first battles of the Cold War as the ideologies of western democracy and communism collided.   May 1945 saw both the US and British forces racing against the Russian forces to claim Trieste.  The Free Territory of Trieste was an independent territory between Italy and Yugoslavia under direct responsibility of the United Nations Security Council in the aftermath of World War II.  The Adriatic city's Free Territory was established on February 10, 1947 intending to cool down the territorial claims between Italy and Yugoslavia.  It came into existence on 15 September 1947. Its administration was divided into two areas: one being the port city of Trieste with a narrow coastal strip to the North West (Zone A); the other (Zone B) was formed by a small part of the northwestern part of the Istrian peninsula.  The Free Territory was dissolved de facto in 1954.  Bojan Dimitrijevic  focuses on this 1953 confrontation with aviation, armor, and naval perspectives.

The sections include:

Abbreviations

Introduction and Acknowledgements

  1. The Cold War Starts at Trieste 1945

Yugoslav Partisans and Allies Enter Trieste

Tito's Attempts - Allied Strong Response

Withdrawal of the Yugoslav Forces and Allied Temporary Administration

Table 1: British Battalions Deployed in the Trieste and Pula Regions 1945-1947

Table 2: British Intelligence and Security Detachments 1945-1946

Incidents in 1946: The Shooting Down of Two USAAF Aircraft

  1. Establishing the Free Territory of Trieste 1947

New Zonal Division

TRUST and BETFOR: Allied Forces in the FTT

Table 3: TRUST Commanding Officers 1947-1954

Table 4: BETFOR Battalions from mid-1947

Italian Forces of the V Military Territorial Command in 1949 [Page 21]

Table 5: Military Territorial Command in 1949

Communist Yugoslavia Becomes a US and NATO Ally

Table 6: Major Items of Military Equipment Received by Fifth Military District between 1 November 1952 and 20 August 1953

Re-Equipment of the Yugoslav Forces in "Ljubljana Gap"

Towards a New Division of the FTT

  1. Trieste Crisis 1953

Giuseppe Pella Government - Complicating of the Relations

Incidents on the Mutual Border 1952-1953

Fifth Military District of the Yugoslav People's Army: Order of Battle Prior to the Trieste Crisis

Pella's Plan to Seize Zone A: Esigenza T

Table 7: Naval Group Adriatic (Gruppo Navale Adriatico)

Table 8: Italian Air Force Assigned Units for Operation "Esigenza T"

Tito's Speeches Add More Fuel to the Emerging Conflict

Table 9: Eskadra of the Yugoslav Navy Warships Deployed at the Beginning of the Crisis [Page 31]

Yugoslav Army and Navy Activities

Color Profiles [Page 32 vi]

  1. Eighth of October 1953

Yugoslav Forces on the Move Towards Zone B and the Border

Yugoslav Air Force on Alert [Page 45]

Table 10: III Air Corps Yugoslav Air Force Operational Strength During the Trieste Crisis

L'eigenza T (Trieste) - Movement and Activities of the Italian Army

Challenge for Yugoslav Intelligence: Monitoring the Italian Movements

Italian Estimations of the Yugoslav Army

At the Edge of Confrontation

Aerial Reconnaissance Missions

Allied Forces in the FTT and the Trieste Crisis

Tito's Comments on the Crisis

  1. Towards the Compromise

The End of the Crisis

Division of the Free Territory of Trieste [Page 58]

Italian Ground Forces in North-Eastern Italy 1954

Experiences of the Both Armies Gained During the Crisis

Conclusion

Bibliography

Notes

Acknowledgements

I found many of the topics very interesting, but one incident on June 30th, 1952, was notable.  On this date, some 65 Italian soldiers crossed the border, climbing the summit of Mangrit.  This 2,679 meters mountain was on the northern part of the Italian-Yugoslav border.  The Italians took the opportunity to really singe the Yugoslav soldiers by writing in the guest book.  Of course, some of the signees included some provocative slogans sure to tick off the Yugoslav warriors.  Although many of these incursions in 1952 and 1953 could have been quite serious, many were not.  The Italians would continue to persuade the Yugoslav soldiers to defect with offerings of cigars, prostitutes, and other goods not available to the Yugoslavs. 

