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Lützen and Bautzen Napoleon's Spring Campaign of 1813 by George Nafziger   This book is about a man ma...

Lützen and Bautzen: Napoleon's Spring Campaign of 1813 by George Nafziger Lützen and Bautzen: Napoleon's Spring Campaign of 1813 by George Nafziger

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Heliion&Company



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 This book is about a man made miracle. Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812 with roughly 600,000 men all total. By early 1813 he was back in Paris, and the Grande Armee probably had only 60,000 soldiers, and half of those should have been in a hospital bed. Napoleon had slunk back across Europe, and was back in Paris. Napoleon was now to add another title to the long list of monikers he was given. Along with Emperor and Ogre, you could now use the word magician. He was able, like a stage magician, to pull something from his hat. In this case it was a new army. When he took the field in April 1813, he actually had more soldiers in his army than the Allies had in theirs. This campaign and book is about those young soldiers, the Marie-Louises (named after Napoleon's second wife). These men/boys were able to march and fight almost as well as the few grizzled veterans still with the colors.

 Dr. Nafziger has put another feather in his cap with this book. He is able to move seamlessly from the political to the military sphere. He also effortlessly goes from the strategic to the tactical without missing a beat or losing the reader. 

 The book itself is filled with black and white illustrations of the generals and other players. It also comes with a twenty-one page color section of maps. To top it off, in true Nafziger style there is an Order Of Battle that is almost 100 pages long.

 The book shows how Napoleon appeared among his enemies like a thunderclap. If it wasn't for some extremely bad luck and some very bad judgements of some of his Marshals, along with a lack of cavalry (Napoleon, for all his work, could not produce horses out of his hat). Napoleon should have scattered this group of enemies just as he had the earlier ones. 

 Unfortunately for Napoleon, and possibly Europe, the wheel of fate had turned. Even more than the 1814 Campaign, this one is adrift in what ifs. No matter how brave the young Marie-Louises were, they still died in droves. Napoleon was able to win both of the battles of Lützen and Bautzen, but due to his lack of cavalry he could defeat them but not crush them.

 The book goes from the back drop of the 1812 Campaign to the armistice in early June 1813. The author is able to take the reader to the battles and councils of both sides of the conflict and bring them both to life for the reader. Thank you for giving us another great book on Napoleon's campaigns, and especially for a book on the Campaign of 1813. I eagerly await the next one on the Battle of Dresden, and the second half of the campaign.


Robert

Publisher: Helion&Company
Distributor: Casemate Publishers

Phoenix A Complete History of the Luftwaffe 1918-1945 volume I  by Richard Meredith  This book is encyclopedic i...

Phoenix A Complete History of the Luftwaffe 1918-1945 volume I by Richard Meredith Phoenix A Complete History of the Luftwaffe 1918-1945 volume I by Richard Meredith

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

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 This book is encyclopedic in scope. It is based upon forty years of work and research by the author. In Volume I of this series, the author shows us German military aviation along with a good bit of civilian. The treaty of Versailles forbid Germany from having any military planes whatsoever. I will quote from the book:

 "No air arm of any kind was permitted (article 198) and all stocks of air material not already handed over to the allied authorities were to be destroyed (article 201). Even civilian was to be restricted "During the six months following the date on which the present treaty comes into force, the manufacture and importation of aircraft, parts of aircraft, engines for aircraft  and parts of engines for aircraft shall be forbidden in all German territory (article 201)".

 The book shows that in practice, due to the tumultuous state of Germany at the time, that many airplanes and parts escaped the Allies. These wound up in private hands, or the Freikorps (small private right wing and nationalist armies engendered to fight Communism, and try to take back some of Germany's eastern border). 

 Volume I is split into two sections:

The Years of Secrecy 1918-32
The Rise of Hitler 1933-35

Each of these are divided into:

Strategy and Command
Ministerial Activity
Technical Developments and Production
Infrastructure and Training
Operational Activity

 The book comes with fifty-six full pages of black and white photographs.

 The Author goes into the Treaty of Rapallo. This treaty on the outside was to normalize relations between the German Weimar Republic and the Soviet Union. Secret clauses of the treaty stated that Germany could use bases in the Soviet Union to develop military aviation, among others, in secret and away from the prying eyes of the western powers. 

 The book also shows how from day one Hitler wanted to not only rebuild German military aviation, but also wanted the Luftwaffe as strong as it could be. This was to deter the western powers from interfering with Germany due to the treaty of Versailles clauses.

 The author puts in many tidbits of history to flesh out the story. One example is Erhard Milch, later a Field Marshal, in charge of production for the Luftwaffe. To get around the fact that his father was Jewish, Milch had a signed paper from his mother stating that he was actually the product of an incestuous relationship with her brother! Many such historical pieces are seen in the book.

 This is only Volume I of three and I eagerly look forward to reading the others in the series. I can easily recommend this book to anyone interested in the early and pre-history of the Luftwaffe.

Robert

Publisher: Helion&Company
Distributor: Casemate Publishers

The End of Empire Napoleon's 1814 campaign by George Nafziger       I first heard about the author through war...

The End of Empire Napoleon's 1814 Campaign by George Nafziger The End of Empire Napoleon's 1814 Campaign by George Nafziger

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Heliion&Company



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 I first heard about the author through wargaming circles. His absolutely immense compendium of 'Orders Of Battle' (OOBs) were always discussed in gaming forums etc. I am not sure exactly when, but he released his magisterial list free for all to use. This was and is an absolute godsend to wargamers.

