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Osprey Elite 109: The British Home Front 1939–45

by Martin J Brayley, illustrated by Malcolm McGregor

Osprey Publishing Ltd, ISBN 1-84179-661-5, 64 pages

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This one is going to be essential for anyone modelling troops in the UK and wanting to put authentic civilians with them. It covers all the auxiliary services as well as the Home Guard from its beginning as the Local Defence Volunteers, the Fire and Police services, and a host more. It actually begins with the 1939 evacuation of children from threatened areas and then looks at bomb shelters, the conscription of women into war work, rationing, and the black market before considering all those auxiliary services.

The photographs make it an excellent source of reference for what people wore as civilians as well as on duty, and the plates show all the different services covered by the book. While not “mainstream” it will definitely be useful for its coverage of what the home front people looked like – try a diorama with normal life on the farm alongside tanks drawn up on a road before D-Day.


John Prigent

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