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Мнение от Клуб Стендов Моделизъм България » 23 юли 2016, 00:01

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1. Top 5 Modern Sniper Rifles - 2016-07-22 07:26:20
We asked Leigh Neville, author of the forthcoming Modern Snipers and well known to Osprey readers for his books on modern warfare, to select his top five modern sniper rifles as the first of a series on modern sniping for the Osprey blog.
Choosing only five rifles was a difficult process as there are a lot of solid contenders with impressive combat records. In the end, I considered some of the most common and widely employed weapon platforms that have seen service in Afghanistan and Iraq with both conventional and special operations forces and selected from these.
The list is an intriguing mix of the new and old, although surprisingly most of the rifles are based, at least in part, on classic designs dating back to the 1960s. Both bolt action and semi-automatic platforms are represented, although the latter type is increasingly seeing favour over the former thanks to its ability to rapidly engage multiple targets. It can also be used as an assault rifle in extremis, for example should the sniper team find themselves forced to clear buildings.
I interviewed former Delta Force sniper John ‘Shrek’ McPhee for Modern Snipers, who agreed, explaining that he favoured the semi-automatic over the bolt action for most operational requirements; “There is not that much difference in accuracy. The (other) big downside to bolt guns is the delay between rounds. Lastly, it’s easier to stay inside the scope with a semi because your hands stay on the gun the entire time”.
Now, without further ado, here are my top five modern snipers!
Number 5: The HK417

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A .308 Win Heckler & Kock HK417 on display at the 82nd Royal Malaysian Navy Exhibition
(Photo from Rizuan)
The 7.62x51mm Heckler and Koch HK417 was initially developed from the veteran AR-10 battle rifle as a larger-caliber ‘big brother’ to the widely successful 5.56x45mm Heckler and Koch HK416. The semi-automatic HK417 feeds from a 20-round magazine and is effective out to at least 600 meters in the right hands. The weapon is offered in a number of configurations from the short-barreled Assaulter model for special operations troops who need a compact but hard-hitting platform, to the 20-inch barrel sniper model.
Along with service in the German Army as the G28, the HK417 has served with SEAL Team Six and the British Special Forces Support Group, Danish and Norwegian snipers and designated marksmen and with the Australian Army in Afghanistan. The HK417 was also recently awarded the tender for the U.S. Army’s Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System (CSASS) to replace the M110 (see Number 3) in a contract for some 3,600 rifles.

Number 4: The M40A5

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Snipers using a M40A5 with tripod and suppressor while training at the Mountain Warfare Training Center
(Photo by Lance Corporal Sarah Anderson)
The U.S. Marine Corps’ Scout Snipers have deployed to war with versions of the bolt-action 7.62x51mm M40 since 1966. Based on the civilian Remington 700 hunting rifle design, the current M40A5 variant features a free-floating 24-inch barrel and a detachable ten-round magazine. Free-floating barrels help maintain consistent accuracy as they are only attached to the actual receiver of the weapon rather than the stock.
The M40A5 has served in every major and minor conflict where Marine snipers have been deployed and can reliably engage targets out to, and in some cases beyond, 800 meters. A new version is imminent that will feature a skeletonized stock, although the Scout Sniper community have been arguing for the adoption of a longer-range caliber like the .338 Lapua Magnum following their experiences in Afghanistan.

Number 3: The SR-25

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A U.S. Marine General fires the Mk 11
The Knight’s Armament Company SR-25 chambered for the 7.62x51mm round was initially developed in the 1990s for U.S. Army special operations forces who were looking for a longer-range and more modern platform than the M21 they had available, which was itself based on the Vietnam War era M14 battle rifle. The first SR-25s deployed to Somalia in 1993 but the weapon went through numerous iterations before it was adopted as the Mk11 by U.S. Special Operations Command in 2000.
The SR-25 is another AR-10 based design that feeds from a 20-round magazine. Effective range is between 600 and 800 meters. Unlike the later HK417, the SR-25 features no fully automatic selector setting but shares a similar free-floating barrel. It has been widely employed by all U.S. special operations forces including the Rangers and Army Green Berets, along with Polish and Australian Special Forces. A version of the SR-25 was adopted by the U.S. Army as the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System (SASS) in 2007.

Number 2: The M2010

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The M2010 in U.S. Army service in Afghanistan, February 2012
(Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Trey Harvey)
The U.S. Army’s bolt action 7.62x51mm M24 Sniper Weapon System (SWS) has served since 1988 as the Army’s principal sniper rifle until supplemented by the M110. The latest version, the M24A2, was known as an exceptionally accurate rifle with hits recorded out to 1,000 meters in Afghanistan. Like the Marines’ M40A5, the M24A2 featured an aftermarket lightweight stock, a detachable 10-round magazine, folding bipod and the ability to quickly attach a sound suppressor.
Now the M24A2 is being slowly replaced by the M2010. With unusual forethought, the Army had insisted on the long-action variant of the Remington 700 action (rather than the short-action adopted by the Marines in their M40) when purchasing the original M24s. This longer action allowed a relatively straightforward conversion to a new, larger, caliber. Needing a longer-range caliber and instead of adopting a wholly new rifle, the Army simply upgraded the M24A2 with a new skeletonised stock, a 1-in-10-inch twist free-floating barrel (adding greater flight stability to the bullet) and a new calibre, the excellent .300 Winchester Magnum, which is effective out to 1,200 meters.

Number 1: The Arctic Warfare Magnum

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A Dutch ISAF sniper team using the Accuracy International AWM .338 Lapua Magnum rifle
(Photo by Francis Flinch)
The Accuracy International Artic Warfare Magnum or AWM is a bolt-action sniper rifle chambered for the big .338 Lapua Magnum round. The AWM is a development of the company’s popular Arctic Warfare models in 7.62x51mm such as the British Army’s L96A1 and the Australian SR-98. Effective out to and beyond 1,500 meters, the AWM was first adopted by UK Special Forces before a wider adoption by the British Army in 2007, where the weapon is known as the L115A3.
The AWM offers the capability of first-round hits out to 1,100 meters with ten-inch groupings typical at this range which, in sniper parlance, translates as a sub-1 MOA or Minute of Angle rifle or in other words, bloody accurate! British sniper Craig Harrison achieved the longest-range known kill with the weapon in Afghanistan in 2009 at the incredible range of 2,475 meters. The ‘American Sniper’, the late Chris Kyle, also stated a preference for the .338 Lapua Magnum AWM. Today the platform, and its most recent version the AX338, is widely employed by both military and police counterterrorist units.
Modern Snipers, Leigh Neville's latest book, is publishing on 25 August 2016. Click here to preorder today.
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Мнение от Клуб Стендов Моделизъм България » 26 юли 2016, 00:01

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1. Sunday Photo: The Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing - 2016-07-24 07:00:00
On 24 July 1927 the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing was inaugurated by Field Marshal Lord Plumer. Situated in Ypres, Belgium, the memorial is dedicated to British and Commonwealth soldiers killed in the Ypres Salient of World War I and whose graves are unknown.
The site was selected as hundreds of thousands of men would have passed through it on their way to the battlefields during the war.
The photograph below shows Belgian soldiers marching through Menin Gate in May of 1914. At that point the ‘gate’ was a gap in the 17th century defensive ramparts of the town.

