Book Reviews: V21N6

By Dean Roxby

Osprey Publishing, Weapon Series
7.25" x 9.75"

The Weapon series of booklets from Osprey Publishing covers a wide range of battle equipment, from longbows (WPN 30) and katana (WPN 5) to current issue weapons, such as the RPG-7 (WPN 2) and the FN Minimi light machine gun (WPN 53). There are currently 54 titles, with additional books regularly added.

While small in size, the various titles in this series contain a lot of information. At 80 pages per title, these books will certainly not rival the massive, encyclopedic reference books available for some guns. However, they do provide a very good start for getting familiar with a new gun. As each title is written by a different subject matter expert, the writing style will vary somewhat. Generally though, the booklet begins with a good bit of history and background to each weapon, and the path of development required to create the specific weapon. From there, a more detailed look at the different variants is given. The five titles reviewed here are typical of the overall series. All are available in multiple formats, namely paperback, ePub and PDF.

The Martini-Henry Rifle
by Stephen Manning
Copyright 2013
ISBN: 9781780965062 (WPN 26)

I recently wrote an article for another magazine about the legendary British Martini-Henry service rifle. I found myself referencing my copy of the Osprey booklet quite frequently. And I learned details about my own rifle that were previously unknown to me.

Written by Stephen Manning and illustrated by Peter Dennis, this one was released in May 2013. Dr. Manning is an expert in Victorian colonial warfare. He has published several other books on the history of warfare, although this is his first as part of the Osprey Weapon series. Mr. Dennis is a prolific illustrator, having created artwork for much of the Weapon series as well as other Osprey books.

The iconic Martini-Henry served the British Empire well, including in such famous battles as the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879 and skirmishes in Afghanistan, Egypt...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V21N6 (July 2017)
and was posted online on May 19, 2017


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