Military - Vintage Airfix


Military books

All these titles are available to purchase from Pen and Sword.

Contents:
- Flight Craft 16: The Hawker Hunter in British Service - By Martin Derry, Neil Robinson. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- Flight Craft 18: British Military Test and Evaluation Aircraft - By Neil Robinson. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- Flight Craft 7: V-Bombers - Valiant, Vulcan & Victor - By Martin Bowman, Dave Windle. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- M29 Weasel Tracked Cargo Carrier & Variants - By David Doyle. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- M7 Priest - By David Doyle. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- T-54/55 - By Robert Jackson. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- Tiger I and Tiger II Tanks, German Army and Waffen-SS, The Last Battles in the West, 1945 - By Dennis Oliver. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- 10 Commando - By Ian Dear..
- 1000 Days on the River Kwai - By Colonel Cary Owtram..
- 16 Air Assault Brigade - By Tim Ripley..
- 1805 Austerlitz - By Robert Goetz..
- 1809 Thunder on the Danube - By John H Gill..
- 1809 Thunder on the Danube, Volume II - By John H Gill..
- 1809 Thunder on the Danube, Volume III - By John H Gill..
- 1812: Napoleon in Moscow - By Paul Britten Austin..

 


 

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Flight Craft 16: The Hawker Hunter in British Service

By Martin Derry, Neil Robinson

Flight Craft 16: The Hawker Hunter in British ServiceDescription:

The Hawker Hunter is one of Britain’s classic post-war jet aircraft. Initially introduced in 1954 as a swept-wing, transonic, single-seat day interceptor, it rapidly succeeded the first-generation jet fighters in RAF service such as the Gloster Meteor (see Flight Craft 13) and the de Havilland Venom. Powered by the then newly developed Rolls-Royce Avon turbojet, the Hunter’s performance transformed the RAF’s day fighter squadrons from the mid-1950s until the advent of the English Electric Lightning from the early 1960s (see Flight Craft 11).

Even then, as successively improved variants of the type were produced with increasingly more capable engines and expanded fuel capacity, the Hunter successfully transitioned into a strike/ground attack fighter-bomber and fighter reconnaissance platform. Two-seat variants were developed for training and other secondary roles with the RAF and the Royal Navy and a few remained in use until 2001, albeit with specialised MoD Test and Evaluation units – well over forty years after the type’s initial introduction. Hunters were also famously used by two RAF display teams, the ‘Black Arrows’, who looped a record-breaking twenty-two Hunters in formation, and later the ‘Blue Diamonds’ as well as the Royal Navy’s ‘Blue Herons’.

The Hunter saw combat service with the RAF in a range of conflicts including the Suez Crisis as well as various emergencies in the Middle East and Far East. The Hunter was also widely exported, serving with many foreign air forces, in which it also saw active service, which unfortunately lies outside the scope of this particular publication. Almost 2,000 Hunters were manufactured by Hawker Siddeley Aviation, as well as being produced under licence overseas and will remain one of the UK’s most iconic aircraft designs of all time.

Vintage Airfix Review:

For any enthusiast and/or modeller of the Hawker Hunter this book will be like catnip, you’ll find yourself drooling over every page. For it is ‘every’ page that has outstanding images of this classic post war aircraft.

As you would expect for a book in the Flight Craft series, there are some kit reviews and colour schemes and markings. There’s also a detailed section of the cockpit which will aid you in your kits cockpit detail.

A beautifully written book arranged in chronological order with a lot of helpful detail for the modeller.

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Flight Craft 18: British Military Test and Evaluation Aircraft

By Neil Robinson

Flight Craft 18: British Military Test and Evaluation AircraftDescription:

It could be argued that the heyday of British military aircraft flight testing began in the 1940s, and continued throughout the three decades that followed, during the so-called Cold War period, and as such, the authors have purposely chosen the first 30 years, The Golden Years, 1945 to 1975, from the end of World War Two until the mid-1970s, as this was arguably the most exciting period with many wonderful and new types rubbing shoulders with wartime and immediate post-war designs that were utilised for development purposes, making for an eclectic mix of shapes and colour schemes.

Alongside the technical aspects of military testing and development, are the many and varied colour schemes and markings carried by the aircraft themselves – not only by the brand-new experimental designs, but by existing production machines, suitably modified, to greater or lesser degrees, to develop the technical advances in systems and weaponry.