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Photo Source: Wikipedia
If you are interested in reading about the battles on the Ypres Salient take a look at Campaign 58: First Ypres 1914 and Campaign 225: Messines 1917. For more books on the First World War take head to the store.
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Мнение от Клуб Стендов Моделизъм България » 27 юли 2016, 00:00

plaeditions

1. M60A2 - Main Battle Tank Volume 1 In Detail - 32,00 €
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The history, development and operations of the United States Army's missile-firing main battle tank.
2. M9 ACE - Armored Combat Earthmover - 32,00 €
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A complete voulme full of nice pictures of the US bulldozer M9 ACE.
3. PATRIOT Advanced Capability Air Defence Missile System - 14,95 €
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This publication describes the tasks, the organisation and the vehicles of the Patriot system.
4. Task Force Kandahar Vehicles of the Canadian ISAF Contingent - 14,95 €
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This publication shows the Task Force Kandahar Vehicles of the Canadian ISAF Contingent
5. Chinese Army Vehicles Vehicles of the Modern Chinese People's Liberation Army - 14,95 €
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This publication is devoted to the Chinese Army Vehicles Vehicles of the Modern Chinese People's Liberation Army
6. Challenger 2 Britain's Main Battle Tank - 11,95 €
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Challenger 2
Britain's Main Battle Tank
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Мнение от Клуб Стендов Моделизъм България » 27 юли 2016, 00:01

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1. Book Diaries - Every Writer becomes a Galley Slave - 2016-07-26 07:16:00
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Once the text, images and artist’s brief have been delivered, the book enters the edit cycle. This follows two tracks: editing text and editing plates. Both generally involve two steps – at least with me. What happens with other Osprey authors may vary. I do not know. What happens in Oxford stays in Oxford. Let me talk about editing the text first. (I always get the text first, even if I deliver the artist’s brief before delivering the text.)
When I deliver the text, I also deliver the images which go with the book. Today they are sent using Dropbox or Wetransfer. Previously I used ftp. Before that I mailed the pictures in the form of 8x10 glossies.
After receiving the text, Osprey’s editorial staff goes through what I sent. The book is received by the commissioning editor, who reads and checks it, and adds comments and queries. It’s then generally assigned to a desk editor who is responsible for shepherding my book through the editorial cycle. I have worked with several over the many books I have written for Osprey. They are an important, but usually invisible part of the process. For World War I Seaplane and Aircraft Carriers my desk editor is Samantha Downes. This is the first time I have worked with her. The desk editor I have worked with most is Nikolai Bogdanovic. Regardless all desk editors proved invariably polite, competent, and enthusiastic.
The desk editor starts by picking through my Word file, correcting my spelling solecisms, punctuation errors, and misplaced sentences. This corrected file, formatted in the fonts and styles used by Osprey, but otherwise still a Word file, is emailed to me, with questions about what I have written. Stuff like “Earlier you referred to General Albert Meyers. It is Oscar Meyer here. Which is correct?” These are in comments, with track-changes turned on.

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A typical editorial query for me
At this point I am not supposed to do anything other than answer these questions. I generally put them in the comment box posing the question, using red text. If the question involves changing the text, I insert the changes in red in the body of the text. This file contains the body text, but excludes photo captions or plate commentary.
Back in the bad old days, this step was skipped or the desk editor sent a marked-up copy of my original Word file. I like progress. This step goes a long way towards making the editing process easier. I should add I usually get this file four to six months before the publication date.
Shortly after my answers are received and digested by the Osprey Editorial Machine, I receive galley proofs. Back in the day they were overnighted from Oxford to my home in the form of bedsheet-sized. two-page paper proof sheets. I was expected to mark the proofs by hand and return the markups. (Anyone remember what stet means?) Later they sent PDF files.
I was probably one of the last authors to stop asking for paper copies because … well getting them was just too much fun. Seeing the assembled work for the first time, with the pictures in place and printed on sheets large enough to cover the end of a small table? Oooh! I still have most of them, folded in half, in 10x13 envelopes stored in a file cabinet.
Today I receive a PDF file. It is still a thrill, although they lack the visceral feel of handling physical copies of the proof sheets. Generally the plates artwork is missing, but the captions and plate commentary are there. The PDFs beat old paper galleys on image quality though. The old galley images were low-resolution versions. With the PDFs they are sharp. Not as sharp as the actual book, but pretty good.

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The galleys - it does not get better for an author
I go through these for errors and correct them. Or maybe decide something was not stated quite clearly enough. Please note – errors are my responsibility. I am supposed to check all the various tables and make sure the numbers are correct. If the text says 663 tons and it is supposed to be 63 tons, I am expected to fix that. Osprey assumes I know this stuff.*
The biggest pain with WWI Seaplane and Aircraft Carriers was checking all of the values in the Ship Histories section. I went through each ship with the PDF on my monitor, and my source books in front of me. I bet I still managed to drop stitches. Human brains are remarkably adept at seeing what is expected instead of what is there. (Don’t believe me? Watch this.)
What about the plates? We talk about those next.
* Editor’s note: Well, up to a point. Although we editors are unlikely to be experts on any given subject, we also go through every book looking obsessively for errors and possible errors – anything implausible, anything that we happen to know is wrong, anything that’s doesn’t match what’s said elsewhere in the book, anything that trips that editor’s internal alarm that says ‘wait, is that really right?’ The fewest mistakes will creep through when everyone assumes it’s their job to spot mistakes.




