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Guest Hans Engström

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Just finished 1948 the first Arab-Israel war by Benny Morris. Interesting book, I found it notably that the invading Arab armies were generally quite good at treating captured Israel soldiers and citizens properly, even protecting them from the local palestinians. Likely due to their British training.

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Just finished "Tobruk" by our very own BillB. IMO it gets top marks, and is quite readable, which is helped by an extensive setting of the stage retelling the war in Africa since1940. Rommel gets a rap, as accostumed in this forum, probably too harsh, and the Italians get mixed reviews, leaving me a bit confused as to how they could fight valiantly and then surrender "en masse" but facts do bear this out.

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Tobruk-The-Great-Siege-1941-42/dp/0752452215

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, and the Italians get mixed reviews, leaving me a bit confused as to how they could fight valiantly and then surrender "en masse" but facts do bear this out.

 

 

 

 

o me that is kudos to them as soldiers: you fight gallantly, and when there is no hope for retreat/escape etc... you surrender gallantly en masse...in stead of fighting to the death uselessly....

Edited by Inhapi
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, and the Italians get mixed reviews, leaving me a bit confused as to how they could fight valiantly and then surrender "en masse" but facts do bear this out.

 

 

 

 

o me that is kudos to them as soldiers: you fight gallantly, and when there is no hope for retreat/escape etc... you surrender gallantly en masse...in stead of fighting to the death uselessly....

 

 

Not necessarily im that order... :)

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reading "designing the T-34" by P. Samsonov.

 

This is a refreshing and well researched book. 90 pages on a rather small format.

 

Samsonov integrates much material directly from Russian archives, so a lot of new stuff is in this book.

 

A really welcome addition on the history of the T 34 tank and precursors in the late 30'ies and up to operation Barbarossa.

 

The only downside is that IMHO it i'd rather have had 300 pages..... (Still the pages are double column and smallish print, so still a lot of material in such a smallish book)

 

Also for the price it is a real steal.

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Get this on Kindle (or hardcover if you like):

 

https://www.amazon.com/Tank-Warfare-Eastern-Front-1941-1942-ebook/dp/B00OZ3HSNA

 

It is a steal and guy really knows his stuff!

 

Forczyk has recently written a book on Case White, the Nazi (and Soviet) invasion of Poland. I find his writing a little dry, but its absolutely fascinating and well worth picking up. Not least because its the first effort ive seen to put what happened into a context, rather than as a precursor for the wider war.

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My review on Haynes latest book on the AMX-30 as published in amazon.co.uk. A real pity as the good is pretty good overall:

 

The AMX-30 is possibly the least known tank of its generation and I was thrilled by the fact the Haynes publishing house had the detail of editing this book, filling that void.

 

I ordered it as soon as it was released but, unfortunately, Ive been disappointed. The parts dedicated to the development, operational history and operation of the vehicle in the French context is very good, but it seriously lacks on its coverage of the export customers, Spain being the most important one and the only licensee that manufactured and upgraded the vehicle locally.

 

The selection of pictures of Spanish vehicles is generally in the good side, although one has a somewhat low resolution. Unfortunately, the quality of the related text is quite poor.

 

To begin with, I cannot fathom how the authors got that ENOSA (National Optics Company, now part of Indra) took the responsibility of the multiple AMX-30 revision / update programs. Even if they are speaking of ENASA (Empresa Nacional de Autocamiones, designers of the BMR series and Pegaso engines and trucks), the information would still be inaccurate. ENOSA built optical and electronic elements of the original E and EM2 versions but little else.

 

The authors also discuss the known issues with engine and transmission reliability ..... in the Spanish produced vehicles as opposed to the French experience. As far as I know and has been widely reported (even in this book), the French army had similar problems with the powerpack (most notably the clutch) and indeed the B2 version was developed with the Minerva transmission to solve these problems, Spain opting for an alternate solution for the ER and EM2 variants as correctly stated in the text.

 

Another odd statement is that Spain adopted the OFL-105 APFSDS round,never used by the Spanish army in any of their vehicles. Santa Barbara did develop an APFSDS round (the C-437) but as far as I know it wasn`t based on the French round.

 

On the AMX tanks used by the Venezuelan and Chilean armies, the information is limited and not exactly correct. For example, the Venezuelan army AMXs fire control system is of Israeli, not Belgian, origin..

 

At least it brings good pictures of El Niño (the first alternate powerpack prototype fitted with and AVDS-1790 engine and a CD-850 transmission of US origin) and tells its story acceptably. The authors however do not mention the Leox project (AMX-30 turret on a Leopard 1 hull). Theres at least one image of this prototype and the Leopard hull is still in GDSBS`Seville plant were it has been in use as a prime mover for a long time.

 

This is a real shame and a missed opportunity because it is not that difficult to obtain this information using a simple Google search, nor find very knowledgeable individuals on the history of the AMX-30 in Spain (and Latin America), and this book will only serve to confuse international readers without knowledge of the Spanish language.

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