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Book Review of

“Italian Artillery of World War Two"

 

Review By Patrick Keenan - Editor

 

Basic Item Information

Title

Italian Artillery of World War Two

Author, Editor and/or Illustrator

By Enrico Finazzer & Ralph Riccio

 

Publisher

Mushroom Model Publications (MMP)

ISBN/Stock Number

ISBN 978-83-63678-61-1

Subject

Italian WWII era towed/self-propelled artillery & tractors

Media

Soft Cover Book

Number of Pages

160

Number/Type of Photos and/or Illustrations

(199) Black/White Photographs, (4) Black/White Illustrations and (44) Black/White Vehicle Line Drawings

Text Language

English

Retail Price

$69 USD (Distributed in US by Casemate Publishers

 

Please note that Casemate is a sponsor of Warwheels

Reviewer

Patrick Keenan

Review Date

November 5, 2015

Review Summary

Review Type

Full Read

Basic Positive Features

Highly accurate and comprehensive coverage of a scarcely covered subject; The quality, quantity and selection of photographs are very good.

Basic Negative Features

None Noted.

Recommendation

“Highly Recommended”.  However, “A Must Have” for those interested in WWII era Italian Artillery.

Photos

                             

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Detailed Review

This review is of the new book “Italian Artillery of WWII” by authors Enrico Finazzer & Ralph Riccio.  Now, you’re probably wondering, why is a review of a book covering artillery equipment being offered on a website dedicated to wheeled vehicles?  Honestly, I also thought about this book’s relevance to Warwheels.net content too when Mr. Riccio first offered us a review copy.  However, Mr. Riccio assured me that there are indeed subjects covered in this book which wheeled vehicle aficionados like us would find interesting, informative and useful.  Well, after reading the book, I do agree with Mr. Riccio.

 

This book provides comprehensive/encyclopedic coverage of what looks to be all of the primary artillery pieces used by Italian forces during the WWII-Era.  This coverage includes both towed and self-propelled guns/howitzers of domestic and foreign manufacture.  It is very similar in content and layout to one of Mr. Riccio’s other books, “Italian Tanks and Combat Vehicles of World War Two”.  Although I will review this book in its entirety, I will focus on the book content dedicated to wheeled vehicles, as this review IS for WarWheels.Net.

 

The book is divided into the following sections/subjects.  The subjects that also include coverage of wheeled vehicles are marked with a *:

 

Introduction

Modern Guns

  • 20/65 Breda Model 35 & Model 39 Anti-Aircraft Guns*

  • 20/70 Scotti-Isotta Fraschini- OM Anti-Aircraft Gun

  • Solothurn S-18/1000 Anti-Tank Gun*

  • 47/32 Model 35 & Model 39 Guns*

  • 75/18 Model 34 Howitzer

  • 75/18 Model 35 Howitzer

  • 75/32 Model 37 Gun

  • 75/46 Gun Model 34 & Model 34M and Model 40 Anti-Aircraft Guns

  • 90/53 Gun Model 39, Model 41P & Model 41C Anti-Aircraft Guns*

  • 149/19 Model 37, Model 41 & Model 42 Howitzers

  • 149/40 Model 35 Gun

  • 210/22 Model 35 Howitzer

WW I Guns

  • 65/17 Gun*

  • 75/13 Howitzer

  • 75/27 Model 06 Gun

  • 75/27 Model 11 Gun

  • 75/27 Model 12 gun

  • 75/27 C.K. Anti-Aircraft Gun*

  • 77/28 Model 5 & Model 5/8 Guns

  • 100/17 Model 14 & Model 16 Howitzers*

  • 105/28 Gun

  • 104/32 - 105/32 Guns

  • 149/12 Model 14, Model 16 & Model 18 Howitzers

  • 149/13 Howitzer

  • 149/35 Gun

  • 152/37 Gun

German or War Booty Guns

  • 20/65 FlaK 30, 38 & Flakvierling (Rheinmetall)

  • 37/45 Anti-Tank Gun (3.7 cm PaK 35/36)

  • 75/50 Anti-Tank Gun (7.5cm Kanon PL vz. 37)

  • 75/97/38 Anti-Tank Gun (PaK 1897/38)