Scores of different aircraft types are covered in British Military Test & Evaluation Aircraft The Golden Years 1945 - 1975, with over 65 rarely seen contemporary photographs from private collections, and, differing slightly from previous Flight Craft book formats, over 50 pages of specially commissioned full colour profiles and plan views, visually chronicling the diverse range of colour schemes and markings applied to these fascinating aeroplanes.

Compiled by Neil Robinson and Martin Derry, who have authored several other Flight Craft books, with informative background text by well known aviation historian Malcolm V Lowe and superbly executed illustrations by Mark Rolfe. As with other books in the Flight Craft series, although published with aircraft modellers in mind, it is hoped that most aviation enthusiasts will find something of interest here too.

Vintage Airfix Review:

There are many modellers who like to take a production aircraft kit and modify it to a variant of that aircraft. For those modellers, this book really must be in your library.

It has many interesting, one-off, aircraft from 1945 to 1975, an era when aircraft development was at its height and, in same examples, its wackiest.

The colour illustrations of test aircraft alterations and livery are beautifully aimed at the modeller to help to get that perfect model. This along with the description and photos of what, where and why these aircraft were developed will add to your knowledge and understanding of the golden years of aircraft development.

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Flight Craft 7: V-Bombers - Valiant, Vulcan & Victor

By Martin Bowman, Dave Windle

Flight Craft 7: V-Bombers - Valiant, Vulcan & VictorDescription:

Britain's desire to stay at the leading edge in the design and development of modern jet powered aircraft was born in the later stages of the Second World War. The Royal Air Force sent requests to the leading aircraft manufactures for a variety of specifications, amongst which was one for a long-range heavy bomber. Three designs were accepted and eventually went into production – these became the V-Bomber Force.

The Vickers Valiant, Vulcan and Victor saw prolific and varied service during the course of their careers. This book contains fabulous colour profiles (created by Dave Windle) of all three types in different operational modes, configurations and colour schemes. Martin Bowman has written detailed descriptions and photographs to create the perfect enthusiasts reference. This enhanced and revised edition (the book was initially published in 2009) comes complete with model-making content as well as a host of brand new design features, making for a lively new addition to our esteemed Flight Craft series.

Vintage Airfix Review:

There are some great images, in this book, of these famous aircraft that can be used to aid and inspire all modellers. I particularly like the pictures of the Victor as a fuel tanker, refuelling a Lightning which will make for an easy but impressive diorama.

This book is an informative overview of the V-Bomber Force aircraft that will benefit all aircraft modellers research of these ground breaking aircraft of the Cold War.

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M29 Weasel Tracked Cargo Carrier & Variants

By David Doyle

M29 Weasel Tracked Cargo Carrier & VariantsDescription:

Conceived as part of a Top Secret project to disrupt Nazi Germany's atomic bomb program, the hastily developed Studebaker Weasel went on to one of, if not THE most successful of the wartime all-terrain vehicles. Designed with light weight to facilitate both air-dropping and efficient, high-speed operation in the snow, the vehicles were soon found to have excellent performance in the mud. Always amphibious, the later models, the M29C, were equipped with flotation tanks on each end and dual rudders in the rear for even more efficient operation in the water. Weasels were used on numerous fronts during WWII, were once again deployed in Korea, by the French in Vietnam, and numerous outposts during the Cold War. These pages provide an overview of the development, and a detailed look at the deployment and the machines themselves, of these iconic, all-terrain vehicles.

Vintage Airfix Review:

A perfect reference book for an AFV modeler. As part of the Images of War series it has the expected images of the M29 and its variants in action. It also has some close-up, colour images of 2 particular variants showing invaluable detail at various angles.

The historical information on the development of the Weasel is fascinating but unfortunately a little repetitive.

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M7 Priest

By David Doyle

M7 PriestDescription:

The M7 Howitzer Motor Carriage, dubbed the Priest, was the most successful and widely used example of American self-propelled artillery during WWII. Examples continued to be used by the U.S. Army during the Korean war, and beyond, even serving Allied countries into the 1970s. Coined the Priest due to its pulpit-like structure for the gun commander, this armored fighting vehicle would see action in North Africa, Italy, and the D-Day landings in Normandy and all the way to Germany.

