by: Alan McNeilly [ ]
Osprey have recently release a new publication by Tim Moreman covering the activities/role of the Long Range Desert Group in the Western Desert over the period 1940 to 1943.
There have been many books about the LRDG, sadly most of which I dont have, so this one goes part of the way in filling that gap.
The book is laid out in the standard Osprey format and consists of 64 pages in A 5 format. The publication is of good quality and structured in a logical format.
The book contains a number of illustrations by Raffaele Ruggeri and is issued under Ospreys Warrior Series, being No 148.
The contents of the books are organised as follows:
The Concept, Role and Training
Belief and Belonging
Appearance, Weapons and Vehicles
Life on Campaign
Experience in Battle
Museums and Collections
Although a relatively small publication, the book provides good background knowledge on the various aspects of the LRDG. It is informative and easy to read, I found the Chronology a very handy reference.
There is enough detail on weapons, appearance and vehicles to make it of value and I particularly liked the section covering Road Watch and Beat Ups, the LRGD term for raiding the enemy.
There are 6 colour illustrations and two coloured maps included in the book along with numerous photographs of the troops and their vehicles. Many, but not all, of the photographs have been reproduced before but having them together in one handy reference is very useful.
Effectively, this is a book about the men who made up the LRDG, how they operated and what their contribution to the war effort was. They were an Elite Group, who provided valuable intelligence on enemy movements and often did what seemed impossible. The book makes a good effort at getting this across in an easy and informative manner within a limited space.
This is a handy and worthwhile reference for those who have an interest in this theatre of operations or who would just like to get further information on this unit.
It cannot cover all the activities of the group, but it goes a long way to explaining how they came into being, how they trained, operated and were equipped for their role. It provides, in one cost effective publication, a lot of useful reference material for the modeller and partly fills the gap left by the 'out of publication' books and almost unavailable previous Osprey publication.