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The War Underground 1914-18: Tactics and Equipment

Catalog Number: 9781472861054 Manufacturer: Osprey Publishing
Published: Monday, June 3, 2024 Retail Price: $21.00
Scale: Multiple Reviewed By: Steve Santucci

 Osprey-  The War Underground 1914-18: Tactics and Equipment 

 Author Simon Jones

Illustrator Adam Hook

2024 Osprey Publishing 

ISBN 9781472861054

Price: $21.00

 Just when one thought no more WWI subjects, out comes this newest release from Osprey Publishing. Just in time to pair with the History Channel’s new series The Great War. The book is part of the Elite Series. It is 64 pages with 61 pages of content and the last few dedicated to the Bibliography and Index. Illustrations fill the pages as well as photographs, diagrams and maps. 

 The book is broken down into 7 chapters, From the underground warfare before 1914 to the various forms and places of mining and tunneling. It also includes a look at dugouts, shelters and attack tunnels. The material and technology used is illustrated through words as well as images. From the Western Front to the Italian front, no part of the land war was excluded from such endeavors. Individuals and units are highlighted as well as some of the more well-known events such as the Lochnager mine crater, still visible and well preserved. Also some of the tunnel operations still exist such as the British transversal gallery constructed in the winter of 1915-16 at La Boiselle, Somme. 


 The book provides the reader and researcher with solid information and imagery of what this underside of war was like. Giving the reader information about the units and the methods of tunneling that all sides used to some degree whether it was to create a break in the lines to exploit or to gather information you will not be disappointed. Mining on the Italian Front caught my interest as the nature and environment was anything but ideal. In one instance the Austro-Hungarians detonated a mine in order to affect a landslide over Italian positions in January of 1917 but was unsuccessful as well as the two follow up attempts. 



The book provides much to the modeler as for inspiration for unique WWI vignettes and dioramas. The book's quick read allows for such opportunities to recreate some of the lesser known sides of the Great War. Whether it is a dug out or underground fighting such as the one on September 6, 1915 when British fell through to the German gallery, they were tunneling, a fire fight ensued and the Brits were able to retreat to a more fortified position. It appears from the chapter of that year this was a year to which underground fighting occurred the most. 

Highly Recommended for anyone interested in the underground Great War.

Thanks goes out to Osprey Publishing for this review book.

Reviewed by Steve Santucci


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