Previous: Putting Text to Paper


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Мнение от Клуб Стендов Моделизъм България » 29 юли 2016, 00:02

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1. 8 Facts about the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress - 2016-07-28 08:37:13
Today marks the 81st anniversary of the first flight of the Boeing B-17. To mark the occasion, here are 8 fascinating facts about the Flying Fortress, one of the most iconic aircraft of the Second World War.
1) The Boeing B-17 had a disastrous start

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The crashed Model 299
The B-17 was designed to replace the Martin B-10, and was competing against the Douglas DB-1 and the Martin Model 146 for a large contract. Their hopes of receiving it were dashed when their prototype crashed on 30 October 1935, with test-pilot Major Ployer Peter Hill and Boeing employee Les Tower killed in the accident.
While Boeing missed out on securing that particular contract their aircraft had done enough to impress the USAAC, and in January 1936 the air corps ordered 13 YB-17s for service testing.
2) Neutral Sweden used the B-17 as an airliner

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Shoo Shoo Shoo Baby on display at the National Museum of the United States Airforce, Ohio.
During the Second World War there were several B-17s that landed in Sweden, a neutral country, after experiencing difficulties while on missions. Sweden agreed to return crewmen to the US in exchange for a promise that they would not serve in combat again and that the Swedes could keep the B-17s that had landed intact. Some of these aircraft, including Shoo Shoo Shoo Baby which is on display at the National Museum of the United States Airforce in Ohio, were converted into passenger airliners.
3) The Flying Fortress was named by a Seattle Times reporter

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The Model 299, prototype of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
When the Boeing B-17 rolled out of the hangar to make its first flight journalists were clearly impressed, with Seattle Times reporter Richard Smith exclaiming ‘Why, it’s a flying fortress!’. Boeing quickly adopted and trademarked the name.
4) B-17s Flew for Both Sides in World War II

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Captured Boeing B-17s with the markings of the Axis powers
Both the Germans and the Japanese flew captured B-17s. The Nazi’s flew them as part of Kampfgeschwader 200, the squadron that tested captured aircraft. Since they had no aircraft with the B-17’s range, they used them for long-range reconnaissance, as well as dropping supplies and agents deep behind enemy lines.
The Japanese captured some early model B-17s in the Philippines, including a “D” model and two “E”s. After repairing them with parts stripped from other airframes they were flown back to Japan and used to help develop anti-bomber tactics, as well as used in propaganda films. No trace of the planes where found when the Americans occupied Japan. It’s assumed the planes were scrapped for their valuable material.
5) B-17s flew combat missions after World War II

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Israeli Air Force B-17s
The Fortresses didn’t stop fighting when WWII ended. The fledgling Israeli Air Force acquired four of the big planes, with three actually reaching the Middle East. Soon after the Egyptian Air Force attacked Tel Aviv in 1948, the Israelis used the Fortresses to raid Cairo. By the time the armistice was signed the next year the B-17s had flown more than 200 combat missions.
6) It had a small bomb load

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Boeing B-17s on a bombing run
The plane may have been big, but its bomb load was relatively small. The early models had a max bomb load of 4,000 pounds, and the late model B-17Gs more than doubled that to 9,600-pounds. But compare that to the Avro Lancaster, which had a normal bomb load of 14,000 pounds, and even was modified to carry the 22,000 lb “Grand Slam” bomb.
7) The B-17 was a Hollywood Star!

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A poster for the 1938 film 'Test Pilot'
The Boeing B-17, like so many wartime aircraft, featured in patriotic films aimed at drawing in new recruits to the US war effort. However, the Flying Fortress had starred on the silver screen before the war began, with an early B-17 prototype appearing in the 1938 film Test Pilot with Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy and Myrna Loy.
8) The Flying Fortress lived up to its name

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The All American flying back to base despite suffering serious damage to her tail
The B-17 Flying Fortress was renowned for its survivability, with countless instances where the aircraft managed to return home despite suffering severe damage. A prime example of this is the All American, which survived having her tail almost completely severed in a collision over Tunisia.
If you'd like to read more about the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress in action take a look at Combat Aircraft 18: B-17 Flying Fortress Units of the Eighth Air Force (Part 1), Combat Aircraft 36: B-17 Flying Fortress Units of the Eighth Air Force (Part 2), Combat Aircraft 38: B-17 Flying Fortress Units of the MTO and Combat 39: B-17 Flying Fortress Units of the Pacific War.
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Мнение от Клуб Стендов Моделизъм България » 30 юли 2016, 00:01

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1. The US Marine Corps' Finest Hour - Battle of the Chosin Reservoir - 2016-07-29 07:13:00
Thomas McKelvey Cleaver is a published author and Hollywood screenwriter with a lifelong interest in the Korean War. His latest book, The Frozen Chosen, is the product of 25 years of research into the legendary battle that would come to be known as 'the Corps' Finest Hour'.
The battle of the Chosin Reservoir, better known in history as the Breakout from Chosin, is one of the very few battles in history that have become truly legendary. Historians have compared it with the 2,500 year old story of the ten thousand Greeks, told in Xenophon’s classic The Anabasis.
Chosin has become mythological to Americans because it fits so perfectly within the heart of the national self-image: that Americans are at their best in the most difficult circumstances. 20,000 Americans - the cream of the United States Marine Corps - opposed by over 100,000 veteran enemy soldiers in a fight to the death. That Chosin occurred in the midst of what former Secretary of State Dean Acheson described as “the greatest defeat of American arms since the Second Battle of Bull Run” and historian Sir Martin Gilbert described as “the greatest defeat of a previously-victorious Army in recorded history” only adds to the mythology.
The facts differ from the myth, but they do not detract from the achievement. They enhance it.
On June 25 1950, when the North Korean People’s Army crossed the 38th Parallel that divided the peninsula, the U.S. Marines were at their lowest point in their history with their very existence in question. The Corps was a shadow of the force that had smashed the Japanese in the Pacific War a mere five years earlier; the overwhelming majority of the men who had accomplished that were long returned to their civilian lives. There was a very great possibility in the aftermath of “service unification” into the Department of Defense two years previously that the Marines might well be disestablished and made a part of the United States Army. Manpower was so low, with only 28,000 men in the active-duty force, that the third platoon of every company, third company of every battalion and third battalion of every regiment had been disbanded. Fewer than one man in ten in the hastily-formed First Marine Division had seen combat.

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A Marine and his dog
Photo: Donald Douglas Duncan

The Marines at Chosin were not “the cream of the Corps.” Over three-quarters of them were reservists who had been called up from their civilian lives in the wake of North Korea’s invasion of South Korea. Many had yet to go through boot camp when they arrived at Camp Pendleton in July 1950. Second Lieutenant Joseph Owen remembered them as “civilians in ill-fitting uniforms.” The training schedule they were subjected to included sixteen-hour days, seven days a week for the four weeks the First Marine Division had to assemble itself and prepare to ship out to Korea. Yet at the end of that time Lieutenant Colonel Raymond Davis, commander of the First Battalion of the Seventh Regiment, recorded in his diary that “They don’t look like Marines, but there is a good possibility they can perform like Marines.”
Ten days after receiving the initial activation order, the First Marine Regiment, reinforced with a tank company, engineers, and two squadrons of F4U Corsair fighter-bombers to become the First Provisional Marine Brigade, left San Diego for Korea. They arrived in Kobe, Japan, at the end of July 1950.
At the time, Korea was such a disaster that the top levels of the United Nations Command were thinking of a complete withdrawal from the peninsula. The U.S. Army units committed to oppose the invasion, softened by years of occupation duty in Japan where a private could afford a Japanese servant and where most men had not seen actual military training in the entire time they were in the country, melted like snow subjected to steam when they were sent into battle against the battle-hardened veterans of the NKPA, most of whom were veterans of the Chinese Civil War that had only concluded with a Communist victory a year before. By the time the Marines arrived, the UN forces were trapped inside the Pusan Perimeter, a shrinking defense line around the last port in the country in UN control.
The Provisional Marine Brigade entered combat on 7 August 1950, the eighth anniversary of the Marine invasion of Guadalcanal. In three hard-fought battles over the course of the month of August, culminating in the Second Battle of the Naktong, the 1,500 Marines, with the close air support of their beloved Corsairs, turned the course of the Korean War. In the process, they saved the Marine Corps; there has never since been any proposal to turn Marines into soldiers.

