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Soviet Naval Infantry 1917–91  - David Greentree (Author), Johnny Shumate (Illustrator)

Soviet Naval Infantry 1917–91 - David Greentree (Author), Johnny Shumate (Illustrator)

Published by Osprey, a publisher I’ve got a lot of time for, and currently priced at £14.99 on Amazon, not discounted. This is a very small book, only running to about 60 pages, and at the price it is, I think it makes it quite expensive for what you get. However, this is a very small niche book and will likely not generate great sales figures, so I think the price is partly understandable.

This is the 3rd book by this author who is a History graduate and has also served as an officer in the RAF. The author has illustrated many Osprey book series.

Whilst this book is fully ‘stand-alone’, it is one of a series of 7 about Russian forces that Osprey print.

As the book is so small, I thought it would provide an easy night’s bedtime reading before I dropped off to sleep. I was wrong! The book drew me in and before I knew where I was, I was flitting all over the internet seeking corroboration and extra information. My early night wasn’t so early and ended up being stretched over several other nights.

The book contains some really good photographs, but pride of place must go to the illustrations provided by Johnny Shumate. These illustrations are superb and convey a lot of information that I feel would be useful, particularly to the modelling fraternity. I wouldn't mind betting that in the future some of these books will be broken up purely so the illustrations can be mounted in frames.

I’ll openly admit that before I started reading this book, I had never heard of 'Naval infantry', never mind the Russian variety. This book cracked open a door that piqued my interest and led to me adding another few nuggets to my neglected knowledge of history and the world in general.

Specifically, from my own interest and point of view, I found the 4th chapter (Naval Infantry In The Cold War) very insightful. It contained information from a different perspective than anything I have previously read and contained a handful of pictures I hadn’t seen before. The sidebar on recruitment and training was both thought-provoking and enlightening.

I was slightly disappointed that there was no reference section, but as the bibliography contained a few internet links I just got drawn in further once I started following them.

This is not going to be a book for everyone, but if it does hit your sweet spot it won’t disappoint. I’ll run to 4 anchors.

soviet naval infantry.jpg

Amazon UK Link