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...Modern International Military Patterns, from Pen & Sword

Title: Camouflage
Author: Eric H Larson
Publisher: Pen & Sword
ISBN: 978-1-52673-857-8

'Modern International Military Patterns' as used on uniforms around the world since WW2. A large and impressive 482-page hardback book, packed with detail and colour images of hundreds of uniform camouflage patterns from the nations all around the world.
After an introduction from the author that sets the scene of what is and what isn't included, the arrangement of the book that follows is impressive. It is split by continent, so the first is Africa. This part alone is divided into sub-sections by country, and there are no less than 60 in this section alone. Then there is the Americas, sub-divided across another 33 different countries, then Asia, another 55 countries, Europe, another 47, and finally Oceania, a final 6 countries. Across these hundreds of countries around the world there are a multitude of different camouflage material designs. Each country has their use of these uniforms described and illustrated with photos of them being worn, as well as colour illustrations of the individual patterns. Many are based on the designs created in Germany during WW2, though others follow British, French, Italian and US designs. There are a variety of designs described as lizard, woodland, brushstroke, tiger-stripe, desert, chocolate chip and DPM (Disruptive Pattern Material) patterns, along with some more unique designs along with many computer designed 'digital' patterns and colour schemes. So much to see and the 35 years of research that the author has put into this is obvious. The influences on the different patterns is often described and the text regarding each country makes for some interesting reading, along with the multitude of colour illustrations.
For the military enthusiast and historian, the re-enactor and the modeller, this is simply a stunning reference. At full price, this is not a cheap book, but when you see what you get for the money, this is without doubt a magnificent reference to have on your bookshelf. Camouflage uniforms are primarily designed to help conceal the wearer in any particular environment. Some countries still choose to keep a single colour uniform but so many now standardise with camouflage gear for anything other than parade wear. Indeed, some is coloured in a distinctive way so as not to hide the wearer, but to make them stand out, to be immediately recognisable. A complex but absolutely fascinating subject and this one covers countries from all corners of the globe. I have no hesitation in recommending this if you want a first class reference on camouflage uniforms used around the world since WW2.
Thanks to Pen & Sword for our review copy.


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