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Don Carlos Faith Jr.
Photo: Donald Douglas Duncan

The leading role of the Marines continued, with the rest of the First Division arriving in time to lead the invasion of Inchon on 15 September 1950, MacArthur’s brilliant move that reversed Western fortunes in the Korean War. Had MacArthur stopped at the 38th Parallel when UN forces got there at the end of the month, he would have fulfilled the objectives of the UN Security Council declaration; victory could have been declared and the result would have been a political world that likely looked much as it does today on the Korean peninsula.
However, MacArthur had a grander goal: a “rollback” of Communist forces through an invasion of North Korea. By now it was politically impossible for his civilian commanders back in Washington to stop such an event, since to do so would open them to charges of being “soft on communism” by the newly-hatched demagogue, Senator Joseph McCarthy. When Chinese Premier Zhou En-Lai issued a warning against UN incursion into North Korea, MacArthur ignored the warning and his headquarters continued to do so even as a force that eventually numbered over 250,000 soldiers of the “People’s Volunteer Army” entered North Korea without American intelligence taking notice.
The stage for the greatest American military defeat was set.
In early November, U.S. Army units in western North Korea were attacked by Chinese forces in battles that resulted in an American retreat that only narrowly missed becoming a rout. Five days later, the Seventh Marine Regiment was attacked by Chinese forces at Sudong and only managed to hang on by their fingernails in a two-day battle.
Nothing would stop MacArthur’s determination to “liberate” North Korea. When he was asked in a Tokyo press conference about the Chinese actions, he downplayed them and reminded his audience that “No Chinese army has ever been able to stand against a Western army.” Shortly thereafter, he issued his famous promise that “the boys will be home by Christmas.”
At the end of the month of November, the Chinese forces struck UN forces across North Korea in the immediate aftermath of the greatest blizzard to roar out of Siberia in a century, plunging temperatures across the peninsula far, far below freezing. The U.S. Eighth Army was forced into a retreat that became a rout, with millions of dollars of supplies set alight, and thousands of American, British and other troops wounded and left behind to be captured and become prisoners of war, with thousands more killed and their bodies left on the battlefields. This was the defeat that Secretary of State Acheson termed “The greatest defeat of American arms since the second battle of Bull Run.”

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Bringing out the dead
Photo: Donald Douglas Duncan

In eastern Korea, the Marines were stretched along the road through the Chosin Reservoir. By pure luck they had rearranged their forces and positions on the day in which the Chinese planned to attack that night. Chinese observers, lacking radios, were unable to inform their leaders of these changes. As a result, in a week’s continuous fighting, the Marines were able to hold their position at the reservoir, and then extract the Fifth and Seventh Marines out of the reservoir to Hagaru in a 96-hour battle in waist-deep snow that cost the Marines 100 men for each of the eleven miles they fought through Toktong Pass.
Eventually the Marines would make their way out of the mountains of North Korea to the port of Hamhung, where they were evacuated to Pusan. The Chinese troops had failed Mao Tse-Tung’s order to destroy the Marines “to the last man.” In the midst of American defeat, the Marines had created what has been known ever since as “The Corp’s Finest Hour.”
I began my research of this story nearly 30 years ago, planning to write a screenplay. I had the good fortune to be put in contact with many of the main players in the event and was able to interview them in depth. I asked questions the usual historian might not, like how the event known as “The Singing Marines of Hagaru” happened; if I couldn’t create that correctly, the event would bring any proposed movie to a screeching halt. General Ray Davis, who led those men, told me how it happened (as he put it, “nobody ever asked me that question before’), and it is here in the book.
Unfortunately, although everyone who read the screenplay liked it, the challenge of doing it (“You’ll need to shoot this in the eastern Sierra Nevada in mid-winter”) led to its demise. I kept my materials, and never forgot the story. In the years since, with the end of the Cold War, the other side of this battle have now published their information, and as well the records of the U.S. military regarding the campaign can now be found in searchable online databases. Thus, when I came to write the book, I had access to the complete story.
The full truth about Chosin only adds to the lustre of the Marines’ reputation. The Breakout from Chosin is indeed one of the epic tales of battle in world history.

To order The Frozen Chosen, Thomas McKelvey Cleaver's latest book, click here.
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Мнение от Клуб Стендов Моделизъм България » 02 авг 2016, 00:00

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1. Free Frostgrave Tilesets - 2016-08-01 12:05:51
With the release of Frostgrave: Into the Breeding Pits your warband is no longer limited to scouring the surface for treasure. The best loot is underground, just waiting for anyone brave enough to venture into the darkness...





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Some of the tiles available to download on the Gaming Resources page
To help you recreate the labyrinthian tunnel systems that run beneath the Frozen City we have put together some freely-downloadable tilesets, giving 6 different corridors and 5 rooms of varying sizes. Each tileset has been created using a grid system, meaning that they can be easily customized by simply cutting off unwanted tiles.

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The tunnels beneath the city play host to some strange new creatures.
The tilesets can be found on the Gaming Resources page, along with downloadable ruins and a range of other online content to help you get the most out of your games.
2. August Book Vote and July Results - 2016-08-01 07:39:00
For our August book vote we decided to do something a little different. Rather than drawing our suggestions from the 'book suggestions' database on the website we asked some of our editors to come forward with their own ideas. The only condition was that the suggestions could be made a reality, so nothing too crazy.
So, without further ado, here are our 'Editors Picks'.



