Sunday, April 1, 2012

Book Review

First Clash, Combat close-up in World War Three, by Kenneth Macksey, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc, 1985  ISBN 0-85368-736-6

This book tells the story of a Canadian unit defending West Germany from an attack by the Soviet Union during World War Three.  For those of us who were in the military in the 1980's the time was perceived as a pivotal moment in history.  Most of us knew that the Soviet Union was in bad shape.  They were losing the Cold War and were facing some hard choices.  They could drop Communism and grant their people freedom.  They could fall apart due to internal collapse both economic and social; or they could attack Western Europe.  They could then win the Cold War militarily or go out in a blaze of glory.  Time was short because the Western nations were modernizing their militaries and the time for military action was rapidly drawing to a close.

This book describes how the first few days of an attack might play out for some of the Canadian forces stationed in Western Germany.  The book was intended to educate members of the Canadian military o methods to conduct high intensity military operations.  The forces are Leopard tanks and infantry in M113 and artillery using the M109 self propelled howitzer.  They are reinforced by various West German and American forces buy are mostly on their own.

The book brings up learning points made clear in the text.  Communications security, POW handling, and logistics are all covered.  There are many TO&E's of Soviet enemy forces.  The narrative explains the operations and doctrine of Canadian us of land mines, anti-aircraft weapons and anti-tank weapons.  I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in the Cold War, especially for wargaming purposes.


Tim Gow said...

An excellent book! I must dig out my copy again.

Bunkermeister said...

I read all those books in the Cold War.