Here is a small diorama featuring Polish Uhlan cavalry advancing, supported by a TKS tankette. Even a horse makes the TKS look small! The TKS and figures are manufactured by First to Fight, horses are from Zvezda.
French Light Tank Renault FT US Six Ton Tank M1917
By Witold J. Lawrynowicz
Series: Armor Photo Gallery # 15
Softcover, 72 pages, drawings, and photographs
Published by Model Centrum Progres, January 2006
Dimensions: 8.0 x 11.2 x 0.2 inches
The Renault FT was a French light tank which saw initial service during the First World War. It is notable for introducing what has since become the standard tank configuration – a rotating turret containing the main armament, engine to the rear of the hull, and driver in the front. Over 3,000 were produced in France, with several other nations producing copies of the design. Although obsolete by the standards of WWII, there were several hundred still in service during the Battle of France, and captured examples were retained in Wehrmacht service in secondary roles through the end of the war.
This book is number 15 in the Armor Photo Gallery series and is intended to be a visual reference for modelers. Two-thirds of the pages are devoted to well-captioned full-color photographs of preserved vehicles presented in a walk-around style. There are two tanks presented – a Renault FT in the Musée Royal de l’Armée et d’Histoire Militaire in Brussels and a U.S.-built M1917 which was at the West Point Museum. The two vehicles exhibit a number of construction differences which the captions point out.
Also included are drawings in 1/48 and 1/35 scale, but nothing for 1/72 scale enthusiast. There is a short history of the type and several pages of black-and-white photographs of the tanks in service. I purchased this book at a model show, and was not familiar with the series at the time. These happy little discoveries are one of the best reasons to go to shows, you can always find something you didn’t know you needed! It is a quality publication and judging by what is listed on Amazon, somewhat sought after. Recommended.
Photographs taken at the Air Zoo, Kalamazoo Michigan.
Photographs taken at the Air Zoo, Kalamazoo Michigan.
The Arab Revolt 1916–18: Lawrence sets Arabia ablaze
By David Murphy, illustrated by Peter Dennis
Osprey Campaign Series Book 202
Paperback, 96 pages, heavily illustrated
Published by Osprey Publishing November 2008
Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.2 x 9.9 inches
Most readers are familiar with the story of the Arab Revolt because of T. E. Lawrence’s book “The Seven Pillars of Wisdom” and its movie adaptation “Lawrence of Arabia”. This volume in the Osprey Campaign Series puts those works into context and provides a broad overview into the strategic background of the actions in the book and the film.
In 1916 the Ottoman Turks controlled Arabia by fortifying a series of towns and strong points. These positions were supplied by the Hejaz Railway that ran South terminating in Medina, which was heavily garrisoned. Keeping the railway open was vital to the Turkish presence in the Middle East and as such was heavily patrolled. The British and French realized that for a relatively small investment in advisers, material, and support the Arab clans could be incited to revolt against Ottoman occupation. Suppressing the revolt would tie up Turkish forces and divert resources away from other theaters.
For their part, the Arabs fought for independence and self-rule. Native to the desert, they were masters of the terrain and could traverse “impassable” regions, appearing without warning and melting back into the desert before they could be engaged. Guerrilla warfare suited them well, and they conducted numerous raids against isolated garrisons. The vital railway line was particularly vulnerable to this type of attack, being difficult for Ottoman forces to defend effectively and requiring immediate repair whenever the line was cut. As Arab strength grew, larger-scale assaults were directed against cities and towns and the Ottomans were driven back.
This book is a good primer on how the Arabian campaign was conducted and the post-war political maneuverings that followed. It is particularly relevant for those wishing to understand the progression from Arabia at the beginning of the last century into the chaos which is the Middle East today. Overall a good introduction into one of the lesser studied theaters of the First World War.
Rendezvous with Death: The Americans Who Joined the Foreign Legion in 1914 to Fight for France and for Civilization
by David Hanna
Hardcover in dustjacket, 332 pages
Published by Regnery History June 2016
Dimensions: 6.0 x 1.1 x 9.0 inches
The French Foreign Legion is one of the more storied of the world’s military formations. In the Legion a man can make a fresh start regardless of his past – in exchange for the promise of military service to France a new identity is created. The Legion is famous for attracting men looking for a fresh start for themselves or to forget past mistakes. The men in this book did not join the Legion for the typical reasons.
Rendezvous with Death is the story of a group of Americans living in Paris at the beginning of the Great War in 1914. Idealism is what drove them to fight for France against the Germans, and the Legion was their pathway. At the time France was in dire need of all the help they could get, the German offensive initially met with success but had descended into a quagmire of trench warfare. Any gains were small and only achieved at terrible costs.
The Americans in the Legion fought at Champagne, Verdun, and the Somme among other engagements. Some later fought as aviators in the Lafayette Escadrille. Author Hanna has done a remarkable job in following the actions of these men and describing their experiences whether in the trenches or in the air.
Overall a fascinating read which went quickly. The Legion is a unique military organization in many ways so that perspective was interesting as well. I thoroughly enjoyed this book which I can recommend without hesitation.