The contemporary photographs support the text, and the quality compared to WWI pictures is certainly improved. These photos certainly give you a good perspective of the events described.  I am looking forward to future volumes in Helion's Europe @ War series.  If you own one the previous releases in Helion's "@ War" series, you know what you are getting. If this is your initial entry into this series, you will be quite pleased.

My thanks to Helion & Company, Casemate Publishing, and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great book.

Highly recommended!

Images of War Hitler’s Light Tanks

Sun, 04/19/2020 - 16:29
Product Image Review Author:  Will Kuhrt Pen & Sword

Synopsis per back cover:  Hitler's Wehrmacht led the way in armoured warfare as the successful blitzkriegs in Poland and North West Europe in 1940 so convincingly proved. The contribution of light tanks such as Panzers I, II and 35(t) was critical.

As the war spread to the Balkans, north Africa, and the invasion of Russia, German engineers worked tirelessly modifying existing light tanks and developing new models. The growing Soviet armoured threat, in particular, spawned tank destroyers such as the Marder III Panzerjager, SdKfz 138/1 and 139. Anti-aircraft variants included the Flakpanzer 38(t), the SdKfz 140/1 reconnaissance tank armed with a 20mm turret-mounted gun developed from the SdKfz 22 armoured car, whereas the Aufklarungerspanzer 38(t) carried a 7.5cm gun in the support reconnaissance role.

In the final stages of the war light tanks were phased out and the Marder and 38 (t) were up-gunned; the Wespe was adapted from the Panzer II chassis.

This superbly illustrated book gives a comprehensive overview of the multitude of vehicles and variants that came into service. With the text and captions providing technical data, the images show this formidable array of fighting vehicles in action across the theatres of war.

About the Author

Paul Thomas is an expert in WWII fighting vehicles and an avid collector of contemporary images.  He resides in Braintree, England.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1         Blitzkrieg 1939-40
  • Chapter 2         The Balkans and the Eastern Front, 1941
  • Chapter 3         Battles in Russia, 1942-43
  • Chapter 4         Last Years, 1943-45
  • Appendix         Panzer Variants

This is an outstanding photographic reference book that is rich in imagery and also specific information regarding light panzers. Each of the high-quality photographs contains information such as location, tank type, and specifications which are depicted.

Chapters begin with a one-to-two-page overview of that time period along with the tank variants used and other historical information. The Appendix is just as informative. It contains seven pages listing all of the Panzer variants through the years as well as very detailed information of the developments / modifications differentiating them.

I highly recommend this book to all afficionados of German armor as well as those interested in World War II history. This will make an excellent addition to your reference collection.

Thank you to Pen & Sword for publishing such a fine book, thank you to Casemate for the review sample and to IPMS for the review opportunity. 

Battle for Cassinga - South Africa’s Controversial Cross-Border Raid, Angola 1978

Sun, 04/19/2020 - 15:44
Product Image Review Author:  Frank Landrus Helion & Company

Mike McWilliams works in the Renewable Energy and Climate Change field. He has been a television cameraman and the owner of a design consultancy. He did military service in 1970, starting as an infantryman at 6 South African Infantry but immediately volunteered to train as a Paratrooper at 1 Parachute Battalion in Bloemfontein. He served in 1 Para Bn, 2 Para Bn and 3 Para Bn completing many 3 month stints as Fire Force in Owamboland South West Africa until 1978. The Battle for Cassinga was his last operation. Mike was a skydiver and won the South African National Championships five years in succession from 1980 to 1984 and also competed at World Parachuting Championships and World Cups in both Free Fall Relative Work as well as Canopy Relative Work. In 1983 he captained the South African 8 Way Team to a Bronze Medal at the World Championships. Mike is married to Frances and has three sons. His interests are classical music, chess, hunting, motorcycles and reading.

Helion produces books on many aspects of Military History from the Late Medieval period through to the present day. Helion was established in 1996, and since then they have published almost 1,200 books, with 100 or more new titles coming out every year.  The '[email protected]' series covers African military history since 1945.

Helion's latest book in the Africa @ War series is a square back soft cover including 72 gloss paper pages. This revised edition is an update of Africa @ War Volume 3.  The upper cover features a black and white photograph of a SAAF of No. 28 Squadron C.160Z Transall dropping paratroopers over Cassinga (Page 18).  The lower cover black and white photograph depicts a cropped and enlarged version of A Company approaching the fortifications (see page 23).

