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Osprey 'Weapon' Series.

Discussion in 'Book Reviews' started by Martin Bull, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Fellow old codgers may well remember those wonderful 'Small Arms Profile' booklets published by Profile Publications in early 1970s. I'd just started work then and recall eagerly snapping up every one as they appeared : I still have them today. Sadly, they - and Profile - disappeared in the 1970s oil crisis recession......

    The year before last, Osprey ( in quite a low-key fashion ) commenced a new Weapon series ( subtitled 'development-use-impact' ). They've quietly added titles and I just bought my first three - the M1 Carbine, Thompson SMG and Fairbairn Sykes Commando Knife titles.

    They're not bad - very readable with plenty of info and anecdotes about development and combat usage. I very much enjoyed the M1 Carbine and F-S knife titles as these cover weapons which are relatively hard to find good information about. The Thompson less so - a bit too much about 'gangsters' for my taste. I've now ordered the MG34/MG42 and Sten Gun titles. Others already published include the Bazooka, AK-47, Browning .50 and Colt M1911.

    I still have a soft-spot for the old Profiles - they were more technical and better-illustrated. But these Osprey books give a very good introduction to their subjects for a reasonable price. Overall, recommended ; and worth keeping an eye out for future titles.
     
  2. belasar

    belasar Court Jester

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    Thanks Martin, these do look interesting.
     
  3. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    They are - but don't expect too much ( at only 80 pages each ). But detailed weapon books - due to limited interest/print runs - can be very expensive ( as anyone who's bought a Collector Grade title will confirm ). But the Osprey books will give you a good head start if your knowledge is lacking ( I avidly read the Fairbairn-Sykes one straight through...).

    And they are available from a certain online book retailer at a useful discount.....
     
  4. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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  5. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    I haven't read that one, but I own Canfield's M1 Garand and M1 Carbine book. If yours is half as good, it'll be a very good book!
     
  6. SKYLINEDRIVE

    SKYLINEDRIVE Member

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  7. Blastmaster1972

    Blastmaster1972 Member

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  8. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    My next one has arrived : The Sten Gun by Leroy Thompson. This one is very good indeed and I highly recommend it. The Sten is ugly, cheap and distinctly 'unsexy' (unlike the MP40) and is often unfairly overlooked ; it was, after all, a very important weapon for the British Army in WWII.

    The author really seems to have got his teeth into this book ; some of the photos are quite unusual, there are exploded pictures and diagrams, live-firing description and even advice as to how the Sten should be safely carried.

    IMPO one of the best of the series so far, well worth the money............
     
  9. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish

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    Picked up the Bazooka one a few months ago in Norwich.
    I reckon it's not half bad.

    My essential problem with Osprey books remains though; this one's supposed to be £12.99.
    Bought it on a market for a fiver - fair enough at that price, but I've long-suspected that if they lowered their prices for their slim but worthy titles, they'd make up the shortfall in increased sales.
    I'd buy one a week at a fiver-ish... but I perhaps don't really reflect the market.

    Hohum,
    ~A

    (And at the other end of the scale - you never regret a Collector Grade publication ;) )
     
  10. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Wot I said ! ;)

    Totally agree, vP....IMPO Osprey series books have always been a shade overpriced for what they are. Although I hate to recommend a tax-evad...sorry, avoiding:rolleyes: .....corporation, the price is about right at the moment for these books.....
     
  11. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    Ospreys are a very mixed bag, possibly unavoidable with such a large output, and IMO grossly overpriced except for the 20% of very good ones (but you don't know which of those are good until you buy them), I actually sold a couple of their warships series, something I very seldom do for any military book, because I couldn't stand the horrible CGI pictures.

    Speaking of profiles did you know about this:
    Profile Publications | Scribd
     
  12. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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  13. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Just got another, The Bren Gun by Neil Grant published in 2013 ).

    This is one of my favourites so far - for some peculiar reason, the Bren is little-covered in literature ( The Bren Gun Saga is very expensive and the old Bren Profile is long OOP ), This is well-illustrated, and tells the story all the way from the early trials to use in the Falklands. A very comprehensive bibliography is included and the author incorporates some nicely-chosen anecdotes in his story. Also, for collecting anoraks like me, there's info about ammo boxes, cleaning kits, accessories etc.

    IMPO one of the better titles in the series so far..............
     

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