"Brassey's Book of Camouflage" seems to have finished collecting camouflage patterns around 2000, just before the Canadian, Jordanian, and U.S. militaries adopted patterns developed by HyperStealth Biotechnology Corp <[...]>. Because of this, it fails to incorporate the latest research in how visually disruptive work and the impact of color and pattern on the effectiveness of camo.
Within its limits, it is a passable guide to military camouflage patterns from WWI through the late 1990s. It covers most countries that fielded original camo patterns, and has a brief discussion of naval camouflage.
Not the most current information, but not without value.
I had high hopes that this would be a comprehensive reference of the world's camouflage uniforms. Although there are several nice pictures throughout the book there are no captions to describe what you are looking at, for example the heading will list a country name and between 1-4 small thumbnail pictures of different uniforms but doesn't list the name of the pattern or the time frame it was used. I find this to be a terrible oversight as it's inclusion would have made this book a good reference as it stands now, the book's layout is too cumbersome to be much use as a reference. The so-called "close-up" plates are nothing special as they were photographed too close to be of any real use. Also, several of the subjects were old and faded thusly giving an incorrect impression of the actual colors. All in all, I can't really recommend this book. It is an interesting piece of work but the author and publisher seem to have released this work in an unfinished state. With just a small amount of time and effort, this could have been a solid reference but as it stands is nothing more than an intersting picture book.
I had expected a more comprehensive look at camouflage patterns from around the world. The pictures tend to be high-quality, but small and poorly identified (especially in the most important section, the "catalog"). It also has inconsistent data. For example, it states that the six-color US desert pattern was tested in the 1980s, but later in the book it has the same pattern with the caption "US 1970s". The book contains pictures of rare and trial patterns, which is a plus. It also offers pictures of swatches, which allows close-up looks at the actual patterns. This book can be a useful reference book for scale modelers and camouflage connoisseurs. I haven't read any other Brassey's books, so I don't know how it compares to others in its series.
If your a sadistic freak, who collects nazi artifacts on ebay in his spare time, and reinacts famous battles in your backyard, my guess is you will be disappointed with this book, as it is not a "compehensive refrence" of every piece of camoflage ever worn...ever. To me this book is laid out nice, with photos of camo that are aesthetically pleasing, but not of any historical importance. Don't try to make this book something it's not. I don't even think there is any others like it. My overall summary: Good refrence for graphic designers. Bad refrence for armed forces enthusiasts.
If you buy this book as an overview of the history and evolution of camouflage with full examples, you're going to be exceptionally disappointed. If, however, you want a reasonably good survey of current and historical infantry camouflage uniforms, this is a good reference. I've found it to be a useful tool for wargamers...