Landing Zone Lebanon
Moustafa Mohammed Adel El-Assad, the author and owner of the Blue Steel series of books has now released this, his third in the series, which concentrates on the armour used by NATO forces in the Lebanon.
The history of South Lebanon is a long and complicated one, with territory being disputed and occupied by different factions. Added to this are the various activities of organizations such as the PLO and Hezbollah. The present state of affairs is that the United Nations Security Council passed resolution 1701 in August of last year calling for a cease to hostilities and the reinforcement of the UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Forces In Lebanon) to 15,000 to match the deployment of 15,000 Lebanese troops sent south. There are at present 21 different nations represented in UNIFIL with a diversity of vehicles to match this.
The book begins with a forward by Sampo Mikkola, a former UNIFIL FINBAT soldier, in which he attempts to explain some of the historical background of the region. Of course this can only be summarized and for a good understanding of the subject more in-depth reading is recommended, although to put the UNIFIL forces in context it certainly serves itís purpose.
The book is broken down into 13 main sections, each of which deals with a different Nations forces within UNIFIL, from the French to the Turkish Battalion. The amount of pages devoted to each of the Battalions is related to the sizes of the forces deployed. Therefore we have 26 pages devoted to the French Battalion, with the Indonesian and Turkish Battalions both being on the same page!
Within each section, the photographic coverage is good, with nearly all photographs being of excellent quality, only the occasional one showing itís origins down a telephoto lens! Each of the photographs are well-captioned where necessary, with most sections showing the photographs arranged so that there is a progression from when the vehicles were first deployed, and therefore exhibiting the camouflage schemes of that area. For example a lot of the French vehicles came directly from Kosovo and still had KFOR markings on arrival.
Although the photographs are all excellent, and interesting in that they show the actual deployment of these various forces in the Lebanon, there are a lot of photographs that donít go so far as to name the actual vehicle weíre looking at, however this didnít detract from the title for me, since most of the armour is identified, mainly trucks and transport being non-identified.
From a modellerís point of view, the book is a goldmine of information and ideas, from ascertaining the correct markings used, to small touches such as the circular engine inspection hatch on one vehicle being replaced upside down, and therefore losing the continuity of the camouflage scheme. I still havenít seen this idea modelled yet? It also struck me that there was a marked lack of stowage on most of the vehicles shown, this not only being a useful reference in itís own right, but also allowing us to see the lines of the vehicles themselves.
If youíve any interest whatsoever in modelling vehicles from this part of the World, then this book will be of immense use! It does not provide walk around photo-shoots of the various vehicles included, but more of a general feel for whatís actually used by each of the foreign Battalions present. It does however, provide information on colour schemes and markings, and various unusual add-ons to certain vehicles. Even if you havenít an interest in modelling any of these vehicles, I still found the book to be interesting, and would highly recommend it!
x 8.5 inches
For full information on all Blue Steel titles please see their website; Blue Steel
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