The color side view by Tom Cooper is of a SAAF Buccaneer S.50 (s/n 416) of No. 24 Squadron (This profile can also be found on page 32 vii with a nice description).  I counted 13 color pictures and 82 black and white photographs. There are also three aviation color side profiles by Tom Cooper and three armor color side profiles by David Bocquelet, and 4 black and white maps.  The Appendices contain 26 specification tables.

Mike McWilliams presents an engaging first person account of the Battle for Cassinga.  McWilliams was a South African paratrooper who was involved in the 1978 assault on PLAN's (People's Liberation Army of Nambia), SWAPO's military force headquarters.  Despite being portrayed as an assault on innocent refugees by the world press, this book, along with photographs, shows that this action was anything but that. McWilliams ably relates this battle, that despite potentially critical setbacks, that was ultimately a success.  Creative decisions in the midst of battle carried the day for the South Africans, as their leaders adjusted to unplanned surprises.  This included Soviet anti-aircraft guns and a final appearance of Cuban armor that nearly turned the battle.  Mike McWilliams provides the political background to this battle along with his insight into all the battle preparations.  The main focus of the book is the battle flow where McWilliams successfully puts the reader in the action.  The sections include:

  • Glossary
  • Introduction
  • Chapter One: Background to the Battle
  • Chapter Two: Planning and Operation Bruilhof
  • Chapter Three: Training at Brug
  • Chapter Four: Skillie Human's Disturbing Premonition and the Jump [Page 15]
  • Chapter Five: The Assault Begins
  • Chapter Six: The Battle [Page 26]
  • Color Profiles [Page 32 iv]
  • Chapter Seven: Cassinga Base Is Taken
  • Chapter Eight: Cubans to the Rescue [Page 41]
  • Chapter Nine: Going Home
  • Chapter Ten: A Potemkin Refugee Camp: Debunking SWAPO Claims
  • Afterword
  • Appendix I: The T-10 Parachute System
  • Appendix II: Weapons Used at the Battle of Cassinga
  • Appendix III: Vehicles Used at the Battle of Cassinga 
  • Appendix IV: SAAF Aircraft Used at the Battle of Cassinga
  • Dedication

I found many of the elements of this story very interesting, but one stood out.  In this case, Buccaneer pilot Captain Dries Marais was returning to Chetequera after rearming and refueling when called in by paratroopers for some anti-tank work. Abandoning his primary mission, Captain Marais joined up with two Mirages to support the paratrooper's withdrawal. The Mirages attacked the BTRs with their cannons, leaving the Buccaneer to deal with the tanks with its armor piercing rockets. Lining up on the armored column, Captain Dries Marais thought he had 12 rockets left, only to discover he had already used them.  He spied one tank charging the paratroopers, and despite an anti-aircraft barrage, lined upon the tank at tree level.  Kicking in full power, the Buccaneer charged the tank at 'lorry' height.  The tank was strongly buffeted by the shockwave and paint blistering heat, stopping in its tracks.  This provided enough time to safely evacuate the paratroopers.

Mike McWilliams is a good writer and his impassioned perspective led me to read this tome in one night, although it was a late night.  The contemporary photographs support the text, and they certainly give you a good perspective of the events described.  If you own one of the previous releases in the Africa @ War series, you know what you are getting. If this is your initial entry into this series, you will be quite pleased.

My thanks to Helion & Company, Casemate Publishing, and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great book.

Highly recommended!

USS Forrest Sherman

Sun, 04/19/2020 - 15:06
Product Image Review Author:  Doug Hamilton Atlantis Model Company

Nostalgic reissue of old Revell kit. Re-pop of old kit that shows its age. All the same flash, sink marks, and ejector pin marks issues  as I remember!! 

Life rafts, Hose reels, and other detail molded into bulkheads are sometimes just represented by blobs. 

Many, many ejector pin marks with flash. Pain to remove and not damage surrounding area. 

Rear bulkhead pt. # 13, had to completely remove lower mounting tabs to get part to fit. Where top mates with deck structure weirdly shaped with no even mounting face, Liquid cement used to fill gap.

Thanks to Atlantis Models for submitting the review sample.