CBT: US Mechanized Infantryman vs Soviet Motor Rifleman: Central Europe 1983


MAA: Italian Colonial Troops 1883-1943


NVG: Superguns 1860-1991


DUE: US Submarine vs Soviet Submarine: Cold War 1961-91


ELI: Armies of the Baltic Wars 1919-20



CBT: US Mechanized Infantryman vs Soviet Motor Rifleman: Central Europe 1983
During the Cold War both NATO and the Warsaw Pact deployed vast conventional military forces along the Iron Curtain in Europe. As their intended role, equipment and tactics evolved over decades, these forces were never called upon to fight one another – but what would have happened if they had? In this study, which postulates a conventional conflict breaking out in 1983 – a crucial moment in the re-escalating Cold War – the likely combat performance of US and Soviet mechanized infantrymen during three different scenarios is assessed.
MAA: Italian Colonial Troops 1883-1943
The organization and colourful uniforms of the many African units recruited by Italy, from her first colonial adventures until her final defeat in Libya in World War II.
NVG: Superguns 1860-1991
Is bigger really better? Over the last century and a half gun designers have often thought so, and produced one technologically impressive, boundary-pushing giant artillery piece after another – most of which turned out to be fairly useless. This New Vanguard surveys the biggest, wackiest and most extreme artillery of the breechloading era, from Sir William Armstrong’s 111-ton ‘monster gun’ to the Paris gun of World War I, the V-3 of World War II, ‘Atomic Annie’ and the Soviet 2B1 Oka of the Cold War, and Saddam Hussein’s Project Babylon.
DUE: US Submarine vs Soviet Submarine: Cold War 1961-91
In February 1945 HMS Venturer sank U-864 while both vessels were at periscope depth, ushering in the era of the ‘hunter killer’ submarine, capable of sinking other submarines as well as surface vessels. By 1961, both the United States and the Soviet Union had deployed nuclear submarines; armed with ballistic missiles, such vessels could remain submerged for much longer and move far more swiftly than their diesel-electric predecessors. The Cold War witnessed decades of cat-and-mouse games as US and Soviet submarines faced off against each other in the world’s oceans.
ELI: Armies of the Baltic Wars 1919-20
The complex aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution in the new-born Baltic states, which caused fighting between White Russian, Red Army, German, and various local forces.
Head to the homepage to cast your vote!
We also have the results from the July book vote, in which 5 potential Campaign books focussing on World War I battled it out.



CAM: Tannenberg 1914

33%


CAM: Caporetto 1917

29%


CAM: Gaza 1917

15%


CAM: Meuse-Argonne 1918

12%


CAM: Kut 1916

12%



Tannenberg 1914 and Caporetto 1917 stormed to early leads, battling each other for the top spot whilst the other three titles were left in their wake.
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Мнение от Клуб Стендов Моделизъм България » 06 авг 2016, 00:00

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1. Abrams Squad 16 SPANISH - 9,00 €
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Abrams Squad: The Modern Modelling Magazine es la PRIMERA y ÚNICA revista del mercado dedicada exclusivamente a vehículos modernos. En ella podrás encontrar los mejores artículos de los mejores maquetistas del mundo. Artículos paso a paso, técnicas de pintura, de montaje, reportajes gráficos, artículos de actualidad, novedades y mucho más.
2. Abrams Squad 16 ENGLISH - 9,00 €
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Abrams Squad: The Modern Modelling Magazine is the FIRST and UNIQUE magazine in the world devoted to Modern Warfare modelling. Here you will find the best articles of the best modellers and writers in the world. Step by step articles, painting techniques, building techniques, illustrated reports, news, reviews and much more.
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Мнение от Клуб Стендов Моделизъм България » 06 авг 2016, 00:01

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1. Osprey's Big Reveal: Men-at-Arms - 2016-08-05 07:07:00
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Kicking off our Big Reveal this year is a look at our longest-running series - Men-at-Arms. 2017 sees five new books joining the already impressive list.
Dutch Armies of the 80 Years’ War 1568-1648 (1): Infantry

During the course of the 80 Years’ War one of its main leaders – Maurice of Orange-Nassau – created an army and a tactical system that became a model throughout Europe. This study focuses on the Dutch infantry, examining how Maurice of Orange-Nassau mobilized patriots and volunteers from across Europe, introduced innovative new training methods and standardised the organisation and payment system of the army to make it more than a match for the occupying Spanish.
Roman Army Units in the Eastern Provinces (1): 31 BC - AD 195
Between the reigns of Augustus and Septimus Severus, the Eastern provinces of the Roman Empire frequently saw brutal fighting, most notably during the conquest of Dacia by Trajan, the suppression of the Great Revolt in Judea and the intermittent clashes with Rome’s great rival Parthia. Drawing upon the latest archaeological research, this book examines the variation of equipment and uniforms both between different military units, and in armies stationed in different regions of the Empire.
Dutch Armies of the 80 Years’ War 1568-1648 (2): Cavalry, Artillery & Engineers

The second in a two-part series on the Dutch armies of the 80 Years’ War focuses on the cavalry, artillery and engineers of the evolving armies created by Maurice of Nassau. Using specially commissioned artwork and photographs of historical artefacts, it shows how the Dutch cavalry arm, artillery, and conduct of siege warfare contributed to the long struggle against the might of the Spanish Empire. These two books include previously unpublished details of unit flags.
Armies of the Italian Wars of Unification 1848-70 (1): Piedmont and the Two Sicilies

In the 1840s, post-Napoleonic Italy was 'a geographical expression' – not a country, but a patchwork of states, divided between the Austrian-occupied north, and a Spanish-descended Bourbon monarchy, who ruled the south from Naples. Two decades later, it was a nation united under a single king and government, thanks largely to the efforts of the King of Sardinia-Piedmont, and the revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi. This book, the first of a two-part series on the armies that fought in the Italian Wars of Unification, examines the Piedmontese and Neapolitan armies that fought in the north and south of the peninsula.
Armies of the Greek-Italian War 1940-41
In October/November 1940 an Italian army some 200,000 strong invaded Greece across the largely undefended Albanian border. Britain supported Greece, at first by sea and in the air and later by landing British and ANZAC troops from North Africa, but the main burden of the six-month war was borne by the Greek Army, Navy and Air Force. Although greatly outnumbered, LtGen Papagos's Greek army was so successful against the Italians in north-west Greece that by 22 November it was actually advancing into Albania, inflicting heavy casualties and capturing much equipment. Simultaneously faced with disastrous defeats at British hands in North Africa and at sea, Mussolini appealed for German help. Although providing German troops and aircraft imposed a serious delay on the planned invasion of the USSR, in early April 1941 the Wehrmacht invaded both Yugoslavia and then, with nine divisions including a Panzer Korps, Greece.
Which of these are you most excited for in 2017? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Мнение от Клуб Стендов Моделизъм България » 09 авг 2016, 00:01