Vintage Airfix Review:

This book is nicely laid out in a chronological order with an explanation of each image. Reading this book, you will gain a whole new appreciation for the M7 and its development.

As the M7 Priest is currently not very well covered by model manufacturers, this book will be a great aid the scratch build modeller wishing to build an early variant.

This is a superb reference book for armoured vehicle enthusiasts and historians. And a worthy addition to the Images of War series.

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T-54/55

By Robert Jackson

T-54/55Description:

During the Cold War, the T-54/55 series of tanks represented the most serious threat to Nato land forces in Europe. Available in huge quantities, it formed the core of the Warsaw Pact armoured warfare doctrine, which envisaged massed tank attacks against the weakest point in Nato’s front-line defences.

Yet the T-54/55 could be stopped by smaller numbers of tanks which had the benefit of better technology and training, as was demonstrated during the Yom Kippur War of 1973 when Israeli tanks dealt out appalling punishment to T-55s of the Syrian army. Despite these limitations, the T-54/55 was one of the most successful tanks ever produced, and this volume in the TankCraft series by Robert Jackson is the ideal introduction to it.

As well as tracing the history of the T-54/55, his book is an excellent source of reference for the modeller, providing details of available kits and photographs of award-winning models, together with artworks showing the colour schemes applied to these tanks. Each section of the book is supported by a wealth of archive photographs.

Vintage Airfix Review:

Charting the main variants of the Russian T54 and T55 tanks, of which I was shocked to find out how many where built, this book is a great source of information for the AFV modeller.

The historical sections are in a chronological order, the main variants are explained and the example builds are of a very high standard.

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Tiger I and Tiger II Tanks, German Army and Waffen-SS, The Last Battles in the West, 1945

By Dennis Oliver

Tiger I and Tiger II Tanks, German Army and Waffen-SS, The Last Battles in the West, 1945Description:

Tiger tanks were among the most-feared fighting vehicles of the Second World War and they gained almost legendary status, yet they never fulfilled their potential because they were not produced in sufficient numbers and the tide the war had turned against the German army by the time they were introduced. Often they were deployed in difficult circumstances and in defensive battles, struggling against the odds. Nowhere was this more true than in western Europe during the Allied advance across France and into Germany, and it is the Tigers of this phase of the war that Dennis Oliver portrays in his third volume on the Tiger in the TankCraft series.

He uses archive photos and extensively researched colour illustrations to examine the Tiger tanks and units of the German Army and Waffen-SS heavy panzer battalions that struggled to resist the onslaught of Allied armour and air attacks during the last days of the conflict.

A key section of his book displays available model kits and aftermarket products, complemented by a gallery of beautifully constructed and painted models in various scales. Technical details as well as modifications introduced during production and in the field are also examined providing everything the modeller needs to recreate an accurate representation of these historic tanks.

Vintage Airfix Review:

A great reference for enthusiasts and modellers of the Tiger Tank. The historical part of this book covers the final few months on the Western Front, while the modelling sections cover most of the rest.

There is, off cause, a mention of the infamous Airfix Tiger kit even though it is not on the same plain as some of the other kits on offer. The reviews are well written and honest.

This book packs a lot of information from a relatively short time in history.

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10 Commando

By Ian Dear

10 CommandoDescription:

It is indeed remarkable, since the archives of the Second World War must have been pillaged, ransacked, burrowed into, and turned over almost as thoroughly as Monte Cassino itself, that no book has been written about one of the strangest units created during that or any other conflict. The unit was called Ten Commando - and the shroud of secrecy that enveloped it at the time has scarcely been un-wrapped by the passge of the years. 

Ten Commando was composed entirely of men who came from Germany and from Nazi-occupied countries such as Holland, Poland, and France. Secrecy was vital, for if an Axis agent infiltrated into Ten Commando he could do untold harm. If a member of Ten Commando were capture and his unit identified, the rules of the Geneva Convention were unlikely to worry the captors. This overwhelming need for absolute secrecy was so well instilled in the men of Ten Commando that, until now, little was known about their daring exploits behind enemy lines, including coordination of resistance fighters and sabotage. 

