There is probably no more well-known figure from the Great War, or more written about or discussed, than the infamous Red Baron- Manfred von Richthofen. The original ringmaster of the Flying Circus, his record stands for itself and no plane from that war stands out more from historians down to watchers of Snoopy and his antics in his Sopwith doghouse. This thin book at 157 pages is filled with excellent clear photographs of von Richthofen from his childhood up through his career to his bitter end over enemy lines. More on that later.
ICM has finally filled a big gap in their ongoing World War 1 Infantry series by releasing a set of early-war Belgian Infantry. Unlike most of the previous sets which displayed figures advancing toward an unseen enemy, this set displays Belgian infantry in what must be the most iconic fashion for the period depicted – fighting from a defensive position.
The set includes three infantry figures in the traditional shakos, all crouching or kneeling, two actively firing their rifles and one cocking or reloading his weapon. It also includes an officer figure armed with sword and pistol. The set includes two sprues of equipment suitable for Belgian infantry from 1914 all the way to 1918, when they wore khaki uniforms with helmets.
C'est une magnifique publication, riche en prose et en photographie. Présentée en français, mon manque de maîtrise du français me fait passer à côté de la qualité de la prose, mais la photographie ne nécessite pas de traduction précise.
In English - This is a magnificent publication, rich in prose and photography. Presented in the French language, my lack of command of French means that I am missing out on the quality of the prose, but the photography and the captions for the images does not require precise translation.
While the book is in the French language, some ability to read and understand French would be extremely helpful. My command of French is, at best, that of a six-year old. But even with a remarkably disappointing ability to speak and write in French, I found that the captions of the photographs were not at all difficult to roughly translate and to understand. When all else fails, one can seek an online translation tool.
Necessity is the mother of invention. Once the combatants in the Great War settled into the trenches, the Italians faced a desperate shortage of heavy artillery. To help fill this need, Demetrio Maggiora invented a short range 320mm (12.6 inch) mortar powered by acetylene gas. The acetylene was generated in canisters like a miner’s lamp. The gas was transferred into a spherical combustion chamber where it was ignited to launch the projectile. The mortar was muzzle loading and had a very short range – just enough to reach the enemy trenches. It was first used in the Second Battle of the Isonzo in 1915 and was only in service for a short time until more capable weapons became available.
Vargas Scale Models from California USA specializes in interesting and unique subjects from World War One and the Interwar periods in 1:35th scale. All are CAD designed and 3D printed in resin. Sales are direct to the modeler on eBay.
The Yakovlev UT-3 was designed as a training aircraft to offer instruction to pilots of multi-engined aircraft, gunners, bombardiers, and radio operators. Construction was mainly of wood, with fabric covering and some steel tubing. Imported French Renault 6Q engines were used on the prototypes, but production models probably had a Voronezh MV-6, a Russian copy of the French powerplant. The prototypes first flew in 1938, and some were equipped with armament, 7.62 mm machine guns and bombs, but production models were unarmed. Production began at two plants, No. 272 at Kazan, and No. 135 at Leningrad. Only a small number, around thirty, had been produced when the authorities decided to use combat aircraft for this type of training, so further production was cancelled.