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1. Osprey's Big Reveal: Combat Aircraft - 2016-08-08 07:26:00
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To navigate your way through the Big Reveal please use the links in the bar above.
Next up in our Big Reveal is the Combat Aircraft series, which sees four new books landing in 2017.
Nakajima B5N ‘Kate’ and B6N ‘Jill’ Units
Entering service during the Sino-Japanese War, the Nakajima B5N (code-named ‘Kate’) excelled and went on to achieve surprising and dramatic successes in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Its replacement, the Nakajima B6N ‘Jill’, while a marked improvement over its illustrious predecessor, was never able to achieve its full potential in combat due to advances in Allied aircraft, finding itself relegated to the dreaded Kamikaze strikes in the latter part of the war. This book will cover the history of both aircraft, including their design and development, as well as the combat highs and lows of the Imperial Japanese Navy’s premier torpedo-bombers.
Ju 52/3m Bomber and Transport Units 1936-41
The all-metal Junkers Ju 52/3m enjoyed a solid – indeed, revered – reputation amongst its crews and the troops and paratroopers who used and depended on it. For more than ten years, it saw service as a successful military transport, with its distinctive, three-engined design and corrugated metal construction becoming instantly recognisable. This, the first of two books, details its service as a bomber in Spain and in South America, followed by its pivotal role in early war operations during the invasions of Poland and France, the airborne invasion of Crete and the early stages of Operation Barbarossa.
A-6 Intruder Units 1974-96
In the three decades after Vietnam, the veteran A-6 Intruder remained the most powerful strike aircraft available to the US Navy and Marine Corps. Engaging in operations over Cambodia, Lebanon and Libya during the 1970s and 80s, the A-6 maintained its reputation as the ‘Main Battery’ of carrier aviation, remaining in service through the First Gulf War up until 1996 when its duties were taken over by the F-14 Tomcat. Filled with first-hand accounts from pilots and navigators, and fully illustrated with profile artwork and photographs, this is the complete story of the US Navy's main medium attack aircraft in the latter part of the Cold War.
Savoia-Marchetti S.79 Sparviero Bomber Units
Initially developed by Savoia-Marchetti as a transport aircraft, the aircraft had evolved into a dedicated medium bomber by the time the S.79-I made its combat debut in the Spanish Civil War in 1936. During World War 2, it became Italy’s most successful bomber, and the most produced, with around 1370 built between 1936 and early 1944. Although initially hampered by poor tactics, the S.79 bomber crews nonetheless scored sunk a number of Allied vessels. The bombers patrolled ceaselessly over the Mediterranean providing a constant threat to Allied sailors in the early stages of the war. This volume chronicles the history of the S.79’s war in the Mediterranean, North African, Balkan, and East African theatres.
Which of these will you be adding to your collection next year? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Мнение от Клуб Стендов Моделизъм България » 13 авг 2016, 00:01

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1. Osprey's Big Reveal: Weapon - 2016-08-12 07:15:00
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To navigate your way through the Big Reveal please use the links in the bar above.
Next up is a look at the Weapon series, which examines the most important, famous and infamous weapons throughout history.
Colt Single-Action Revolvers
In 1836, Samuel Colt changed the face of warfare with the production of the first of a series of iconic and influential single-action revolvers, including the .44-calibre Colt Walker and the seminal .45-calibre Colt Single Action Army, which remains in production today. These weapons shifted the role of the pistol from single-shot weapon of last resort to a practical and powerful sidearm that gave the soldier the ability to defend himself once his primary armament was discharged. They transformed cavalry tactics and relegated the sword to a largely ceremonial role in many armies.
The FN Minimi Light Machine Gun
In 1974, renowned Belgian arms company Fabrique Nationale brought out a ground-breaking new light machine gun, the Minimi. Its success has been meteoric, arming more than 45 countries around the world.
The Minimi offers the ultimate in portable firepower. Firing the high-velocity 5.56×45mm round, the Minimi is a gas-operated, lightweight, belt or magazine-fed weapon, able to burn through cartridges at a cyclical rate of up to 1,150 rounds per minute, making it the weapon of choice for tactical support at squad level.
The Suomi Submachine Gun
Entering service in 1931, the 9x19mm Suomi KP/-31 submachine gun saw extensive combat with Finnish troops during their fight against Soviet forces in 1939–44. It was also manufactured under licence in Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden, and remained in Finnish service until the 1980s, an indication of its durability.

Rugged and accurate, the Suomi was a favourite with Finnish ski troops who would strike from ambush, cutting down Soviet troops, then skiing away into the woods. Initially used by the Finns as a light machine gun at infantry squad level, it eventually became a dedicated submachine gun, and since it had been designed to be more accurate than the typical SMG, it was often even used as a sniping weapon, or to supplement longer-ranged rifles such as the Mosin-Nagant.
The Pilum
A heavy javelin, normally used as a shock weapon immediately before contact, the pilum was designed with a particular speciality: it could penetrate a shield and carry on into the individual behind it. Relying on mass rather than velocity, at short range a volley of pila had much the same effect on a charging enemy as musketry would in later periods. The design was not uniform, with a wide diversity of types throughout the developmental history of the weapon, but for more than four centuries it remained a vital part of the arsenal of weapons at the disposal of the Roman legionary.
Sharpshooting Rifles of the American Civil War
At the outset of the American Civil War, the Union Army's sharpshooters were initially equipped with the M1855 Colt revolving rifle, but it was prone to malfunction. Instead, the North’s sharpshooters preferred the Sharps rifle, an innovative breech-loading weapon capable of firing up to ten shots per minute – more than three times the rate of fire offered by the standard-issue Springfield .58-caliber rifled musket. Other Union sharpshooters were equipped with the standard-issue Springfield rifled musket or the .56-56-caliber Spencer Repeating Rifle.

Conversely, the Confederacy favoured the Pattern 1853 Enfield rifled musket for its sharpshooters and also imported from Britain the Whitworth Rifle, a .45-caliber, single-shot, muzzle-loading weapon distinguished by its use of a twisted hexagonal barrel.
US Grenade Launchers
Reliable, easy to use, and lethally effective, the M79 grenade launcher stands as an iconic symbol of the Vietnam War. It had a profound influence on small-unit tactics, making a valuable contribution to the squad’s overall firepower at the expense of one rifle per M79 assigned. As the Vietnam conflict continued it was joined on the front line by experimental models such as the magazine-fed T148E1 and pump-action China Lake grenade launcher, as well as two launchers intended to be fitted under the barrel of the new M16 assault rifle, Colt’s XM148 and AAI Corporation’s M203. The M203 remains in US Army service today alongside a newer model, the M320, while the US Marine Corps now also fields the M32 multiple grenade launcher – like the M79, a standalone weapon. The M79 and its successors also influenced the design of tripod- and vehicle-mounted full-automatic grenade launchers, which for the most part, used similar, but different high-pressure 40mm rounds.
The 'Broomhandle' Mauser
At a time when most handguns were limited to six rounds, the ten-shot Mauser caught the attention of the world for its unprecedented firepower and formidable high-velocity 7.63×25mm cartridge, offering longer range and better penetration than other pistols of the day. This saw its ultimate expression in the first-ever select-fire handgun – the ‘Schnellfeuer’ machine pistol, fed by a detachable magazine and offering both full-automatic and single-shot modes. Long-barrelled carbines were also produced to take full advantage of the weapon’s power and accuracy, and even standard variants were supplied with a combination shoulder stock and holster, prefiguring the ‘Personal Defence Weapon’ of today.
Cavalry Lance
Offering formidable reach and striking power, the lance has been the quintessential shock weapon of the cavalry throughout history. Yet with the development of cavalry firearms and the widespread disappearance of armour from the European battlefield, it became somewhat marginalized. However, by 19th century the lance, much changed from its medieval predecessors in both form and function, was back in use by the majority of Western militaries. A weapon once considered obsolete returned to favour, seeing action in a host of conflicts including the Napoleonic Wars, the American Civil War and World War I. It was not until the disappearance of the mounted warrior from the battlefield that the lance was finally consigned to history.
Eight books that would make a great addition to anyone's armoury - let us know what you think in the comments section below!
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Мнение от Клуб Стендов Моделизъм България » 16 авг 2016, 00:01