 

Porsche 935 K3 '79 LM Winner

Sun, 04/19/2020 - 00:04
Product Image Review Author:  Keith Rule Platz

It was some time after 2:00 PM on June 10th, 1979 at the Circuit de la Sarthe, France. The 47th 24 Hours of Le Mans had concluded with Car 41, the Porsche 935 K3 from Kremer Racing standing at the top of the podium, having won the rain-soaked race. The car was driven by Klaus Ludwig, Don Whittington, and Bill Whittington.

The kit box and instructions indicate manufacturers as Platz Co. Ltd. and NuNu Hobby Model Kit by Si Nok Development Company Ltd., both of Japan. The kit is molded in white and black with the usual supporting parts in clear and two mirrors in chrome. We also have a fret of photoetch, a sheet of mesh, and two sheets of decals. The paint color chart is on the outside of the box. This allows the buyer to see what he needs before purchase. The box photos of the model were somewhat helpful during assembly.

There are two sets of instructions; one for the plastic kit, and one for the photoetch. The builder needs to review both sets before assembly to understand the photoetch substitutes and additions. Molded in black and white, youngsters could build a reasonable model by brush painting some details, assembling the parts, adding the decals, and maybe the photoetch (no spray painting).

Beginning assembly, I found minimal flash and mold line cleanup. Parts were prepped, primed, and airbrushed per paint chart. Personally, I found the paint mix of copper and steel for the exhaust system to appear odd, so I recoated these parts in steel. The fit and assembly of this exhaust system was fiddly (is this a real word?) and may not clear the rear of the body without some mockup. Remainder of chassis and interior parts fit without issue.

The body and air foil are molded in 13 parts, which makes assembly challenging. This is, however, unavoidable considering the complex shape of the body. With patience, care, and some strategic clamping, I was able to get it assembled. A coat of gray primer revealed a few small panel line imperfections that could be puttied and re-scribed. After some thought, I decided to go ahead with the extra work. Some modelers may be happy with their results without this extra step. After the extra sanding and priming (final coat in white), the body was painted Tamiya Gloss White.

I was very concerned about placing the black, red, and orange stripe decal. Not only are long decals like this difficult, but this one went over the multi-ridged hood louvers! I decided to put it on before the clear coat. If I messed it up, I could then tape and paint the stripes. But this decal, like all the decals in this kit, went on perfectly. I then used my hobby knife with a new blade to cut the decal at the louver openings. A little coaxing from MicroSol, and the decal laid down perfectly. Voila! The body was then clear coated with five coats of Testors Extreme Lacquer, set aside for 10 days, and polished with 2000 through 7000 grit sandpaper, and Meguiars Scratch X 2.0. Decals (did I say they were wonderful) were then applied per instructions. I used a circle template to cut the hood decals where they fit over the hood caps before installation. I then touched up the edge of the hood caps with semi-gloss black.

Final assembly was straight forward. It was necessary to file/sand the window perimeters in order for them to set into the openings after the body was painted (although I masked these areas before clear coat). The windows were then taped and painted semi-gloss black per instructions. Small parts (wipers, door handles, taillights, etc.) were brush painted and installed. The chassis/interior unit fits perfectly to the body. This is not always the case in many auto kits. The use of two male/female fittings at both front and rear to fit these two components together is a simple and ideal method that could be copied for many kits. I actually fit the body to the chassis/interior before most decaling and small body parts, but this choice is up to the individual modeler.

This is my first kit by Platz/NuNu and I found it to be a very pleasant and rewarding project. I recommend this kit to all modelers, no matter skill level.

Thanks to Platz for providing the review copy to IPMS.

The Sukhoi Su-24

Sat, 04/18/2020 - 22:06
Product Image Review Author:  Michael Novosad Casemate Publishers Overview from the Publisher

Su-24 (Fencer) is a Soviet jet bomber with variable-geometry wings. The aircraft was supposed to be a response to the American F-111, and therefore it's structurally similar. Su-24 can operate in any weather conditions, also at night. It was designed to carry tactical nuclear as well as tactical weapons.

In the 1960s, the military command of the Soviet Union set requirements for a new attack aircraft that would be able to operate despite strong anti-aircraft defense of NATO troops. The aircraft was expected to fly at low altitude at a high speed. Initially, it was based on Su-7 and Su-15 airframes, but due to the decision to use a variable-geometry wing, it was necessary to build a completely new structure. Variable geometry allowed to achieve high speeds while maintaining good takeoff and landing characteristics. This is how Su-24 was born.

