Reading material – a win and a loss

Yet another birthday came and went last month. Amongst the presents organised was what The son & heir calls our – ‘our’!!!, bl**dy cheek really – ACW bible. Mark Adkin’s The Gettysburg Companion, The Complete Guide to America’s Most Famous Battle.

He may have a bit of a cheek but The son & heir has a point. The tome weighs in at 544 pages and covers much more than just the proceedings of the battle. Sizable chunks of the book delve into the organisation, tactics and uniforms of the infantry, the artillery, the cavalry and the other arms and services. Command and control in the ACW gets 30 pages. Sections on the background, the battlefield, the day by day struggle and the aftermath are all presented as is a section on the 50th Anniversary Reunion.

There are plenty of illustrations and photographs throughout. Unit formations, graphic orders of battle, uniform pictures, equipment pictures, and many maps make for a visually interesting book. And lets not forget the photographs of the terrain overlaid with troop movements and some historic photographs.

All in all von Peter himself thinks that the book makes a great inaugural purchase for the ACW section of the Schloss von Peter library.

Of course the Gettysburg Companion is not Adkin’s only Companion book. He has similar books covering Waterloo – already residing in the Schloss von Peter library – and Trafalgar. Great books one and all … and all come with that highly sought after von Peter himself seal of approval.

von Peter himself vaguely remembers discovering issue number 1 of Wargames Illustrated in a long since expired bookshop in Wellington, New Zealand sometime in the last century. He remained a faithful purchaser and reader through the good times – and the sometimes not so good times – until a few months ago.

In a state of waffliness (another new word for you all to learn) over his magazine reading future and some disquiet with the magazine he let his subscription lapse. But Wargames Illustrated was still available through a local shop – Wargames Supplies – as well as the high street magazine outlets so a regular purchase was still made. Then Wargames Supplies closed – I think they were open for something like seven years which far exceeded von Peter’s expectation, but then we mustn’t digress – so no more purchasing from them then. Even von Peter himself could work that one out!!  8O)

Strangely however Wargames Illustrated seems to have disappeared from the local high street magazine outlets. They still have plenty of modelling and other hobby magazines including White Dwarf but not a sign of a Wargames Illustrated is to be seen in the shops that von Peter himself has checked in downtown Wellington. Very strange or is von Peter himself just blind?

Until we meet again

von Peter himself

8 thoughts on “Reading material – a win and a loss

  1. The Gettysburg Companion sounds like a sound investment vP, happy reading.
    I will admit to thinking long and hard about WI, it isn’t my bag nowadays. It is readily available in my local news agent, rather useful as it allows one to peruse before handing over a portion of one’s wedge (which I do with MW). My WS&S subscription seems to be a far better investment.

    • Hi Dave. The magazine situation is at a point of indecision for me at the moment. Currently I get Slingshot from the Society of Ancients and I get every issue of BattleGames (as a single purchase which just goes to show how stupid some people are). I’ve ceased getting Wargames Illustrated which has left a bit of a hole in my reading.

      Perhaps I’ll try WS&S for a while.

      von Peter himself

      • I just received the June copy of WI, that is it, the relationship is over. Some interest was generated by the Jacobite article but other than that nothing much to ring my bell.

  2. If it is as good as Adkins book on Warerloo it is a worth yaddition to any library. I never bought it (I already have the largest ACW library here in Germany… No kidding even university libraries have less books on the topic than I do), bur thinking about it none the less.
    If you want to go deeped into Gettysburg, the Pfanz books are a must! They are just more academic in their style and I would advise you getting the topographic maps sold by “The friends of the National Park at Gettysburg” which also differenciate by day. But those are a must have anyway! But I think I am trailing off topic here!

    • Hello Burkhard

      Yes the Gettysburg Companion is very much like the Waterloo Companion.

      I’m not sure how deep I’ll get in my ACW book purchases. I might just freeload on some so called friends who have drawn me into the ACW and who have plenty of information. After all there’s still plenty of Napoleonic, Seven Years War and ancient books that need purchasing!! 8O)

      von Peter himself

  3. I have both the Waterloo and Trafalgar tomes on my shelf, so the Gettysburg volume will surely be a mine of information. Lucky you (and the son & heir, too)!

    Happy birthday for last month, too, btw!

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