The result of Ian Dear's painstaking research is a remarkable book indeed and a worthy tribute to an incredibly brave group of cladestine soldiers who belong near the top of the WWII Roll of Honor.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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1000 Days on the River Kwai

By Colonel Cary Owtram

1000 Days on the River KwaiDescription:

Memoirs by former prisoners of war of the Japanese invariably make for moving reading but Colonel Owtram's account of his years of captivity has a special significance.

After being captured in Singapore and transported to the infamous Burma railway he was appointed the British Camp Commandant at Chungkai, one of the largest POW camps.

Many ex-prisoners testified to the mental and physical courage that he showed protecting POWs from the worst excesses of their captors. Of course his account does not admit to this but what is clear is that in addition to the deprivation and hardship suffered by all POWs, the author bore heavy responsibility for those under his charge and the daily trauma of dealing with the unpredictable Japanese.

It is not only the prisoners who suffered but their families at home. The postscript written by the author's daughters vividly demonstrates the agonies of doubt and worry that loved ones went through and the effect of the experience on all.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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16 Air Assault Brigade

By Tim Ripley

16 Air Assault BrigadeDescription:

After the SAS, 16 Brigade is the most high profile formation in the British Army but to date there has been no complete history of its operations and activities. The aim of this book is to produce a history of Britain's Elite Rapid Reaction Force 16 Air Assault Brigade. It will provide a historical narrative of 16 Brigade's operations since its formation in 1999. It explain's the innovative tactics and operational procedures used by to move by air into battle. It covers military hardware, the Brigade has some of the UK's most advanced weapon system, including Apache attack helicopters. It will include the elite combat units including the Parachute Regiment and Pathfinders. Key personalities from the Brigade will be examined together with a comprehensive anayisis of how the Brigade has performed and how it is likely to evolve in coming years. The Brigade is due to return to Afghanistan in 2008 so it's public profile will remain high.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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1805 Austerlitz

By Robert Goetz

1805 AusterlitzDescription:

The Battle of Austerlitz is almost universally regarded as the most impressive of Napoleon’s many victories. The magnitude of the French achievement against a larger army was unprecedented, the great victory being met by sheer amazement and delirium in Paris, where just days earlier the nation had been teetering on the brink of financial collapse.

In this insightful study, the author analyses the planning of the opposing forces and details the course of the battle hour by hour, describing the fierce see-saw battle around Sokolnitz, the epic struggle for the Pratzen Heights, the dramatic engagement between the legendary Lannes and Bagration in the north, and the widely misunderstood clash of Napoleon’s Imperial Guard and Alexander’s Imperial Leib-Guard. The author has produced a detailed and balanced assessment of the battle that for the first time places familiar French accounts in their proper perspective and exposes many myths regarding the battle that have been perpetuated and even embellished in recent books.

With 1805: Austerlitz, the reader is left with a thorough appreciation of Napoleon and his Grande Armée of 1805, an army that decisively defeated not a hapless relic of the ancien regime but rather a formidable professional army that had fought the French armies on equal terms five years earlier.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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1809 Thunder on the Danube

By John H Gill

1809 Thunder on the DanubeDescription:

The Franco-Austrian War of 1809 was Napoleon's last victorious war. He would win many battles in his future campaigns, but never again would one of Europe's great powers lie broken at his feet. In this respect 1809 represents a high point of the First Empire yet at the same time Napoleon's armies were declining in quality and he was beginning to display the corrosive flaws that contributed to his downfall five years later. 

In this volume Gill tackles the political background to the war and the opening battles of Abensberg, Eggmühl and Regensberg. He explores the motivations that prompted Austria to launch an offensive against France while Napoleon and many of his veterans were distracted in Spain. Though surprised by the timing of the Austrian attack on the 10th April, the French Emperor completely reversed a dire strategic situation with stunning blows that he called his 'most brilliant and most skilful manoeuvres'. Following a breathless pursuit down the Danube valley, Napoleon occupied the palaces of the Habsburgs for the second time in four years. 

Basing his work on years of primary research and battlefield visits, Gill provides a thorough analysis replete with spectacular combat, diplomatic intrigue and the illustrious cast of characters that populated this extraordinary age. The concluding volumes will take the war to its conclusion, including Napoleon's first unequivocal repulse at the Battle of Espern-Essling, the titanic Battle of Wagram and the neglected struggle at Znaim that led to armistice.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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1809 Thunder on the Danube, Volume II

By John H Gill

1809 Thunder on the Danube, Volume IIDescription:

In the second volume of this epic work, John H. Gill traces Napoleon's progress as he sought to complete his victory over the Habsburgs. The war had erupted on April 10th with Austria's invasion of Germany and Italy. After just two weeks, Napoleon had battered the Habsburg Archduke Charles in a series of bruising defeats.

