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Book Review
World War I Trench Warfare (1)

by: Dave O'Meara [ GRUMPYOLDMAN ]

Originally published on:
Historicus Forma

I've always like the way Osprey presents these series of books. This one didn't let me down either. The cover illustration caught my eye right away, and it was instantly in the little hand carrier. Talk about an impulse buy. Then I spotted the second in the series, and grabbed that one also. That review will follow.

For the newcomer to the hobby, who may have never seen these series of books, I'll give a fast run down on what to expect. The book consists of 65 pages of well-written text covering World War I trench warfare from 1914 to 1916 and a nice section of color plates.

The first section covers the combatants involved in 1914 while the next one covers Infantry weapons in 1914. Following this is the Battle of the Frontiers. Eventually we come to good coverage of the first trenches. This trench warfare, and subsequent stalemate, brought about new weapons that are also covered in the text. Of course new weapons bring new combat tactics, which brings the reader to the next section that includes an overview of 1915, including the introduction of poison gas. The remainder of the text brings us through Verdun and up to 1916.
The last eight pages describe the color plates.

Color plates/Illustrations
The book is well illustrated throughout with photos and diagrams and the center color-plates are the icing on the cake. Well illustrated by Adam Hook, these are a figure modelerís delight, filled with great detail and each could be used as a template to create an outstanding simple vignette (since these are original paintings, a little figure conversion or scratch building would be needed). In the back of the book are eight pages of text that give a full description of the uniforms and equipment of the troops shown on the plates.

The book includes a mix of nationalities that fought in the war and does not focus on any one combatant nation.

In addition to the plates, the WWI-era photos will come in handy for detailing your figures. Mixed among the photos of the combatants and their personal equipment (along with the a glimpse of the of the misery of living in the trenches) are a few photos of WWI artillery pieces. Unfortunately for vehicle modelers, there are not any photos for you. The primary audience is clearly the figure painter, converter, or scratch builder/sculptor.

I've never been disappointed by any of the Osprey Elite Series of books and I certainly wasn't with this one. It rekindled an area of history for me Iíve always enjoyed. (My early modeling days were spent building Aurora biplanes) Has this book turned me into a WWI expert? No, it hasn't. Has it increased my knowledge of the era and refreshed an aging mind? Yes. Would I recommend this book to someone else? Without a doubt or second though about it, especially if they have the slightest interest in World War I and wished to increase their knowledge a little more.

I picked my copy up at the local Barnes and Nobles, who surprisingly now have a regular display section for Osprey books. (They use to just tuck them on the regular shelves, and it sometimes became a search mission to find them... good move B&N)
Number 78 in the Elite Series, WWI Trench Warfare (1) cover the early years of World War I, 1914 to 1916. Although I placed this in the figure section, it contains information for any modeller interested in this period of history, except aircraft. Easy to read and well written by Dr. Stephen Bull, and illustrated by Adam Hook.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: 1841761974
  Suggested Retail: $16.95 US
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jun 03, 2005

About Dave O'Meara (Grumpyoldman)

I'm rewriting this in a much more humoristic way, to help over inflate my ego, and place my self on a pedestal, because I don't have a life, and plastic models are the only thing I live for. I plead guilty as charged to excessive babble, light hearted humor, and continued encouragement to youngsters...

Copyright ©2021 text by Dave O'Meara [ GRUMPYOLDMAN ]. All rights reserved.


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