Batailles et Blindes is a bi-monthly AFV history magazine published by Caraktere Presse. The magazine is published entirely in French, but the subjects covered within are extremely wide-ranging & the high-quality photography & graphics speak for themselves with regard to providing inspiration for AFV & diorama modelling.
Contents of Issue No.73
Iraq & Transjordan 1936-1945
Modern Equipment of the Norwegian Army
Panzers for Export - German AFVs in Foreign Service
Defeat of an Army - Did France have a chance of victory in May 1940?
Guderian & the Battle of Normandy 1944
Chugata Sensha - Tank Forces of the Imperial Japanese Army
Ludwig Neigl - The Other Tiger of Vitebsk (Panzerjager Ace on the Eastern Front 1944)
All topics featured within the magazine are covered extremely thoroughly, & the sheer diversity of the range of subjects more or less guarantees that there will be something within the pages to interest most readers. As previously stated, despite all text being in French, the photographs are an excellent reference source for modellers & enthusiasts alike. With my schoolboy French (I left school in 1978) I found it was easy to understand the general outline of the chapters when viewing photographs & text together, only having to use a French/English dictionary for some technical terms.
Iraq & Transjordan 1936-1945 gives a short coverage of vehicles & AFVs used by the Iraqi Army & Arab Legion during the early years of World War II, when Iraq rose in revolt against British colonial authorities.
Modern Equipment of the Norwegian Army covers the vehicles & heavy weapons used by present-day Norwegian forces, with emphasis being placed on the Leopard 2A4NO MBT, M109A3GN SP gun, CV-90 IFV, M113 APC, & support vehicles including the Leopard Biber bridgelayer.
Panzers for Export features German World War II AFVs in the service of their allies & client states, including Finland, China, Brazil, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Spain, Turkey & Rumania. The photographic coverage devoted to Bulgaria & Finland in particular is very thorough & interesting.
Defeat of an Army is an analysis of the French campaign of 1940 from the viewpoint of the French armoured forces, & covers the strategy, equipment & tactics used against the invading Wehrmacht. Colour side profiles of the Char B1 bis & Somua S35 tanks are included.
Guderian & the Battle of Normandy 1944 covers the post-action report compiled by Generaloberst Heinz Guderian (in his capacity as Inspector-General of Panzer Troops) into the reasons why the Wehrmacht failed to defeat the Allied invasion forces during the Normandy campaign. Photographic coverage in this article includes a rare colour photograph of a Royal Marine Armoured Support Group Centaur tank.
Chugata Sensha is devoted to the development of the tank arm of the Imperial Japanese Army from its inception until the end of World War II, & includes some interesting photographs of the methods used to train Japanese tank crewmen during this period.
Ludwig Neigl - The Other Tiger of Vitebsk covers the combat career of one of the lesser-known German Panzerjager aces of the Eastern Front, Feldwebel Ludwig Neigl, & includes several side colour profiles of Nashorn SP guns used by him. Among the more curious photographs in this article is one of a stripped-down PaK 36 anti-tank gun mounted on a sled, & being towed by a solo motorcycle - now that would make an interesting diorama subject!
An extremely well-written publication with a wide range of subject coverage, sharp graphics & artwork. Most readers will find something within its pages to interest them, & the wide-ranging selection of photographs is guaranteed to appeal to a large slice of modellers & history enthusiasts alike. Even if your understanding of the French language is limited, don't be put off by this - the subject range & photo quality offers incredible potential.
Highs: Excellent pictorial reference magazine, wide range of subject matter & easy-to-follow layout with high-quality artwork.
Lows: French text only; some readers may be disadvantaged by this, but the photographs speak for themselves. However, if the publishers were to consider printing photographic captions with dual French/English text it would be a winner.Verdict: Highly Recommended - despite the above reservations concerning language & captions, the inspirational value of this magazine for modellers is outstanding, & at a competitive price too.
Our Thanks to Caraktère Presse et Editions! This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
About Chris Oldfield (DepartmentS) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
Served as a Regular Soldier in the British Army 1979-1984, left with rank of Corporal in the Royal Military Police. Served in West Germany, Northern Ireland & the UK.
Have also served in the Bermuda Police, & joined the UK Ministry of Defence as a civil servant in 1988, & have worked for the MOD si...