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

Friday, 10 March 2017

Review - Book, Todays Army Air Corps, Paul Beaver, 1987

The first thing to point out about what I think is a very handy little reference is that the title is a complete misnomer.  Written in 1987 the Today in the title very much refers to the Army Air Corps of yesterday and you will certainly struggle to find even a mention of the AH 64 which was a distant aspiration at the time of writing.  What the book does do well is provide a compact overview of the British Army Air Corps This includes:
  • A Short History of Army Flying
  • Structure and Command Arrangements
  • Regiments Squadrons and the AAC Center
  • Aircraft
  • Weapons Roles and Equipment
  • Future Programme
  • Training and Tactics

This book is an excellent snap shot of the Army Air Corps at the backend of the Cold War. The Historical section is too short to do anything but provide pointers to conflicts in which the Army Air Corps had previously played a role.  The real value to the Cold War Gamer lies in less than half the book, primarily in the sections on:
  • Structure and Command Arrangements. This section is a little thin but provides an overview of how the Army Air Corps supports the rest of the Army with both Aviation Advice, staff support and planning functions as well as the broad structure of the units and a view of the organisations that support is provided to essentially BAOR, UKMF, Special Forces and Northern Ireland.
  • Regiments Squadrons and The AAC center. This section is the first of the two absolute nuggets in this book this covers each regiment and independent squadron and in a terse paragraph summarizes location role, equipment holdings and the HQ they report to, which is immensely useful for context and scenario planning if you want to refer to the real units.
  • Training and Tactics. The second nuget is the training and tactics section which is sadly all too short and in a few pages talks through HELARM tactics with Gazelle and Lynx as they would operate in Germany.  This looks at both the Anti Armour and Recce/Air Op roles. It would have been nice to see something on Forward Air Refueling and cross FLOT (Forward Line of Own Troops) operations but the data supplied is enough to give you a basic understanding of how the Aviation assets would be used.  Its easy to forget that other missing items such as JAAT (Joint Air Attack Teams) post date this title, within the British armed forces.
The rest of the books information is useful but can be obtained easily else where, including online sources. For an out of print obscure little book it contains some very useful information. It can be picked up on Amazon, last I looked for .01p, at that price it pays for itself if you can use it to make the gaming table more stable by sticking it under one of the table legs. A thin tome but a worthwhile addition to the Cold War library if you have an interest in British aviation capability at the back end of the Cold War.

Today's Army Air Corps @ Amazon

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