Caraktère Press & Editions has sent Armorama two of their titles for review. These two titles are ‘The dictionary of the units of the Axis in North Africa’ and ‘132 Divisione Ariete’ both provide details on the North African campaign during World War 2. The first of these titles I will look at is ‘The dictionary of the units of the Axis in North Africa’.
I should say right from the very start that these titles are printed in French only and my French is limited to what I can remember of school lessons last taken 34 years ago, plus a few questionable terms learnt since leaving school. As such any European member who has reviewed books previously and can read French will be considered for any future titles that Caraktère Press & Editions opt to send us.
This book consists of 130 pages and a very large number of period photographs. When I first opened this book I was a little concerned about how I was going to tackle this review; well one of the beauties of French is that many of the important words can be picked out and provide knowledge regardless of your abilities with the French written word.. The school boy French I can remember also came in handy for the months mentioned in the text and captions. I will say that being in French does harm the ability to get the most from this title, but by the same score French is spoken by a large proportion of the world’s population due to the French like the English having been a colonial power.
Despite the written word difficulties I had, I was able to pick out the units and dates mentioned in the text. The text covers the German and Italian units that served in North Africa during World War Two. The only Axis unit that I did not see mentioned was the French unit that was sent to North Africa, but in fairness they did quickly do a moonlight flit and joined the British Forces fighting the Axis Forces. Having gone cover to cover several times I became more and more impressed with the contents and really wish I had been able to read all of the text in this book. I really hope that Caraktère Press & Editions in the future give consideration to releasing English versions of these books as that will allow a much wider audience to enjoy what in my opinion does look to be an excellent publication.
The black and white period photographs all appear to be of a very high standard and will prove to be a great reference for anyone looking for inspiration when finishing a model during this campaign and it should be said that the inspiration also extends to the painting and weathering stages. Along with the photographs there are a large number graphic artworks covering the vehicles used in North Africa during this period, that also extends to the captured vehicles utilised by Axis Forces.
The language difficulties do detract for anyone who cannot read French, but with that said this is a title that is well worth seeking out regardless. The information that I was able to understand would allow a modeller to depict a vehicle and unit in its correct timeframe, while at the same time providing the needed information to accurately finish a model and if wished, placed in a diorama. Most of the time during a war a soldier is not fighting the enemy, they are eating, resting and keeping their kit in order; if my grandfather is to be believed when it came to North Africa he said he spend more time fighting the flies than he ever did the Germans, and said that he had smoked quite a few ciggies with Germans while recovering injured troops from the strips of land between the Armies; who would believe a diorama depicting that?
Highs: A fantastic amount of pictorial reference and graphics for anyone interested in the War in North Africa during World War Two.Lows: Being written in French only, makes it hard to get the most from this title if you can’t read French.Verdict: At the grand price of €14.90 it is worth buying regardless of the language used.
Our Thanks to Caraktère Presse et Editions! This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...