Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Book bargains!

During today's visit to my father-in-law in Herne Bay, Kent, I was able to go to a small second-hand bookshop just off the High Street where I managed to pick up some real bargains.

The first was a copy of MILITARY MINIATURES – THE ART OF MAKING MODEL SOLDIERS by Simon Goodenough and ‘Tradition’ (Orbis Publishing [1977] ISBN 0 85613 047 8).

I remember getting this book out from the library many years ago, and found the chapter on painting techniques very helpful. What really stuck in my mind, however, was the photograph of a wargame that was featured in the book.

The game was obviously being fought on the floor and covered a massive area. I recognised some of the models that were being used (ROCO Minitanks and Airfix Landing Craft) but was more impressed by the number of HO scale model railway building that had been used to create the built-up areas. This was the sort of wargaming I aspired to do … but never did, and am likely never to do … but one can still dream!

The second book I found was the ISRAEL DEFENCE FORCES – THE SIX DAY WAR. This was edited by Colonel Mordechai Bar-On, and published by W. Foulsham & Co. Ltd., in association with the Chief Education officer, Israel Defence Forces and the Publications Division of the Israeli Ministry of Defence in 1968 (ISBN 0 572 00792 2). The foreword is written by Moshe Dayan (then the Israeli Minister of Defence) and it is a day-by-day account of the Six Day War. Dayan describes the book as an album, and it does contain a very large number of photographs as well as descriptions of the battles that were fought. It also has some detailed maps which have overlays that show the locations and movements of both sides’ units.

The third book is a copy of THE SOMME 1916 – CRUCIBLE OF A BRITISH ARMY which was written and illustrated by Michael Chappell (Windrow & Greene [1995] ISBN 1 85915 007 1).

Until recently the battles fought on the Western Front during the First World War have not particularly interested me, but helping my wife trace her family’s genealogy – coupled with recently listening to a very interesting lecture about the Hertfordshire Regiment’s part in the battles around Ypres – has begun to arouse my curiosity. This excellent book will help me to develop my interest, particularly with regard to the Battle of the Somme.

And what was the cost of these books? £05.0, £3.00, and £4.00 respectively! A bargain, every one!

12 comments:

  1. Hi Bob,

    Absolutely stunning!The Somme title was a £40 title when published! The great thing about this kind of bargain is that there is no guilt over the paltry sum expended! Roll on the boot sale season!

    6 Day War? Do I detect a piece of synchronicity in the making?

    Ogre

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  2. Ogrefencer,

    £40.00! I thought it was a bargain ... but that is amazing!

    As I have said before, the Six Day War is something that has interested me for a long time, but I think that I have enough projects on my plate at the moment without taking on another one ... or am I just telling myself that?

    All the best,

    Bob

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  3. I've come to the conclusion that all gamers of taste and discrimination end up playing on the floor at some point. I love the opportunities it allow for really big sweeping envelopments.

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  4. Conrad Kinch,

    The trouble is that when you reach a certain age, bending down to fight wargames on the floor can be very embarrassing, especially when you cannot get up afterwards!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  5. That's why one should invest in nimble grandchildren or just lie on your stomach and refuse to get up until poked with a broom by your wife or other loved one*.

    Kinch

    *This statement in no way infers that this has ever occurred, particularly when playing Little Wars in an intoxicated state.

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  6. Oddly I have that same wargame picture in a different book, A coloury treasury (or something) on Toy Soldiers. Always leaves me wanting to do a big amphibious mini-campaign on the table game.

    re WWI, I've always thought it was under rated as a wargame period though I have little desire to do the Somme or Paschendael.
    Ross

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  7. Conrad Kinch,

    I think that i am too old for the first but I somehow suspect that my wife might be rather too willing to use the second method!

    All the best,

    Bob

    PS. I assume that any alleged incident of intoxication is only hearsay, and cannot be used as evidence against the person or persons alleged to have been involved.

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  8. Ross Mac,

    What I find intriguing is that there is no indication who was fighting the battle in the picture or where it was being fought.

    Having looked in more detail, the picture is attributed to Carlo Bevilacqua, who appears to be a professional photographer based in Italy (although there is an Independent Hospitality Professional of the same name based in Toronto).

    I know from reading an Italian military magazine many years ago that there was a thriving wargames group in Italy at the time that were fighting amphibious battles, so I suspect that it is a picture of a wargame in Italy.

    I have fought some large table games - including a Megablitz version of Salerno/Anzio - and it was very enjoyable.

    As to World War I ... the Western Front is difficult to wargame but not impossible; the fighting on the other fronts - Italy, Russian, the Balkans, the Middle East, or Africa - has much to offer the wargamer, mainly because they are on a smaller, more manageable scale.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. I too recall seeing the photo of the wargame although I'm not sure if it was in the same book. It seemed a distant dream at the time but I could make a fair stab at it now - though all my BUAs and landing craft are in 6mm!

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  10. Tim,

    For some reason it is one of those photos that once seem, is never forgotten!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  11. Bob - is this the prompt we need to resurrect our idea (discussed about 15 years ago) for a Pacific Island-hopping game?

    Hmmmm.

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  12. Tim,

    It could well be the nudge we both need to actually do it!

    All the best,

    Bob

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