Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A. Deryabin (translated)
These books, now permanently out of print in Russia, have been translated by Tom Hillman and are available through Gauntlet International. The books cover the Red, White, Nationalist and Interventionalist armies that participated in the struggle for control of Russia following WWI. They have been repackaged into spiral bound paperback form and are, arguably, the last word on the subject of the Russian Civil War. Each is at least 46 pages long, with 8 color plates and many period black and white photos. The entire presentation is very similar to the Osprey series with one major departure – the text explaining the drawing is opposite the actual color plate for ease of reference.
The White book covers uniforms of the many “colorful” units of the period. There are descriptions of the units of named commanders (e.g. Kornilov, Alekseev, Markov, etc), shock units and cavalry units. The text also updates information found in the Osprey RCW White Army book. There are frequent references to plates in Osprey MAA books and this makes for a more complete study of the period.
The Red book presents information about uniforms, arms and organization during the RCW 1917-22. It covers the Red Army, Navy and Air Forces and their transition from the start to the finish of the war. The uniform plates show humble beginnings wearing modified Czarist uniforms to the ones usually associated with the Red Army of the period.
Considerable Nationalist movements began after the collapse of Czarist Russian and played a large role in the RCW. The book that discusses this describes armies and uniforms from such diverse areas such as the Baltic States, Byelorussia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. A large part of the book is devoted to the armies of the Ukraine, a complicated and involved subject. The book even describes Polish and Czechoslovak armies as they participated in the RCW.
A perhaps little know fact is the number of foreign countries that sent land troops to fight in Russia during the RCW. The intervention of the world’s major powers at the time may be more well known but forces from Italy, Greece, Rumania, Japan, China and Poland, to name a few, also sent soldiers to fight in this conflict (the newly re-born Polish state waged a war against the Bolsheviks, soundly defeating them in 1920!)
These books are a definite must for anyone who is interested in wargaming this period. The books offer a very complete study reference for the RCW. When combining the AST books with the Osprey books, the wargamer will have an outstanding painting reference for this turbulent and interesting period.
Two new books from the AST series are available, as well: White Armies of Northwest Russia and The White Army of North Russia. Many more books (and a brand new section devoted to printable RCW flags!) about this period can be found at:


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