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1. Osprey's Big Reveal: X-Planes - 2016-08-15 07:00:00
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X-Planes is our brand new aviation series, looking at the dangerous and thrilling world of experimental aircraft. The first 2 books in the series publish in September 2016, and we are pleased to announce four new titles for 2017.
XPL: North American X-15
The revolutionary X-15 remains the fastest manned aircraft ever to fly. Designed and built as the Space Race hotted up, the X-15 was intended to research hypersonic speeds and flights to the edge of space, and form the basis of a possible orbital spaceplane. It obliterated previous speed records, achieving Mach 6.7 and altitudes beyond the edge of space, 100km above the Earth. These ultra-high altitude flights – where the air no longer supports aerodynamic flight, and X-15 pilots relied on spacecraft-style rocket thrusters to keep control – qualified several pilots as astronauts, including Neil Armstrong. In all, the three X-15s made 199 flights, testing new technologies and techniques which helped make the Apollo missions and the Space Shuttle viable propositions.
XPL: Luftwaffe Emergency Fighters
In late 1944, the German Air Ministry organised an ‘Emergency Fighter Competition’ intended to produce designs for quick-to-build yet technically and tactically effective jet fighters capable of tackling the anticipated arrival of the B-29 Superfortress over Europe, as well as the British Mosquito and US P-38 Lightning which were appearing in ever-greater numbers.

Thus was born a cutting-edge, highly sophisticated series of aircraft designs, including the futuristic and elegant Focke-Wulf Ta 183; the extraordinary Blohm und Voss P.212, and the state-of-the-art Messerschmitt P.1101 series. As the war ended before they could be fully developed and built, none of the Emergency Fighters saw service, but these advanced aircraft would heavily influence fighter design in the early years of the Jet Age. This book includes a new colour three-view of every Emergency Fighter, plus technical art and a battlescene of how jet aerial combat might have looked if World War II had dragged on into 1946.
XPL: TSR2
The TSR2 is one of the greatest 'what-if' aircraft of the Cold War, whose cancellation still generates anger and controversy among aviation fans. It was a magnificent, cutting-edge aircraft, one of the most striking of the Cold War, but it fell victim to cost overruns, overambitious requirements, and politics. Its scrapping marked the point when Britain's aerospace industry could no longer build world-class aircraft independently. More than 50 years after it first flew, it is still one of the icons of British Cold War aviation, at once representing the very peak of British aero-engineering achievement, and the most powerful symbol of its decline.
XPL: Bell X-2
Pioneering the now-standard layout for supersonic fighters, the Bell X-2 was one of the most influential research aircraft of the early Jet Age. Although it now looks like a conventional jet fighter, it was revolutionary at the time, with swept wings and a completely new type of airframe, and was capable of exploring Mach 2–3 for the first time. Designed in the late 1940s alongside the X-1 programme, Bell combined the most advanced US technology with knowledge captured from Nazi Germany to produce aircraft that were far ahead of any others in their field.
In the early 1950s the absence of adequate computers and supersonic wind-tunnel data meant that pilots could only test new technologies the hard way. Both X-2s were destroyed in crashes, killing two test pilots, but the knowledge gained from the program was invaluable in developing aircraft that could safely fly in the Mach 2–3 range. Every high-speed aircraft from the 1950s onwards, from Concorde to the SR-71 Blackbird to the hypersonic X-15, relied on data originally gained by the X-2 and its brave test pilots.

Four new additions to your 2017 wishlist? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Мнение от Клуб Стендов Моделизъм България » 18 авг 2016, 00:01

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1. Osprey's Big Reveal: Warrior - 2016-08-17 07:25:00
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Next up in the Big Reveal we have Warrior, which will be seeing two new titles join its ranks in 2017.
Roman Legionary 109 - 58 BC

From 109 BC, when the cohort replaced the maniple as the crucial tactical subunit of the legion, the centurion, although inferior in military rank and social class, superseded the tribune as the most important officer in the legion. The Roman centurion, holding the legionaries steady before the barbarian horde and then leading them forward to victory, was the heroic exemplar of the Roman world, the personification of virtus – masculine valour and excellence. This period is often overlooked, but the invincible legions that Julius Caesar led into Gaul were the refined products of 50 years of military reforms.
British Tank Crewman 1939-45
Great Britain had introduced the tank to warfare during World War I and maintained its superiority with the ‘Experimental Mechanised Force’ during the late 1920s, which combined lorried infantry with fast tanks to produce good results against more conventional forces in several major exercises. Despite these successes, the Experimental Mechanised Force was disbanded due to a mixture of defence cuts in the 1930s depression (so severe that even soldiers' pay was cut) and opposition from traditionalist officers, especially from the cavalry. Britain thus lost leadership in tank warfare, and was relatively unprepared for World War II, both in terms of doctrine and equipment. However, it quickly became obvious that building a large and effective armoured force would be key to defeating Germany.
This study examines the men who crewed the tanks of Britain’s armoured force, which was only four battalions large in 1939. It looks at the recruitment and training of the vast numbers of men required, their equipment, appearance and combat experience in every theatre of the war.
Let us know what you think in the comments section below!
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Мнение от Клуб Стендов Моделизъм България » 19 авг 2016, 00:01

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1. Modern Snipers: The Most Impressive Shots - 2016-08-18 07:54:00
In the second of his series on modern sniping for the Osprey blog, Leigh Neville, author of the forthcoming Modern Snipers, details some of the more impressive shots made by snipers during the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Coalition snipers have recorded a large number of shots at extreme ranges in recent years. In Afghanistan in particular, the terrain offered the opportunity for engaging the enemy at ranges well beyond the 400 to 600 meter range band that was typical of the more urbanized Iraq where buildings would often break the sniper’s line of sight. Insurgents in Afghanistan would also engage Coalition forces at much longer ranges as they learned that the 5.56x45mm round used in the majority of Coalition carbines and light machine guns was largely ineffective beyond 400 meters.
Snipers (and designated marksmen) became one of the primary responses to such insurgent tactics. The typical sniper rifle could engage out to 800 meters and beyond, and could surgically kill insurgents located within the civilian population. Perhaps not surprisingly, many of the record-breaking long distance sniper shots emerged from the counter-insurgency war in Afghanistan.

