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News from a wargamer with a special interest in the military history of the Balkans. It mainly covers my current reading and wargaming projects. For more detail you can visit the web sites I edit - Balkan Military History and Glasgow & District Wargaming Society. Or follow me on Twitter @Balkan_Dave
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Wednesday 23 January 2013

Crucible of Fate

This is latest book by Andy Johnson in his WW2 series.

I have given the first two books rave reviews, so I was looking forward to this read. I wasn't disappointed. I was surprised that he fast forwarded from 1940 to the Normandy landings as I expected the characters to turn up in Greece, the Western Desert or even Italy. However, there is no reason for not going back in time as he did with the second book.

The story is almost entirely based on the first day of the D-Day landings. The German defenders and in particular a unit of misfits who are tasked with holding a wooded hill, code named the Crucible. They may be less than fit, but they include several veterans of the Russian Front. The Brits are represented first by the Paras and then by one of the first infantry units ashore who eventually run up against the Crucible.

The writing style is very similar to the other books. Short chapters written in the first person of a character or characters in the different units. Very easy to put down and pick up again, although putting this book down is not easy.

If, like me, you are playing Bolt Action rules, this is the book to read. Most of the action is at platoon level so you get a real feel for the tactics. The use of cover, flanking moves and the importance of support weapons.

While reading this I have been taking a break from painting the 28mm figures by plugging a few gaps in my Flames of War 15mm armies. Some 20mm AA support for the Germans. Plus additional HMG's, ATRs, 2pdr ATG and mortars for the early war Brits. And another Matilda! The German AA are Battlefront and the Brits are Peter Pig. The Matilda is from the Skytrex range.

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