Monday, 17 January 2011
Old Friends and New Dilemmas
I was very pleased to be able to have a lunch hour today (a very rare occurrence these days!) and was able to have a wander to Charing Cross Road and one of my favourite cheapo bookshops called Lovejoys. Passing over the somewhat exotic nature of the contents of the basement (shades of Kenneth Williams....'Oooooh, Matron...!) the ground floor is a veritable goldmine of remaindered books and cheap edition paperbacks. I was especially pleased to come away with two titles (trust me, it could have easily been debit card meltdown...!); one of which I have been after for a while and the other I should not have gotten rid of in the first place!
I am very interested in naval warfare in the 16th century and I have acquired over time a modest but adequate library of books covering both the Mediterranean and the Atlantic and warfare involving both galleys and galleon. Angus Konstam features heavily in this section of my library and the Osprey hardback - The Spanish Armada - whilst winning no prizes for the originality of its title would be a welcome addition to any gamers bookshelf with an interest in the period. As is usual with these Osprey hardbacks the contents make use of a number of existing titles and so to an owner of the Men at Arms, Campaign and Vanguard books this may not seem a good deal. HOWEVER, if you are not in such a fortunate position (and I count myself in that category for the Armada!) this is a an absolute goldmine. There are orbats, colour plates of troops and ships, comparisons of gun types, maps, line drawings and potted biographies of the commanders and a brief examinations of the tactics of each side and how they evolved.
The second title is by Edward Paice and is called Tip and Run - The Untold Tragedy of the Great War in Africa. It is a history of the First World War fought in Africa and the main player in this has to be the German Commander: Paul Von Lettow-Vorbeck and the famous Askaris. Throw into this the adventures of the German cruiser Konigsberg, a Royal Navy Commander as mad as a box of frogs, terrain that you would not wish on your worst enemy (in fact the terrain probably is your worst enemy!) and a theatre of operations the size of Europe and you can see the attraction....
The Germans who never lost indeed. I have a soft spot for this part of the Great War and indeed was trying to do something with the period a couple of years ago but gave up and disposed of all the kit - especially the library. That was a big mistake!
The RRP for both titles is £45 so I was delighted to acquire both of these for a mere £17.98
Both of these titles are very welcome in the bookcase but as always such enthusiasm usually comes at a price and thus the seeds have been planted of yet another range of projects to be considered....:-)