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Thursday, 25 June 2015

In praise of Helion - great for C19 books

Time to say some words in praise of Helion. No, I don't mean Poland's leading publisher of computer books, but Helion & Company, a terrific publisher of military history books, especially on the kind of neglected and obscure topics I love, and a company that gives outstanding personal service. My shelves are creaking under the weight of Helion tomes on some of my favourite conflicts: the Schleswig-Holstein Wars, Austro-Prussian, Franco-Prussian Russo-Turkish ...

This post is prompted because this week a copy of their latest publication dropped through my letterbox. The gem in question is Dusan Babac's "The Serbian Army in the Wars for Independence against Turkey 1876-1878". With my longstanding interest in nineteenth-century Balkan wars, this was a must-buy.
 

Babac provides the background history and detailed accounts of numerous Serbo-Turkish battles. He also gives exhaustive information on the Serbian army's organisation, weapons and uniforms, flags and medals. The book is absolutely bursting with illustrations, many in colour: contemporary photographs, paintings, woodcuts, as well as modern pictures. The one disappointment for me was the absence of any maps of the battles. That reservation notwithstanding, this is a really excellent book full of hard-to-find information and I consider my money well spent.

I have had a 6mm Serbian army for a long time. It hasn't had many outings. Designing a scenario for the battles around Aleksinac from the First Serbo-Turkish War has been on my agenda since before I published "Bloody Big Battles!", but I haven't quite got round to it. This book will help to change that.