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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good quality, Too Brief, September 29, 2001
This review is from: The Guards Divisions 1914-45 (Elite) (Paperback)
Some background: The British Guards Divisions are two- An infantry division in WWI and an armored division in WWII. In both cases, they were organized from existing guards regiments (Coldstream, Welsh, Scots, Grenadier, Irish, and for WWI Machine Gun). After each war the divisions were disbanded but the regiments remain. The reason I was curious about the subject was that the Guards Armored were a signficant part of Operation Market-Garden (A Bridge Too Far).

This book is an excellent guide for the modeler of WW I&II. I for one plan to add a touch of distinction to otherwise dull and usual figure uniforms with the "All-Seeing"/"Ever-open" eye, which the photos and illustrations show very well. On tanks, on flags, on uniform sleeves, on trench signs...The modeler's possibilites are endless!
The book's greatest shortcoming is length, despite being extended into the longer "Elite" series. For a subject with so much material, 64 pages just doesn't cut it. They probably should have given two books, one for each World War. The book is slightly more focused on WWI, be aware. It tries to give an account of each of the battles the divisions were involved in, and the shortness gives amusing results. For Market-Garden's failure it says "Despite ever effort the armour of the Guards was stopped six miles short of the beleaguered paratroops..." Um, after the Guards pushed through Nijmagin, the last stop before the airborne at Arnhem they stopped to drink tea while the last paratroopers were overwhelmed. Whether they could have reached them in time is debatable, but that's not "every effort".
Overall, a recommended volume for modelers especially, but the lack of detail due to length is a disapointment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Guards, always on parade..., November 30, 2013
This review is from: The Guards Divisions 1914-45 (Elite) (Paperback)
Britain's Brigade of Guards are protectors of the Royal Household, famous for their discipline and distinctive appearance, and for their record in battle. This Osprey Elite Series entry follows the Guards into their combat roles in the First and Second World Wars, where even in the mud of the trenches, they found a way to stand out.

In both the First and Second World Wars, the Guards regiments chose not to increase the numbers of their battalions by a rapid influx of partly trained reservists and civilians. Instead, the Guards turned their ceremony duties over to their own reserve, formed the Guards Division, and went off to war. In both conflicts, the Guards insisted on maintaining the high level of training for individual replacements of their peacetime establishments.

Author Mike Chappell provides concise synopses of the Guards experience in each of the World War. As a matter of interest, the Guards formed an infantry division in the First and an armored division in the Second World War. The narrative is enhanced by a nice collection of photographs of the Guards in action and color illustrated plates of their distinctive uniforms and insignia. The combat narrative is quite compressed, limited by the short length of this book. The selling point may be the color uniform illustrations. Recommended.
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The Guards Divisions 1914-45 (Elite)
The Guards Divisions 1914-45 (Elite) by Mike Chappell (Paperback - October 16, 1995)
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