Wednesday 16 March 2022

Book Review: Landing Craft and Amphibians - Seaborne Vessels in the 20th Century

 When I was offered this book for review I was really unsure whether I would be that interested in the subject. However, on reflection, it occurred to me that when I was a young model builder I got real satisfaction from completing kits of landing craft, especially when incorporating them into a diorama.

Book Cover

This book gives an interesting overview of many of the different landing craft and other amphibious vehicles that have been used during the 20th century. Pointing out both the similarities and differences between the various different versions from most of the major factions both during the 2nd World War and afterwards (there is some discussion of pre-World War Two as well, but as amphibious assault was in its infancy this one takes a couple of pages.

Back Cover

The first half of the book gives a concise if brief history of the development of the various craft including the dates and dimensions where known.

There are some nice reference photos that are very useful for model makers, especially when planning dioramas. 

The book does give over a couple of pages to discussing hovercraft, however, this is quite brief, and I am sure there would be enough material for a whole separate book on the subject.

After the history, the book has some painted colour illustrations of a selection of the vehicles, which is an excellent reference for modellers and offers images of all sides of the vehicles (including the tops). This both offers good modelling reference, but also ideas for paint schemes and weather details.

The final section of the book is a review of the various model kits available, at various scales along with some photos of completed kits produced by some master modellers, and very impressive they are too...

Overall this is an excellent reference for a modeller who would like to work on a landing craft or other amphibious vehicle. The book could have done with some better editing, as the proofreading has clearly fallen somewhat short of the mark, but the content itself is generally very good. My one real quibble with the book is the author's use of terms that are clearly familiar to him, but are not explained anywhere in the book itself, such as "Vertical Force Assets". I assume military tacticians will understand these terms, but as someone who has not studied modern military tactics, I was unfamiliar with them. 

The book can be purchased directly from Pen and Sword Books HERE, or from your usual book retailers.
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