This book covering the Eighth Army in North Africa is part of a series of titles from Pen and Sword as part of their ‘Images at War’ series. These books cover the subject matter mostly in photographs and so offer a great visual reference for anyone interested in the subject matter regardless of the reason for that interest. For the modeller these books represent a horn of plenty when it comes to visual information.
This offering from Pen and Sword is part of the ‘Images at War’ series. This series of books are soft backed offerings having a good card cover with a very good spine to the book that keeps the contents in good order. This book covering the Eighth Army in North Africa has been authored by Simon Forty. The contents of this title are provided on 144 pages of good quality semi gloss paper.
The contents are presented in the following sections:
Chapter 1 – Setting the Scene
Chapter 2 – The Opposing Forces
Chapter 3 – The Desert
Chapter 4 – Operation Crusader
Chapter 5 – Rommels Second Offensive
Chapter 6 – Monty Takes Command
Chapter 7 – First Victory
The dedicated text in this offering is minimal as that is not the purpose of these books as they are not designed to be read in the truest sense of the word. There are a few pages of text that are well written and provide brief sections of information that guide the viewer on the tour of the visual reference provided. What I do like about this book is that the author has opted to provide a short written section at the start of each chapter. I like that this decision has been taken as it sets the scene for what follows in each chapter and takes away any questions as regards what the reader can expect to see.
So what do we have here from Pen and Sword? What we are offered can be best described as a photographic look at the war in North Africa during World War 2 that concentrates heavily on the 8th Army; I would like to say at this point that when it comes to Allied Forces in North Africa everyone has heard of the 8th Army, but they were not the only ones there and I remember it annoyed my grandfather a lot that only the 8th are remembered by most. The text at the start of each section is well written and gives the photographic element a good back drop.
The photographs themselves have been well chosen, but they are given life by the well written captions that tell the viewer exactly what they are looking at. Taking a look through the images I was disappointed to see so many pictures of those in command rather than the men and machines at the sharp end, but with that said they do not detract from the visual beauty of the book as a whole. The photographic areas that really grabbed my attention and made me look for a longer period were those that show the troops in the field either at rest or at their stations getting ready for action; I find this type of photograph provides the viewer with a lot more information as it is the state that the soldier spends the most time doing even during war. I was also pleased that the captions point your eyes to take in specific details in many cases.
This offering from Pen and Sword as part of their Images of War series is a great visual delight for the modeller. I like that the author of this offering opted to provide a short write up at the start of each chapter that can be considered as an introduction to what visual delights are ahead of you. The captions that accompany each photograph are well written and provide a good level of detail. I am very hard pushed to come up with a negative for this title and the only personal one is that I would have preferred less visual attention on the men in command, but that is something that I myself am not keen on someone else may love this inclusion.
Highs: Images of British and Commonwealth troops at rest and between actions are the aspect that appealed to me the most.Lows: I was not a fan of the images on the men in command but that is a personal opinion.Verdict: Well written and a great price for what is a visual delight.
Our Thanks to Pen & Sword Books! 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 Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...