The first prototype was flown on July 2, 1967 (marked as T6-1), and the second on January 17, 1970 (T6-2I). Variable-geometry wings were only used in the second prototype. In December 1971, the first serial Su-24 was built, but due to the prolonged acceptance tests (lasting until 1974), the aircraft officially did not become operational until February 1975. Su-24 was named Fencer in the NATO code.

Contents

There are 20 pages of high quality paper plus a large fold-out sheet of 1/48th scale line drawings printed on both sides. The text is a combination of English and Polish. The pages include 1/72nd scale line drawings, color plates and three pages of good quality black-and-white images of SU-24 details. The photos have no captions.

Sheets 1 and 2 show both side views plus a top view of a Su-24M Fencer D. The main pylons are noted and are complimented by smaller scale front views noting typical weapons loads. Details of the nose cone, pylon, and the infrared warning blister are shown, but do not include any notes or clarifications. This format is typical for the remaining pages for the 1/72nd scale line drawings.

Sheets 3 and 4 show the Su-24M Fencer D undersides, front-on and left side views, noting the location of the GSz-6-23m Gatling cannon. The landing gear is also shown with minimal details. The smaller front drawing shows the placement of two Ch-58U weapons. The side view shows the location of a Kajra-24 container.

Sheets 5, 6, and 7 show the Su-24M2 Fencer D with top and underside views and side views of the main and nose gear wheels, radome/pitot configurations plus the mountings of the Kajra-24 container and UPAZ-A Sachalin container.

The following four pages are color plates from Su-24Ms Blue 94, 239th TsPAT, Kubinka AB; yellow 35 (Shark Mouth) Ukrainian Air Force, Starokonstantinov AB, 2015; Su-24MR, White 41, Russian Air Force 2013; Red 09, Krasnodar Higher United Flight-Technical School 1993 (Earth-tones top side camouflage scheme); and lastly White 20 143th BAP Kopet-Nari. I felt the color plates were a bit too dark compared to photographic images of the Su-24 found online.

Sheets 8, 9, and 10 show SU-24MR Fencer E of 23. ARMY, 125 ORAP, Domna airbase 1991. Wing and centerline weapons pylons are shown along with weapons loads.

Sheets 11 and 12 show Su-24MP and MK bomber variants, with various weapons pylons and top-of-wing flare dispensers shown but not identified.

The last three pages contain black-and-white images of a parked aircraft, canopy and cockpit views, a close-up of a pitot probe, landing gear, wing and center-line pylons, fuel dump and exhaust covers. It would been nice if these were color images, but as presented do offer some nice detail.

Last, we have the large fold-out sheet of 1/48th scale line drawings for a Su-24M2 Fencer D. I have the 1/48 scale Trumpeter Su-24 that I plan to build later this year and feel these line drawings will be quite helpful in this project.

Conclusion

This is an expensive publication for a small book, however the details included therein may prove valuable to the modeler wishing to build an accurate 1/72 or 1/48 scale model of the Sukhoi Su-24. Often times model kits lack detail or include inaccurate details that may be overlooked. This publication offers the modeler the opportunity to add or correct details as he or she may wish. Recommended.

I wish to thank Casement Publications and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review this publication.

Caracal F-117 Sixteen marking options

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 17:30
Product Image Review Author:  Rod Lees Caracal Decals

IPMS/USA says "thanks kindly" to Kurst at Caracal decals for supporting the IPMS USA reviewer corps with yet one more of their growing number of releases, with useful additions for those who build.  And thanks to IPMS leadership for sending it to me to be reviewed. 

 

Kurst does a great job on his products... accurate, perfect resolution, and handling subjects which we have needed for many projects others won't touch.  Caracal crams as many various color schemes into one sheet as will fit, and offers a second, "stencil and detail only" sheet to allow one to model a squadron of 16 different F-117 markings if so inclined. (You get one in this sheet) .

 

He also offers the stencil and generic information sheet, so you could take one of these (of which, again, you get ONE in the F-117 sheet) and buy a bunch of additional sheets and do a door-art theme.  If you are so inclined.  I personally LIKE this method, as I don't have to buy a bunch of the basic sheets to get stencils and national markings.  Good business model. 