  • 88/27 Howitzer (Ordnance QF 25-Pounder Mark II)

  • 88/55 Dual-Purpose Gun (Krupp 8.8cm FlaK)

  • 100/22 Howitzer (Skoda 10cm vz. 14/19 and 16/19)

  • 105/11 Howitzer (Schneider 105M Modele 1919)

  • 149/28 Howitzer (15cm sFH 18)

Self-Propelled Guns

  • 47/32 L40 Self-Propelled Gun

  • 75/18 M40, M41 & M42 Self-Propelled Howitzers

  • 75/34 M42 Self-Propelled Gun

  • 90/53 M41M Self-Propelled Gun

  • 105/25 M42L Self-Propelled Gun

  • 75/46 M42T Self-Propelled Gun

  • 149/40 Self-Propelled Gun

Artillery Tractors

  • Pavesi Model 26, Model 30, Model 30A Heavy Field Artillery Tractors*

  • Breda Model 32, Model 33 & Model 40/41 Heavy Tractors*

  • FIAT OCI 708 CM Tracked Artillery Tractor

  • SPA TL 37 Field Artillery Tractor*

  • SPA TM 40 Heavy Field Artillery Tractor*

  • Breda 61 Half-Tracked Tractor

Bibliography

 

Photograph and/or Illustration Quality and Selection

 

The authors provide 199 photos (all black and white), 4 color illustrations and 44 black/white line drawings in this book. The quality level of the photographs is generally very good to excellent.  This is surprising as most of the photos were taken in contemporary times, not in the present. However, there are a very small number of photographs that are only 'fair' in terms of reproduction quality. With that being said, the quality of those few photos is of secondary importance to me, as their actually being made available is the key factor.  After all, a less than perfect photograph of a rare subject is much better than none.

 

Expounding further on the subject of photographic selection, the quantity and variation of the photographs provided by the authors is excellent, especially considering the rarity of the vehicles and their lack of photographic coverage in other references available to us.

 

The four (4) black/white illustrations by Rodolfo Ciuffoletti show the uniform shoulder flashes used by Italian Artillery Troops and are interesting and attractive. Mr. Ciuffoletti is also the artist responsible for the 44 black/white line drawings and are a very nice addition to this reference as well. Most of these highly detailed illustrations provided are side views of the selected equipment.  And luckily for us here at WarWheels, many of the illustrations feature wheeled fighting vehicles.  No scale is listed for the drawings, but they are varied in size/scale depending on the space available on the respective pages.  However, many of them appear to be close to 1/35 scale and the remaining ones about 1/48 scale.

 

Use as Reference

 

This book is an exceptional reference for modelers and vehicle enthusiasts as well. In this one book, you get complete coverage of every primary artillery piece used by Italian forces during the WWII-Era; be it towed or self-propelled, foreign or domestically produced.  Although the quality/usefulness of the book stands on its own quite well, in my opinion the true benefit to this book lies in the fact that there just isn't a lot of other high quality English Language reference materials dedicated to Italian WWII era equipment available.

 

Editing of Information/ Text Flow

 

The text flow (e.g. the writing ability of the authors) and editing of the information provided is very good.  I also found the book easy to read, informative and it more than sufficiently described and explained the photos in the book.  Also, the information is provided in a logical and organized way and wasn’t confusing.

 

Quality of Print Medium

 

The construction of this soft cover book is very sturdy when compared to other softbound books on the market, and should stand up to normal use/reading with no problems.  Also the paper used in the book is a bit thicker than "normal” and adds to the overall high quality and ruggedness of this book.

 

Conclusion

 

Mr. Finazzer & Mr. Riccio have produced a great comprehensive reference for us military equipment/vehicle enthusiasts and modelers.  The encyclopedic coverage provided by this book of the oft-neglected subject of WWII era Italian artillery, is a welcome addition to those interested in that type of equipment specifically, or in Italian hardware in general.  Throw in the fact that the authors provide a  large selection of high quality contemporary photographs and you have yourself what I’d call a “winner”.

 

Recommendation:  “Highly Recommended”.  However, “A Must Have” for those interested in WWII era Italian Artillery.

 

Thanks to Ralph Riccio for the Review Sample.

 
Copyright: Patrick Keenan - November 5, 2015