Wednesday, May 27

Read n' Reviewed: "War Photographer" 1.2 from Tom Cockle & PeKo Publishing

Tom Cockle's latest version of the new series "War Photographer" has been released by PeKo Publishing. It is a culmination of two stories this time, and we have read it's 60 pages front to back. See what we did as we describe the book and its contents in our review...

Read n' Reviewed: War Photographer 1.2
Author: Tom Cockle

Published by PeKo Publishing
Paperback, landscape format
English language 
64 Pages
ISBN: 9786155583247
Price:  €15.00
Product Link on the PeKo Website
Previous reviews in this series:
Read n' Reviewed: "War Photographer 1.0" from Peko Publishing
Read n' Reviewed: "War Photographer 1.1" from PeKo Publishing

PeKo's book series "War Photographer" is now in its third edition (already?) with "1.3" bing this current edition, the material in this book being gathered by Tom Cockle in his second book in the series after 1.0 being the launch book in the series. 

One thing I would say about these books is that the covers are fairly similar, so make sure if you are buying one that you get the right number 1.0, 1.1 or now 1.2 when you are looking at them. This might do well with revising as the series gets bigger I would think to avoid confusion with other entrants in this series, I think it might help.

"War Photographer" volumes - 1.0, 1.1 & 1.3
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this concept, "War Photographer" is a softcover book with large, landscape format book (sixty pages in this issue) of rare and unpublished large-format photographs, usually from a single, or a few sources in stories documenting the experience, men and machines of a soldier or unit during WWII. 
"War Photographer" 1.2 Page to page...
In this particular volume, Tom Cockle has divided the subject matter into two separate subjects. Firstly, several new photographs from the personal photo album of Oberleutnant d.R Peter Prien who began his army career with Pz.Nachr.Abt.37 with 1.Panzer-Division in January 1941 and finished the war as the commander of the Stabskompanie of Pz.Rgt.3 of 2.Panzer-Division. His album contains mostly photos of his time with 2.Panzer-Division around the time of the Kursk battles. This story runs from the start of the book through to page thirty-nine.
The second part of the book presents a series of photographs from different sources - a little bit of a departure from the one source in previous volumes, of the 8.8cm Flak 18 mounted on the chassis of the Sd.Kfz.8 half-track. This was officially known as the 8.8cm Flak 18 Sfl. auf schwere Zugkraftwagen 12 t (Sd.Kfz.8) als Fahrgestell. These pages run from page forty to page fifty-nine.
The journey of Oberleutnant d.R Peter Prien's photos starts in 1942. We see the men of his unit and their machines planning, travelling and gathering around vehicles and buildings in Russia. Halftracks, 8-rads, a very rare Panzer IIJ is even seen in some detail. A few of these pictures show the vehicles and the men in a series of photographs showing them from a few angles and in similar shots. These photographs are added to with captions from the author that tell you a little of the story and some details about the vehicles when they were used and their particulars in each shot. Mr Cockle is very good at pointing out bits of interest that may well be lost to the reader if not under his guidance.
The weather changes in Russia, and we see snows in 1942  change to warmer temperatures in 1943. The Panzer II's give way to Tiger Is over several pages, Panzer III's and several other support tracked and half-tracked vehicles. The author explains each scene carefully, with the men f the unit in the photos getting just as much text and attention as the killing machines. Many scenes of the hunt hidden under trees with a variety of vehicles that make for great eye candy fo the enthusiast. Every soldier seems to be wearing something different or in a different style which will inspire the uniform enthusiasts, figure makers and painters out there.
The gathering of machines and men to move out, assemblies of senior officers and several other pictures of the unit fill the page-sized photos until page forty. We have several pictures of Panzer IV's before the end of the album. We do not finds out what happened to our protagonist though, and this is the end of his story as far as we are concerned. In the introduction, however, his fate is revealed and it is an interesting story to this reader...
Page forty onwards and our new subject - the 8.8cm Flak 18 Sfl. auf schwere Zugkraftwagen 12 t (Sd.Kfz.8) als Fahrgestell - begins with no fanfare. Pictures of this rare and extremely large and very dangerous looking vehicle just start at page forty and go on in several different types of the vehicle through to the end of the book.
We see these huge machines and men trailing, in action ion the front, travelling down the road, burnt out and captured. Camouflages, wire mesh, bushes and foliage and other identifying traits are exhibited by the author in the text below these photographs. This vehicle such a rarity but also an oddity it really did interest me to read and find out more about it. Fans will be in seventh heaven at the range and scope of the pictures in this book.
And that is all he wrote!

This is a solid entry into the "War Photographer" series, and although I would be hard-pressed to identify what issue is which, I can remember the subjects of the stories in each one - and that is a mark of interest and a good choice of subjects by the authors and publisher.

A great little book.

Adam Norenberg

Previous reviews in this series:
Read n' Reviewed: "War Photographer 1.0" from Peko Publishing
Read n' Reviewed: "War Photographer 1.1" from PeKo Publishing

Thanks to PeKo Publishing for sending this book to us to read and to review - you can pick yours up from the distributors on the PeKo Website.