Ripped Apart: Volume 1: The Cyprus Crisis 1963-64

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Tom Cooper, Dave Watson and Dimitris Vassilopoulos
Company: Helion & Company - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Casemate Publishers - Website: Visit Site
Front Cover

I’ve read a number of books about 20th century so-called brush wars, and it becomes fairly obvious over time that these small, relatively isolated conflicts often serve as relief valves for larger nations who dare not directly confront each other. In the nuclear age, such aggressiveness would almost certainly be fatal.

That being said, the authors do a good job of detailing the conflict between Turkey and Greece over a single island which happens to have people of both nations living on it. All of this dates back to Greece’s struggle for freedom from the Ottoman Empire, and the ongoing tensions resulting from that struggle. Cyprus as a strategic target seems to be more ideological than tactical. However, this doesn’t stop the people from the two local communities from resenting each other to the point of open hostilities. The authors put in a LOT of background material in an attempt to make this all understandable to the outsider, but I still found myself lost at times. History can be like that sometimes. In fact, the actual conflict stated in the title isn’t actually described until about 2/3 of the way through the book, when both civilian populations begin stocking arms and ammunition for the upcoming battles. Such is the long and troubled background for Cyprus.

Once the fighting actually begins, both nations surreptitiously attempt to supply their sides with whatever can be smuggled in.Both sides create some truly inventive armored vehicles to supplant the manpower, many of which would be truly interesting challenges for the interested modeler. In the air, both supporting nations do their best to provide reconnaissance, which sometimes gets a bit dicey as many of the aircraft employed on both sides are identical except for national markings. One of the many complicating factors in all this are the air bases operated by foreign nations throughout Cyprus, which causes a certain amount of alarm in Great Britain among others. The U.S., ever vigilant against Communist influences, now fears a potential takeover by “outside powers” and attempts to negotiate a cease-fire, to no avail.

The depth of the background for this particular brawl is extremely well documented, and the authors provide a nice collection of photos and drawings to illustrate the conflict in detail. There’s a lot of useful material for the modeler here, and I can see some small dioramas coming out of it, especially with some of the hastily manufactured fighting vehicles used. This has to be one of the most thoroughly researched books on brush conflicts that I’ve ever read.

My thanks to Helion and Company for publishing this fascinating tome, and to IPMS/USA for letting me add it to my reading collection.Stay safe, everyone and happy modeling!


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