 

Of course, with the F-117 it is painted much like the model "T" of Henry Ford's company fame:  "You can have it in any color you like as long as it is black". 

 

Included are several "door art" images, with the usual motivational images to maintain morale at forward operating locations.   Details are crisp and color-saturated, and with Cartograf as the contract manufacturer, the professional image remains intact, with excellent final performance of the decal itself. 

 

This is an impressive sheet of a long-gone aircraft with national interest back in the original Gulf war days... although I hear there are one or two pulled out for some reason at Tonopah to fly around and incite the conspiracy crowd.  Thanks to Kurst for providing us the sheet, and John and Phil to forwarding for review.

AMC DH.2 Landing Gear

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 07:49
Product Image Review Author:  Rod Lees Scale Aircraft Conversions

Thanks once again for another great set from SAC, and thanks to Bill and Phil for sending it out for review.

Recommended Kits

  • The Excellent Wingnut Wings Airco DH-2.

The review item is the typical high standard and normal from SAC; a direct replacement for the kit items except these are cast metal. Consisting of three parts; the two main gear "A" frame braces, and the cross brace/axle assembly.

WARNING: Make sure you look at the kit parts to determine how much of the casting frame to remove. On the camel I built a couple of years ago, I did not do so and ended up with a short, butt matched installation verses having two tabs adding strength inside the plastic... be forewarned to not remove too much metal off the struts!

No instructions are provided, nor are any required. The gear parts are excellent castings, and rarely require much preparation for installation. Some people gently polish the gear beforehand, to provide a realistic sheen only capable in this medium. Be aware, however, that all metals will corrode so some extent, so a light clear coat or primer painting before installation are warranted.

A note on Wingnut wings: These larger models actually benefit greatly from SAC gear; they are extremely fragile due to their fidelity to scale, and the gear is better served by using metal. Otherwise, your hard earned and assembled model will eventually sag on said gear.

You may use epoxy or superglue to assemble; I recommend superglue gel as probably a better option.

Bristol Beaufighter TF.X Landing Gear

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 07:46
Product Image Review Author:  Rod Lees Scale Aircraft Conversions

Thanks once again for another great set from SAC, and thanks to Bill and Phil for sending it out for review.

Recommended Kits:

  • The most recent Revell Germany releases of this iconic night fighter and shipping interdiction aircraft are great; on par with the Tamiya kit. The SAC gear adds strength as a direct replacement for the kit items.

The review item is the typical high standard and normal from SAC; a direct replacement for the kit items except these are cast metal. Consisting of 20 parts (!!!), providing two main gear and two tail gear (one extended, one compressed), there is not much to describe except to remove the parts from the pour runners with side nippers, use flat 220 wet/dry to prepare the cut stub, then install the gear on the model.

No instructions are provided, nor are any required. The gear parts are excellent castings, and rarely require much preparation for installation. Some people gently polish the gear beforehand, to provide a realistic sheen only capable in this medium. Be aware, however, that all metals will corrode so some extent, so a light clear coat or primer painting before installation are warranted.

You may use epoxy or superglue to assemble; as this set has many small parts, a superglue gel is probably a better option.

This landing gear set is highly recommended for its superior quality, ease of installation, and the security it provides in the form of much improved strength for the gear on the display setting. Thanks to SAC for the opportunity to review this product!

Kursk 1943 Last German Offensive in the East

Wed, 04/08/2020 - 23:23
Product Image Review Author:  Michael Novosad Casemate Publishers

Ian Baxter is a military historian who specializes in German twentieth-century military history. He has written more than forty books and over 100 articles about the World War II era. He has reviewed numerous military studies for publication and supplied thousands of photographs and important documents to various publishers and film production companies worldwide.

The Author is an avid collector of WW2 photographs. His previous books in this Series include Hitler's Boy Soldiers, Nazi Concentration Camp Commandants, German Army on the Eastern Front - The Advance, German Army on the Eastern Front - The Retreat, The Crushing of Army Group (North), and the SS Waffen Division series including SS Leibstandarte Division and SS Totenkopf Division At War. He lives near Chelmsford, Essex.

The Publication (from the website).

This highly illustrated record reveals in detail the largest tank battle of World War Two, the battle of Kursk.

In the summer of 1943, the German-launched Operation Zitadelle (Citadel), aimed at cutting off a large number of Soviet forces in the Kursk salient. This offensive resulted in the battle of Kursk, the largest tank battle of World War II.

