Friday, 5 November 2010

Some new purchases ...

After finishing work today, my wife and I went to our local retail centre to do the weekend food shopping. Whilst I was there I was able to spend some time in the branch of WHSmith, where I bought the following items.

The first was a boxed set of THE PACIFIC. This cost me £29.99 and from what I hear, it will be well worth the money.

The set contains six DVDs, the first five of which have two episodes of the series on them, and the sixth has all the 'extra' features that usually come with boxed sets. As I missed this series when it was transmitted on TV, I am looking forward to viewing it over the next month or so.

The second purchase could easily be regarded as a 'vanity' purchase. Issue No. 3 (December 2010) of MILITARY TIMES contains some interesting articles including:
  • The First Day of the Somme: Britain's bloodiest day
  • Death in the Trenches: Was another way possible?
  • Taranto: 11/12 November 1940
  • Marathon: Birth-cry of Europe
  • Afghan War: The second invasion
I have bought the first two issues, and I find that they have so far been of more interest to me than the mainstream wargames magazines that I usually glance at ... but don't often buy these days.

MILITARY TIMES is published by Church Street Publishing, and costs £3.95 per issue.

Oh! ... and for those of you who are interested in why this could be regarded as a 'vanity' purchase ... some bloke with my name wrote an article about why George Washington was the 'Greatest Leader of All Time'.

My final retail 'bargain' was a recently published A4-sized softback entitled AGAINST ALL ODDS. This booklet has been produced by Ian Allan Publishing for WHSmith (ISBN 978 0711 036 390), and costs £7.95.

The booklet covers three 'heroic battles in the face of adversity'. The battles are:
  • Little Big Horn 1876
  • Rorke's Drift 1879
  • Oosterbeek 1944
Each battle is covered by a separate chapter, and each chapter has the following sections:
  • Background Narrative: This section describes why the battle was fought and the main events of the battle
  • Commanders: This section gives a character sketch of the main commanders on both sides
  • Combatants: This section describes the soldiers who took part in the battle, including the weapons and tactics they used
  • Tour: This section describes the battlefield as it is today
  • Movies: This section analyses the different ways the battle has been portrayed on film.
The booklet is well illustrated throughout with some excellent photographs, drawings, and reproductions of paintings as well relevant and informative maps. This appears to be a 'one off' publication, but if Ian Allan and WHSmith produce similar booklets in the future, I will give serious consideration to buying them.


  1. Bob
    I'd be interested to hear your views on 'The Pacific'. I've seen a few bits an pieces of it and have been thinking of buying the DVDs.

  2. Tim Gow,

    If it is as good as 'Band of Brothers'. I will be more than pleased.

    You never know, it might just be the kick-start my much thought about Pacific campaign might need!

    All the best,


  3. Bob
    Would that be the Pafific campaign we started discussing in about 1996?

  4. Bob,
    Congratulations on getting your article on Washington published - I'll look out for it when I'm next in Smiths on Monday.
    How did you come to write for the magazine - were you approached, or did you send them the piece on spec? I'm always interested in finding magazines who might pay me for writing!

  5. Arthur1815,

    They approached me after I had left a comment on their website. We exchanged emails ... and I ended up writing a short piece about George Washington.

    All the best,