 The book, End of Empire, is a tome on the subject. It is so well written that at times it is frustrating. Let me explain. Mr. Nafziger writes so clearly about the events that it is hard to remain calm and non-committal while reading the book. You can easily follow the campaign, so the frustration comes when Marmont, Macdonald, or some other marshal of France, do not do what obviously needs to be done. Time and again, Blucher is on the ropes with Napoleon ready to deliver the knockout blow, when one of his Marshals lets him off the hook. You find yourself, at least I do, imagining what Massena or Davout could have done in the other Marshals' shoes. Do not even get me started with the allies. Their attempts to get to Paris are as embarrassing as watching Bumble Bees in slow motion trying to get back into the hive. The book shows exactly what transpired during Marmont's treachery. Ragusa (Marmont was the Duke of Ragusa) became as widely used in the 19th century for traitor as Quisling was in the 20th.

 The book delves deeply into the different generals and their thinking and reasoning, or lack there of. To me, the writing transports the reader to 1814 and keeps the reader in the grip of the story as well as any non-fiction work can. 

 The book is also liberally supplied with black and white images of the different generals and battles. It is also well supplied with maps so that the reader can follow along with the campaign easily.

 I am waiting, albeit impatiently I might add, for the rest of Mr. Nafziger's Napoleonic books to be released by Helion&Company.


Robert

Publisher: Helion&Company
Distributor: Casemate Publishers

The Iran-Iraq War Volumes I and II by E.R. Hooton, Tom Cooper, and Farzin Nadimi   There hasn't been many books on...

The Iran-Iraq War Volumes I and II by E.R. Hooton, Tom Cooper, and Farzin Nadimi The Iran-Iraq War Volumes I and II by E.R. Hooton, Tom Cooper, and Farzin Nadimi

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Heliion&Company

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 There hasn't been many books on this war. The fact that it was one of the largest wars of the 20th century seems to have been forgotten. The large forces involved, and the very large casualty list, shows it to be a war that deserves more space on shelves. We in the west view it as a small war fought over small pieces of boundary territory between Iran and Iraq, not the titanic struggle it really was. When Saddam Hussein launched this war, the political situation was much different than when he invaded Kuwait in 1991. A decisive Iraqi defeat of Iran would have caused a huge change in the balance of power in the Middle East. When the war was launched, most in the west did not have the mental image of Saddam Hussein the way he was subsequently viewed. In fact, as the book shows, he was able to buy a large amount of military weapons from the west. As far as the U.S. was concerned, Iran was enemy number one.

 The first volume starts with the stats and background behind the war itself. It was fought between 1980-1988, and is the longest uninterrupted conventional conflict of the 20th century. The western studies of the casualties put the amounts much higher than the Iranian official ones, and there is no official Iraqi list. It is very possible that the combined figure was close to 3,000,000 casualties, with more than 500,000 dead. Most of the war resembled WWI fought with modern weaponry.

 The first volume encompasses September 1980 to May 1982 and the battle for Khuzestan. The book goes on to show the bad blood between Iran and Iraq long before the war. The Shah of Iran spent a lot of his country's wealth in the 1970s buying western arms. Between 1974-1975 there was a war inside Iraq between the Kurds and the government forces. The Shah supported the Kurds in their insurrection. The border of the two countries was always a source of contention. It was set after the end of WWI by the Allies. After the Shah was deposed in 1979, and the subsequent chaos in Iran, Saddam envisioned a quick and easy war against a prostrate Iran. The stage was set with Iran having a large amount of western weaponry, but no way to get replacement parts. The Iraqi armory was equipped with a hodgepodge of Soviet and western equipment.

 The authors go onto show that Khuzestan was the home of most of the Iranian refineries, and therefore its wealth. Saddam quickly found out after the invasion that he had grabbed a tiger by the tail, and dared not let go. His dreams of easy victory evaporated over the desert sands. Next, we see the Iranians attempt to not only stop the invasion and reconquer their land, but also to crush Iraq and depose Saddam. As the book notes, U.S. intelligence stated "Iraq was fighting a limited war, while Iran was fighting a total one". The religious differences between Shia and Sunni only helped to pour fuel on the flames. Per the book: "The Iranian tactics bewildered even the best Iraqi officers" who were used to battle being a set piece affair. The swarming tactics of the Iranians left the Iraqis unable to cope.

 The Iranians were better able to deal with their casualties than the Iraqis. Iran as a political entity had existed for a few hundred years. The stitched together Iraqi nation was built at the end of WWI by the Allies. We are still seeing the folly of some of their decisions today.






 Volume 2 starts with a recap of the first two years of the war. The initial Iraqi invasion of Iran followed by the Iranian offensives is touched upon. The book then goes into the infighting at the government level in Iran, and whether to stop at the original border or to risk more international censure and actually invade Iraq. The decision was made to invade and attempt to topple Saddam. Iran was also hoping for a Shia revolt in Iraq, that never took place. This volume then continues to describe the seesaw battles that took place from June 1982-December 1986.

 The books themselves are large, and eighty pages long. They are full of pictures of the war, and also have a good amount of large colored side views of the of the different planes, armor, and other vehicles. These are excellent for model makers. The military and political history of the war is fascinating, and the books' writing only serves to make it that much better. These volumes are another score for Helion&Company. Volumes 3 and 4 are scheduled to be released in September of 2017.


Robert

Book: The Iran-Iraq war Volumes 1-2
Authors: E.R. Hooton, Tom Cooper, Farzin Nadimi
Publisher: Helion&Company
Distributor: Casemate Publishers
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