Saturday, July 23, 2011

Book Review: Dmitriy Loza's book


I went back and forth before purchasing this book from Amazon. The price of $33+ for a book that is less than 200 pages put me off. The text is 157 pages long actually, with the rest filled with Footnote explanations and an Index. Another thing to consider the battles against the Germans fill the first 101 pages and then the remaining 50 pages focus on Loza's transfer to Manchuria to disarm the Japanese. Aside from the long road marches, the Japanese Front portion of the book will hold little interest.

Yet I couldn't resist the draw of reading about Lend Lease Shermans in Russian service. There's also the fact that I'm building a 76mm Emcha Batallion from the Stalin's Europe book and the author of the book is Dmitriy Loza, one of the Warriors in SE.

There are only 2 maps in the book - one for the Western front and the other is for the Far east front. Loza does a good job of describing the operational situation before he delves more into what his unit is doing. The pictures in the book can be found on the Internet. You won't find any new Emcha pics.

You'd think after the negatives I'm posting, I wouldn't have liked the book.

But I did.

Loza tells anecdotes about the Emcha in service. He talks about the use of Forward Detachments and Infiltrations to outmaneuver strong defensive positions. There's talk of radios inside the Shermans (something T-34's didn't always have) and how Loza's Batallion maneuvered as a whole to accomplish a mission (cough, no Hen & Chicks). Loza is Deputy Batallion Commander (basically the 2iC), which is mirrored in his ability to take over as CiC if the CiC gets whacked. This is why I wanted the book, to hear these stories and see how they can be recreated in FOW.

However, if you aren't interested in Lend Lease Shermans in Russia, don't buy the book. The cost versus the number of pages is too high. You have to be a Lend Lease nut like me to get any value out of it. Find a Lend Lease friend and borrow their copy.

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