Welcome to Cold War Gamer, a blog I am using to record my Cold War wargaming projects. These range from fictitious Cold War hot projects to historical conflicts that took place around the globe throughout the Cold War era, all modelled and gamed in 20mm. The blog includes links to various resources useful to the Cold War Gamer.

My current projects include: Central Front; British & Soviet. South African Border War; Angolans and South Africans. Soviet Afghan War; Soviets and Afghans

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Review - Books, Encyclopaedia of the Modern British Army

The Encyclopaedia of the Modern British Army is just that, it covers the weapons, organisation, uniforms and Insignia of the Modern British Army.  The first Edition was published in 1980 and the Third in 1986 so it covers a good part of the later cold war period and looks backwards and forwards from the point of writing covering equipments going out of and coming into service.  The book is written by Terry Gander an Ex RAF and Royal Observer Corps officer who has written extensively on AFV's weapons and military subjects for a number of major publishers including Janes.

It contains extensive organisational detail for teeth arm units breaking them down into sub units, troops and platoons and providing detail on vehicle holdings. Teeth arm units in this instance include; armoured regiments, armoured reconnaissance regiments and infantry battalions.  The remainder of the army is covered descriptively but a lot can be derived from the text. A wide variety if not all in service systems are covered in the equipment section including those that had not quite delivered when the book was published such as MLRS, and Spartan MCT and some on their way out such as Wombat. In addition to the usual guns and AFVs it covers signals equipment, engineer equipment, radars and every conceivable truck - and there were a lot.  From my experience the information presented seems accurate and it packs quiet a bit between the covers if you're wargaming cold war Brits it is a good second hand buy.

The second edition was printed in 1982 so the 3rd edition is the one to aim for as it covers pretty much the whole of the 1980s. Having said that I have a thought to chase down a first edition to see how the organisations changed.  A search on amazon for Terry Gander also brings up some interesting titles of relevance to the period.

Encyclopaedia of the Modern British Army @amazon

Other Book Reviews

Soviet Air Land Battle Tactics
The Military Balance
The Soviet Conduct of Tactical Manoeuvre
First Clash
The Third World War
The British Army in Germany

The Cold War Bookstore contains links to over 60 Cold War titles covered in my book list


  1. These are a great set of books as i have all 3 and found them all in second hand shops.
    This is a great blog and check for up dates each day..

    1. I think I am going to go for three but probably the first and third editions of the encyclopaedia and then the 1994 version which was just called The Modern British Army and has the post options for change ORBATS. He also wrote one on the RAF which looks good, I have just started to look at Air and Aviation support to the Battle group so might get that one as well.

  2. sounds interesting. I must look out for good second hand books like this

  3. Picked up a copy on your recommendation. Not disappointed.