Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Osprey Publishing
(The Russian Civil War (1) The Red Army (MAA 293), The Russian Civil War (2) White Armies (MAA 305) and The Russian Army 1914-18 (MAA 364)
Each of these books is 48 pages with 8 color plates and multiple black and white photos. While the two Russian Civil War books offer information about specific units of the Red and White armies, The Russian Army 1914-18 is an essential third text to the uniforms worn by armies on both sides of the Russian Civil War. For example, in attempting to reference the type of uniforms/clothing worn by Siberian troops readers will find information in the Russian Army book alone (and it helped me to successfully paint my own figures!) Each book is a wealth of information essential to anyone interested in the RCW from Murmansk to the Ukraine and Crimea to Siberia and the Far East. The Red Army discusses Soviet unit organizations and briefly touches on weaponry; the majority of the text discusses uniforms and clothing. The Whites briefly discusses uniforms (though more is covered in the text describing the plates) and has more pages devoted to the descriptions of the different fronts that faced the Red Hordes. The Russian Army is a good all around text, spending equal pages discussing chronology, army organization, elite units, non-Russian units, uniforms, weapons and tactics.
What is most striking about all of these books is the evolution of the skill of the artist Andrei Karachtchouk. His drawings in the first (Red Army) is good and those in the next (Whites) is great and more animated/realistically posed (you can see some of the self confidence in some of pictures of the "colorful" White officers.) In the Russian Army, he has really outdone himself and I was most impressed with the drawings that rival my favorite Osprey artist Angus McBride.
These books are an essential part of anyone's Russian Civil War library.


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