This volume begins with Napoleon astride the Danube at Regensburg. He faced a critical strategic choice – whether to pursue the injured Austrian main army into Bohemia or march directly for Vienna, the seat of Habsburg power.

After electing to target Vienna, his troops defeated the Austrians in the brutal Battle of Ebelsberg, allowing him to enter the city on May 13th. However on the far side of the Danube, he then suffered a dramatic loss at the gruelling, two-day Battle of Aspern. While his Danube forces recovered from this setback, the Emperor cleared trouble from his strategic flanks.

Gill describes in vivid detail the hopeful Habsburg invasion of Italy, led by the 27-year-old Archduke Johann, and the fierce French counter-offensive under Napoleon's stepson, Eugene de Beauharnais (also aged 27). In a series of encounters across Italy, de Beauharnais rebounded from initial defeat to advance triumphantly into Austrian territory, shattering and scattering Johann's army. In the wake of Aspern, while the Austrians vacillated, Napoleon gathered every man, horse and gun around Vienna, setting the stage for the gigantic spectacle of the Battle of Wagram, the final chapter in the story of the 1809 war.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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1809 Thunder on the Danube, Volume III

By John H Gill

1809 Thunder on the Danube, Volume IIIDescription:

With this third volume John Gill brings to a close his magisterial study of the war between Napoleonic France and Habsburg Austria. The account begins with both armies recuperating on the banks of the Danube. As they rest, important action was taking place elsewhere: Eugene won a crucial victory over Johann on the anniversary of Marengo, Prince Poniatowski's Poles outflanked another Austrian archduke along the Vistula, and Marmont drove an Austrian force out of Dalmatia to join Napoleon at Vienna. These campaigns set the stage for the titanic Battle of Wagram. 

Second only in scale to the slaughter at Leipzig in 1813, Wagram saw more than 320,000 men and 900 guns locked in two days of fury that ended with an Austrian retreat. The defeat, however, was not complete: Napoleon had to force another engagement before Charles would accept a ceasefire. The battle at Znaim, its true importance often not acknowledged, brought an extended armistice that ended with a peace treaty signed in Vienna.

Gill uses an impressive array of sources in an engaging narrative covering both the politics of emperors and the privations and hardship common soldiers suffered in battle. Enriched with unique illustrations, forty maps, and extraordinary order-of-battle detail, this work concludes an unrivalled English-language study of Napoleon's last victory.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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1812: Napoleon in Moscow

By Paul Britten Austin

1812: Napoleon in MoscowDescription:

At the gates of Moscow, Napoleon's Grand Army prepares to enter in triumphal procession. But what it finds is a city abandoned by its inhabitants – save only the men who emerge to fan the flames as incendiary fuses hidden throughout the empty buildings of Moscow set the city alight. For three days Moscow burned, while looters dodged the fires to plunder and pillage. And so begins 1812: Napoleon in Moscow, Paul Britten Austin's atmospheric second volume in his acclaimed trilogy on Napoleon's catastrophic invasion of Russia.

After the fires died down the army settled in the ruins of Moscow; for five weeks Napoleon waited at the Kremlin, expecting his 'brother the Tsar' in St Petersburg to capitulate and make peace, while in fact the Russian Army was gathering its strength. At the same time Murat's cavalry, the advance guard, was encamped in dreadful conditions three days' march away at Winkowo, where it was being starved to death. When Napoleon eventually realized the futility of his plans and prepared to leave Moscow, his advance guard was surprised by a Russian attack. The most astounding exodus in modern times ensued. 

1812: Napoleon in Moscow follows on from the brilliant 1812: The March on Moscow, which took Napoleon's army across Europe to the great city. Paul Britten Austin brings this next phase of the epic campaign to life with characteristic verve. Drawing on hundreds of eyewitness accounts by French and allied soldiers of Napoleon's army, this brilliant study recreates this disastrous military campaign in all its death and glory.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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