Sunday, 20 September 2020

Two new books

When I bought my first car, I was keen to do my own basic maintenance ... so on the advice of a friend, I bought a copy of the relevant Haynes Owner's Workshop Manual. As I bought newer cars, I bought more of these very helpful manuals, and this continued until electronic ignition systems et al came along. No longer could I fix my car using a few simple tools; it now needed a computer!

Until recently, I've never had to buy another of Haynes's publications ... but in recent years they have begun to branch out and produce a range of Owner's Workshop Manuals about a range to non-car topics, and I have begun to buy them again. To date, I have bought:
  • German Infantryman: The German soldier 1939-45 (all models)
  • T-34 Tank: 1940 to date (all models)
  • Panzer III: Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf A to N (Sdkfz 141)
  • Panther Tank: Panzerkanpfwagen V Panther (Sdkfz 171)
I can now add a further volume to my collection, FLAK 88: 8.8cm FLUGZEUGABWEHRKANONE (MODELS 18/36/37/41).
This follows the same pattern as the earlier books, and is split into eight chapters, endnotes, and appendices:
  • Introduction
  • Development
  • Design and basic operation
  • Ammunition
  • Crew roles and gun operation
  • At war - anti-aircraft operations
  • At war - anti-tank operations
  • Transportation and maintenance
  • Endnotes
  • Appendices
It contains a wealth of information and illustrations, and was well worth the £5.00 I paid for it in the Tiverton branch of THE WORKS.

The other book I recently acquired was THE NAVAL WAR OF THE PACIFIC 1879-1884: SALTPETER WAR.

This is the second book by this author that I have bought (the first was RUSSO-TURKISH NAVAL WAR 1877-1878), and it is an excellent history of the naval side of the war.
The book is very well illustrated, and is split into eighteen chapters and a number of appendices.
  • The origin of the conflict
  • Opponents
  • Invasion of the Bolivian costa and the outbreak of the war
  • Blockade of the southern coast of Peru and the battle of Chipana
  • Battle of Iquique
  • Naval operations in the period between the battle of Iquique and the battle of Angamos (May-October 1879)
  • Battle of Angamos
  • Landing at Pisagua and the Chilean capture of the province of Tarapaca
  • Capture of the gunboat Pilcomayo
  • Change of leadership in Peru and Bolivia
  • Landing operations at Pacocha Bay and the battle of Tacna
  • The blockade and fall of Arica
  • Blockade of Callao
  • Lynch expedition
  • Battles of Chorillos and Miraflores and the fall of Lima
  • Military operations following the fall of Lima and the end of the war
  • Naval operations on Lake Titcaca
  • Outcome of the war
  • Appendices

FLAK 88: 8.8cm FLUGZEUGABWEHRKANONE (MODELS 18/36/37/41) was written by Chris McNa and published in 2018 by Haynes Publishing (ISBN 978 1 7521 133 1).

THE NAVAL WAR OF THE PACIFIC 1879-1884: SALTPETER WAR was written by Piotr Olender and published in 2020 by Stratus (ISBN 978 83 65958 77 8)


  1. If you have room in your garage to work on three tanks and a Flak 88, you obviously have more space then me. I trust you have the requisite firearms certificates! Cheers Simon


    1. Simon,

      I only wish that I owned real examples of each of the tanks and the 88 ... and had the room to store them! One of my ‘if I won the lottery ...‘ dreams would be to set up my own military museum.

      All the best,


  2. G'Day Bob, I can just picture you adjusting the timing on a Flak 88 in your garage.:) cheers Greg

    1. Delta Coy (Delta),

      So can I ... in my dreams!

      All the best,


  3. Hi Bob, re. Haynes tank books listed. Do they have the same level of detail as the Flak book has? i.e. the Crew tasks and "At War" operations chapters? That is the sort of information that is often glossed over in favour of stats on speed, mm's of armour and gun calibre. In contrast, these Haynes books appear really interesting! Howard

    1. Phf,

      The tank books examine the development of each design and the various variants that were built (including production figures for each manufacturing plant).

      The level of detail is quite technical. For example, the book about the Panther looks at the layouts of the various exhausts fitted, including line drawings of the layouts. They are ideal books for modellers, and for those wargamers who like to have lots of technical details to hand.

      All the best,


  4. I have these disparate editions of the Haynes workshop manuals:
    Unfortunately I cannot find a way to post a picture but they are:
    The caravan, to 2001
    Junkers JU87 1935-45
    Man 120,000BC to Present Day (all models, shapes, sizes and colours)

    1. Whiskers,

      Funnily enough, I haven’t seen any of these titles, but I’d certainly be interested in the one about the Junkers Ju87.

      All the best,


  5. Hi Bob,
    The Haynes Manuals are a great series of books with many more titles to follow, I understand. In my experience, the best places to buy these cheap are either The Works (including via their website) or from the Bovington Tank Museum (where you would also be helping a recognised charity - a valid excuse if ever I heard one).

    I currently have the Piotr Olender book on order but can also highly recommend his two-volume set on the Russo-Japanese Naval War in the same series if you enjoy the period.

    1. Terry,

      The Haynes Manuals really do seem to be filling a niche in the market, and I’m looking forward to buying further books in the series.

      To date, I’ve bought mine from THE WORKS, but I’ll look at the Tank Museum’s website to see what ones they are selling.

      I’m thinking about buying more of Piotr Olender’s books, but for the moment I’m trying not buy any more books for the next few weeks!

      All the best,



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