ARmy Rumour SErvice

Review: Anzac – Sari Bair by S Chambers.

The Gallipoli Landings of 1915 were degenerating into a bloody stalemate. This book tells the tale of General Hamilton’s gamble to seize the high ground dominating the Dardanelles and to advance to the East to allow the Navy to force their passage. Read more ›

Review: Tours Of Duty – Vietnam War Stories. Edited By Michael Lee Lanning

Never question the virtue of a man’s wife or the veracity of his war stories“. Thus once rebuked by a former Korean and Vietnam veteran, the editor has put together a wide range of war stories based on his personal experiences and those of trusted friends and colleagues.

Read more ›

Review: Operation Oyster: Rijken, Schepers and Thorning

Operation Oyster was a low level daylight raid on 6th December 1942 by a mixed force of Ventura, Boston and Mosquito aircraft from the RAF’s No 2 Group.  The target was the Phillips factory at Eindhoven; a major manufacturer of electronic valves. Luftwaffe demand for values was rising rapidly for radar sets, radios and navigational aids. Putting the factory out of action for many months would strike a powerful blow against military capability of the Third Reich. Read more ›

Review: Firearms Guide 5th Edition

I was asked again by Bad CO if I would review the Firearms Guide 5th Edition on DVD which he’d been offered by the publisher. The blurb states that it presents over 59,000 models of Firearms, airguns and ammo from 705 manufacturers worldwide which makes it pretty comprehensive. Using the capacity provided by the DVD format, it also includes 27,000 high resolution images with up to 12 per model. The ammo database has 5800 rounds in the database It works on XP, Vista and Windows 7 so still not good news for you Mac and Linux users out there!

First impressions are a well laid out and easy to use guide. That’s the plus side, the only downside I can see so far is a lack of exploded diagrams for some of my more favourite classic rifles and revolvers. The program opens with a front page showing 5 options, the main header bar being a firearms, airgun and ammo guide.

The schematics section is possibly where you will start but I still find it irritating that they manage to miss some serious contenders from the obvious manufacturers, but the schematics for the Imbel more than make up for the lack of the L1A1 “That Rifle” unless you are Verticalgyro!
That said you really need to open the calibre page, click on a round, click on the show me the ammo button and go from there. You then most definitely get to see all of the weapons on the disc by manufacturer.

22 Military

The producers of this certainly seem to have taken to heart previous comments about historical classics and every historic rivet counting anorak can be as satisfied as the modern AR style buff. Pleasing to me especially was the Brugger and Thommett offering as I use their excellent sound moderators for work although they aren’t shown!

Dropping back to the home page offers you the options to see the schematics, the FFL Guide, the EU/US calibre guide and the printable targets section which is full of fun to shoot and some useful zeroing and bench rest type targets.

The calibre guide is really an imperial/metric one but has some useful information and lots of little gems and has a list of currently available brands and bullet weights in each calibre. Again mostly aimed at the US and Canadian market but there are good images and a great level of data such as bullet weight, primer type, powder composition etc. I did find very helpful the published performance data as this really helps hand loaders. The guide does now include the sub .22 rim fire cartridges and a good spread there is too.

The FFL (Federal Firearms Licensee) locator hasn’t changed its remit since the second edition so still wont be of much everyday use to the UK shooter but if expanded over here to the same level would be outstanding.

The rifle guide is very much an in depth type of subject, it seems to list every calibre in every model and I note that unlike last time the new Ruger Gunsite Scout is included

Its always got little surprises and of interest is the fact that the Lewis gun appears under Savage, mind you Savage certainly managed to be the contractor of choice for almost everyone at one time or another.

The video section from the 2nd edition no longer seems to be available on this one but I may just be a computer biff, in fact looking at the fact that the memory keeps crashing on my laptop but I suspect thats more to do with all of the downloaded tv programs on my borrowed laptop.
All in all a good DVD and guide at USD $39.95 priced no worse than a decent reloading program and a lot less than a book with half of the available images and information.

Would I buy it? Well at first glance I would have said no but having had the opportunity to use it I definitely would buy it. For those not willing to part with money without trying first then the tutorials should put your mind at ease.

Review: Britain’s Great War Experience by Peter Liddle

The author has brought together an illustrated history of the Great War, trying to show all aspects of life for Britain both at home and overseas.

The book starts with a lengthy and informative introduction by Liddle which is probably well summed up by the last sentence, talking about appropriate captions for the photographs: “Herein lies one element in the challenge of the book, the attempt sharply to focus on men, women and children as individuals but also representatives of the unseen Britons each engaged upon his or her own First World War.”  Personally I think that Liddle has captured this in the book.

  Read more ›

Review – Criminal Enterprise By Owen Laukkanen

The story hits you like a sledgehammer, from the first line, you are quite literally sucked into the action of this book which only has four main characters with a small supporting cast which makes for a very fast exciting read.  This book I should imagine would be ideal for those train journeys on the way to and back from work, or on the plane or relaxing near the pool on holiday.  It really is a book you dont want to put down but the chapters are very short so it is ideal as a commute or holiday book. It is in short an excellent escape from reality, based in and around Minneapolis. Read more ›

Review: To Fight Alongside Friends – The First World War Diaries Of Charlie May. Edited By Gerry Harrison

Like so many of his compatriots Captain Charles May of 22nd Manchester “Pals” Battalion and Commander of B Company, kept a daily account of his thoughts and experiences right up until his final moments before being killed in action on the first day of the Somme – 1st July 1916. As his great-nephew, who is also the book’s editor, observes in the Forward, “There is nothing very remarkable about Charles May and that is the point about him: from the first page of his diary to the last haunting entries, he feels so utterly familiar and recognisable”. However, this is exactly what makes the book so attractive and compelling. Read more ›

Review: The Towers of Samarcand By James Heneage

This is the second book in The Mistra Chronicles, a series which uses the last seventy years of the Byzantine Empire as its backdrop. Its central theme is the quest for a “treasure” once housed in Constantinople, which is said to have the power to save the Empire from the invading Ottomans. Read more ›

Review: Cameos of War by Brian Guy (Swordman)

Many ARRSERs and some from other sites will be well acquainted with the tales of “Swordman” on the ARRSE Military History Forum “Swordman 1941-1944”.  Now some may ask why only 1944, well Brian lost an argument with a particular bangy thing, which to this day he does not know if it was a mine or a shell, just that it left him somewhat short of the issued number of limbs.  Hence the royalties and profits from the sale of this book are going to BLESMA – the British Limbless Ex-Servicemans’ Association. Read more ›

Review: Military Detention Colchester by Carole McEntee-Taylor

The Military Corrective Training Centre (MCTC) Colchester has always been a place of mystery and suspicion for those of us lucky enough never to have been sent there.  The tales about the treatment of soldiers, and those detailed to escort them there, are legendary.  This book, written by someone who works at MCTC, helps to draw back the veil of that mystery. Read more ›


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