Sunday, March 7, 2010

Old Books

Well, not THAT old.

You all know I was a bit of military geek as a kid. I imagine lots of us were. My interest was fighter aircraft, mostly, both modern and WWII. I thought I'd end up in the Air Force. Then my thoughts turned more toward the Navy, so I became interested in Naval Combat, modern and throughout history.

I wanted to design and engineer the next fighter airplane (like the F-22) but wanted to serve and fight in a P-3 Orion. Where I could command the aircraft and hunt down and kill Soviet subs filled with 100+ commie sailors with the ability to kill 10's of millions of Americans. I figured the P-3 was had the most impact of any airplane, when successful. Plus I could sleep in a dry bed on dry land when I wasn't actually flying.

Well, I haunted the Crown Books and B Dalton booksellers. In the 1980's LOTS of coffee table books related to military stuff came out. And I snatched up quite a few while I had spending money but few financial obligations. If a book got to the remaindered table it was as good as mine.

Well, I sold them off when I became an adult and had bills and less space. Used bookstores LOVED big military picture books. Sold all but a handful of best ones. And in them I have a snapshot of military thought and equipment from the mid-80s. Lovely.

At some point, I must have noticed I had too much stuff about aircraft and ship and bought a book about Army toys. So I'd know the difference between a T-72 tank and a BMP, like I already knew a Flanker from a Flogger, Badger and Bear (Su-27, Mig-23, jet engine bomber, turbo prop bomber). Luckily, I saved this book as well.

The snapshot of history shows the end of the 1911 and the start up of the Beretta 92, as well as hint of .50 sniper rifles, though not the Barrett just yet. Plus all the other personal arms of armies around the world. So I come at this book with fresh eyes, now that I have this newfound small arms interest. They look all antique-y! Some were legitimate antiques in the 80s. They're talking about the SKS and Bren machine guns as if folks still used them in battle. The thing is, they WERE. Kinda cool, that.

Update: Commenter gently suggested I proffer up some titles of these Pop-Mil books I've dusted off. Good idea.

Warplanes of the Future

Modern Naval Combat
Modern Fighter Combat or actually this: Modern Air Combat
Encyclopedia of World Military Weapons
US War Machine is around here somewhere.


JohnW said...

And which book might "this book" be, hmmm?

Old NFO said...

Heh- Yep some of those ARE classics :-)

JohnW said...

The very first book I bought with my own money other than a comic was W. H. B. Smith's "Small Arms of the World". (Junior high, $19.95, University Bookstore, Austin TX.)
I still have it.

Anonymous said...

The SKS is still used in battle, and by armies too, not just scrappy insurgents. When working with the UN, the majority of the Bangladeshi peacekeepers were carrying SKSes.

- Michael

Tam said...

Hey, I have all those, too! 8)