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Marine Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock
For some 40 years however, the record for the longest range sniper kill was held by the father of modern sniping, Marine Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock. During the Vietnam War, Hathcock deployed a .50 cal Browning heavy machine gun with a jury-rigged Unertl 10 power scope to accomplish the longest range confirmed kill of the war and of the twentieth century. Firing single shots from the .50 cal, he killed a Viet Cong insurgent at an incredible 2286 meters.
His feat would stand until Operation Anaconda in eastern Afghanistan in April 2002 when a small team of Canadian Army snipers broke Hathcock’s record twice in two months. The first shot was made by Master Corporal Arron Perry at an astounding 2310 meters. Perry, like Hathcock, had used a .50 cal platform but in Perry’s case it was a McMillan TAC-50 bolt-action anti-material rifle. Barely a month later Perry’s sniping partner, Corporal Rob Furlong, made an even more impressive 2430 meter kill.
Perry and Furlong’s accomplishments are amplified when you consider they were some 10,000 feet up an Afghan mountain and shooting at insurgents located on another mountain! Furlong even heated his bullets in the sun to increase the burn rate of the powder to wring every last inch of range from them (he had also run out of sniper grade ammunition and was using standard issue .50 cal ball which is not known for its pinpoint accuracy). Due to the extreme range, he also had to adjust his shot by aiming some fifteen feet above and to the left of the insurgent machine gun team he was targeting.

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McMillan TAC-50 (C15) Long Range Sniper Weapon
Furlong’s first round missed, although the altitude allowed his spotter to read the swirl or vapour trail of the round to provide corrections for his follow-on shots. His second round came closer, hitting one of the packs worn by the insurgents. With the enemy diving for cover, Furlong knew he had one last chance. After pressing the trigger, he waited for an anxious four seconds as the round made its lethal journey before his spotter reported a solid hit on the insurgent machine-gunner and Furlong entered the history books.
The Canadian’s record held until 2009 when it was beaten by British Army Sergeant (then Corporal of Horse) Craig Harrison of the Household Cavalry Regiment in Helmand Province. Operating in Musa Qala, Sergeant Harrison was involved in a number of engagements that day. He firstly suppressed an insurgent mortar spotter at 3000 meters (firing rounds around the spotter until he decided discretion was indeed greater than valour!) before killing two enemy riflemen at just over 750 meters. He then killed a pair of RPG teams at 700 and 1000 meters respectively before finally engaging a PKM machine gun team at the amazing range of 2475 meters.

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.338 Lapua Magnum L115A3 Sniper Rifle
Using his .338 Lapua Magnum L115A3 sniper rifle, Harrison fired some seven rounds to ‘range in’ on the targets before dispatching them both with centre of body mass hits to the chest. Another British Army sniper managed a similarly impressive feat several years later, again in Helmand. This time, a sniper with the Coldstream Guards killed six insurgents with a single round from his own .338 L115A3! During a contact with insurgents attempting to overrun an Afghan Army checkpoint, the sniper spotted an insurgent machine-gunner emerging from a creek bed. His commander explained what happened next;
'They were in contact and he was moving to a firing position. The sniper engaged him and the guy exploded. There was a pause on the radio and the sniper said, "I think I’ve just shot a suicide bomber"'. Indeed he had and the ensuing explosion killed another five insurgents behind the sniper’s original target who had been wearing a suicide bomb vest that was detonated by the sniper’s single .338 projectile.
American snipers also recorded some of their most impressive shots in Afghanistan. US Army Sergeant Nicholas Ranstad made an impressive 2092 meter shot with a .50 cal Barrett M107, the longest range kill by a US sniper to date. The record for the longest range shot in Afghanistan may however be held by an Australian commando team from D Company, 2nd Commando Regiment.

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A US Army Sniper using the M107
Operating on a still-classified mission in Kajaki, Helmand Province, two Australian sniper teams engaged a wanted insurgent high value target. Both teams were using the .50 cal Barrett M82A1 and fired nearly simultaneously in what’s called a ‘command initiated shoot’. It’s not known which rifle delivered the killing blow but one struck the insurgent commander, killing him at an incredible 2815 meters. Such shots are not that unusual with the .50. One of the US special operations snipers interviewed for Modern Snipers also made a 2500 meter shot using the Barrett in Afghanistan.
In Iraq too, snipers made their mark. In 2004, Marine Staff Sergeant Steve Reichert was conducting sniper overwatch for a Marine patrol. Watching through his scope whilst perched on top of an oil storage tank, Reichert spotted something suspicious hidden inside the body of a dead animal lying beside the road. He immediately warned the patrol who discovered wires leading to a suspected IED. Obviously thwarting the insurgents’ plans to ambush the patrol with a command wire IED, the patrol then came under fire from a number of insurgents who attempted to flank the Marines.
Reichert began to level the odds in the patrol’s favour. He spotted a machine gun team some 1600 meters away who were ducking down before popping up to fire from behind a brick wall, thinking the cover would protect them. Reichert chose to fire through the wall using .50 cal Raufoss Mk211 rounds with tungsten steel core penetrators. He knew his shots had struck their targets when he saw a splash of blood coat the wall behind the insurgents.
Some of the most memorable shots in Iraq occurred during the two battles of Fallujah in 2004. Sergeant Herbert B. Hancock, a Marine Reservist Scout Sniper who worked as a fulltime Texas SWAT sniper killed a pair of insurgents operating a light mortar at just under 1000 meters with his 7.62x51mm M40A3, right at the edge of the weapon’s extreme range. Another Marine, Corporal, now Sergeant, John Ethan Place, was also highly effective in Fallujah, killing 32 insurgents. Due to the heavily urbanized nature of Fallujah, Place’s longest shot was a headshot on an insurgent at 470 meters.

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The M40A3
Along with US Marine and Army snipers, snipers from SEAL Teams 3, 5 and 10 were also deployed during the battle including the American Sniper himself, Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle. He made nineteen kills during the second Fallujah offensive including a 1463 meter shot with his bolt-action .300 Winchester Magnum Mk13 Mod 5 although his longest range kill was an RPG gunner in Ramadi at an astounding distance of 1920 meters. Some of his fellow SEAL snipers had a lucky escape when an Army Bradley mistook them for insurgents and launched a TOW missile at their sniper hide. Luckily the missile failed to explode!
As many readers will be aware, Kyle also holds the distinction for the largest number of kills by a sniper within the US military, all recorded during multiple tours of Iraq. His record however has now been beaten by a British Royal Marines sniper who has notched up a reported 173 kills whilst serving with the Brigade Reconnaissance Force in Helmand Province. Due to operational security concerns, the Royal Marine remains unnamed. With recent operations in Iraq and Syria prominently featuring Coalition special operations snipers, one wonders how long any such grim record may be held.
In the third and final part of the series, Leigh looks at the developments in sniper equipment and techniques since the Second World War.
Заключена

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