Kursk quickly became a fierce contest of attrition, as Wehrmacht and elite Waffen-SS Panzer-Divisions with their powerful Tiger and Panther tanks unsuccessfully tried to hammer their way through the intricate lines of strong Soviet defensive positions. What followed was unabated fighting for two weeks as German units were slowly and systematically ground down in a series of brutal armored battles.

During this ferocious fighting the Red Army savagely contested every foot of ground, finally ending German invincibility forever. For the first time in its short history, the blitzkrieg concept had failed. The reverberations caused by the defeat at Kursk were immense, and never again did the German war machine go on the offensive in the East. Stiff defensive action was now the stratagem placed upon the dwindling Panzerwaffe right to the gates of Berlin.

With comprehensive captions and text, Kursk 1943 tells the story of this dramatic battle using rare and unpublished photographs, maps, and highly detailed artist profiles. The book reveals the events leading up to the battle in the first half of 1943, and the buildup of forces by both sides before their climatic showdown at Kursk.

Contents

Timeline of Events

This two-page chapter offers the chronology of events from May until July 15, 1943. The German plan was to pinch off the Kursk Salient, surrounding the five Soviet armies and destroying them. The Russians used May and June to prepare their massive defenses, while the Germans planned and trained their forces for the attack. The July 5 start of the German attack is quickly bogged down by minefields, strong resistance, and mechanical breakdowns of equipment.

After 10 days of grueling battles the Germans are on the defensive and began their withdrawal. Day-by-day this was a monumental battle of historical significance. A major turning point in the war.

Prelude to Disaster

The battle of Kursk became the largest tank battle of World War II.  The Soviet Army contested every foot of ground to end the myth of German invincibility once and for all, and they were successful.

This chapter addresses the earlier battle of Stalingrad and its effects of the opposing forces. The Russians were determined to drive the Germans from Ukraine forever. The German defense was tenacious, resulting in few gains by the Russians. Eventually the Russian offensive bogged down forming the Kursk salient.

The Opposing Forces

Here the author discusses the condition of the German army in early 1943, the small arms weapons used, with much of this section dedicated to the discussion of the various uniforms provided to the soldiers, tankers, and other armored crews.

Soviet Preparations for Battle

The Russians had information on the planned German Kursk offensive from various spy sources and began their in-depth defensive preparations. With this information in hand the Russians prepared the largest concentration of strength ever seen on the Eastern front. This section offers information on the Soviet soldiers' weapons and uniforms.

German Preparations for Battle

The Germans had 780.000 troops for the offensive. Included were 10,000 vehicles and mortars, and 2,900 tanks prepared for battle. The un-proven Panther tank was to be used for the first time in this action. Several excellent images of troops and vehicles in preparation are included herein.

Army Group Center

This group consisted of 335,000 troops, supported by 45 Tigers and 83 Ferdinand tank destroyers. Images and background of the various German commanders is covered here. The battle begins here and it is of monumental proportions. Both sides throw all of their might into the action. There is not great detail provided for the battle, but rather a broad overview of what happened.

Army Group South

This section details the operations of Army Group South.  It becomes a major battle of attrition for both sides.  The Germans were just worn down by the Russian defenses.  Major losses occurred on both sides.  The German offensive is ground to a halt.

Aftermath

The Soviets had become a juggernaut the Germans could not hold back.  This is the beginning of the end for German major offensive operations in the East.  They are on the defensive from here on out. The losses on both sides were monumental. While the Russians seemed to have an endless supply of manpower and weapons, the Germans were hard-pressed to replace their losses.

Further Reading

Several resources for additional reading are included here.

Conclusion

This book is historically informative. The many images bring home the preparation and the consequences of this battle. Blitzkrieg has failed.  Modelers of German and Russian military vehicles will find the many images of the vehicles and troops involved beneficial.  Tigers, Panthers, Pz.Kpfw Mk IV, Marders, Ferdinands, and T-34's are included in the black-and -white images, as well as the color plates. Lots of details can be seen in the pictures.  The author also included a narrative for each picture that addresses many details that may not immediately be noticed by the reader.

This publication is highly recommended for the Military history buff.  My thanks to Casemate Publications and IMPS/USA for the opportunity to review this publication.  Well worth the time to read every line.