Book Review
U.S. Marines in World War II
Always Faithful – U.S. Marines in World War II Combat – The 100 Best Photos
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by: Randy L Harvey [ HARV ]


Osprey Publishing LTD book "Always Faithful – U.S. Marines in World War II Combat – The 100 Best Photos" is a hardback book with a paper dust jacket and consists of 208 pages. As the title states the book is dedicated to 100 combat photographs of U.S. Marines taken during World War II. The book has a 2011 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-84908-538-0. The author of the book is Eric Hammel and the book was designed by Tom Heffron.


1. Beach Assault
2. In the Jungle
3. Every Marine a Rifleman
4. Supporting Arms
5. In the Attack
6. Looking for a Fight
7. Stress and Tension
8. At Close Quarters
9. WIA
10. At Ease
11. The Fallen
12. Adieu


The Text:
The book contains very little text as the majority of the book is dedicated to the photographs that it contains. There is a one page introduction written by the author that describes the photographs and their history. There are 9 chapters contained in the book and each of the chapters has a brief written introduction that ranges from a few words to a few paragraphs. Other than that there is very little text contained in the book.

The Photographs:
There are a total of 100 black and white photographs included in the book. The majority of the photographs have a more detailed copy of the photograph accompanying it. Please refer to the scans that I have provided of the Marines next to the Sherman tank “King Kong” as these to scans show what I am describing. The detailed photographs cue in one particular section of the main photograph bringing attention to it. The detail photographs are shown in a darker color and two of them are colorized. One of the problems with the detailed photographs is that due to the cueing in and enlarging one particular area of the main photograph and focusing on it causes the photographs to be blurry and not very clear. It is a nice touch however it does take away from the photograph. Personally I would have liked to have seen additional photographs as opposed to the detailed photographs. There are, however twelve photographs that do not have an accompanying detailed photograph with it.

The majority of the photographs are nice clear, centered and focused images, however there are a few that have an out of focus look to them and some appear to be too dark. I have seen several military photographs that have this look to them so maybe that is just typical. I do know that several military photographs are actually stills taken from video so that could be one reason. With that said the quality of the blurry photographs is of no fault of the author and do not take anything away from the book. I haven’t seen a majority of the featured photographs before and I was pleased with this. I definitely consider that a bonus as it is nice to have a reference book that contains several lesser known photographs as opposed to the same old over used photographs that many books tend to contain.

The Captions: There are no captions accompanying the photographs other than just a basic description of where the photograph was taken with some of the photographs. These small captions amount to descriptions such as, Guam, July 21-August 11, 1944 and Okinawa April 15 – June 22, 1945. I did notice that some of the captions had incorrect dates on them in the form of the years. Some of the captions would state New Britain, December 26, 1944 – April 1944 and another would state New Britain, December 26, 1943 – April 1944. To me it is very obvious that you cannot go from December 1944 to April 1944. These are mistakes that should have easily been detected and corrected due to the fact that there is very little other text within the book. I know that the main focus of the book is the photographs however I would have liked to have seen more detailed captions focusing on things such as uniforms and weapons. I feel that this would be of use to readers that are not that familiar with World War II era weapons, equipment and uniforms.

The captions describe the photographs as having been taken in the following areas:

- Roi Island, Kwajalein Atoll
- New Britain
- Guam
- Bougainville
- Tarawa
- Guadalcanal
- Okinawa
- Peleliu
- Tinian
- Eniwetok Atoll


All in all I am pleased with the book. The photographs contained in the book show and detail the U.S. Marines in combat during World War II well. The book will prove to be very useful to the U.S. Marine and military historian as well as the World War II diorama and scale figure modeler.

The Second World War
A Complete History
Martin Gilbert
Henry Holt and Company, Inc.

Decisive Battles of World War II
Edited by Brigadier Peter Young
Bison Books LTD

World War II Day by Day
An Illustrated Almanac 1939-1945
Donald Sommerville
Dorset press

The Military History of World War II
Consultant Editor: Barrie Pitt
The Military Press

World War II
Ronald Heiferman
Octopus Books Limited

The Second World War
Martin Gilbert
Owl Books
Highs: Very nice photographs.
Lows: The repeated detailed accompanying photographs. The lack of detailed captions. Conflicting dates with the photographs.
Verdict: This is a very nice book that contains many interesting photographs. This will make a nice addition to anyone’s personal reference library and will also be a benefit to the U.S. Marine and military historian, WWII diorama and scale modeler.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 978-1-84908-538-0
  Suggested Retail: $40.00 US/$45.00 CAN/£30.
  PUBLISHED: Dec 16, 2011
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Osprey Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Randy L Harvey (HARV)

I have been in the modeling hobby off and on since my youth. I build mostly 1/35 scale. However I work in other scales for aircraft, ships and the occasional civilian car kit. I also kit bash and scratch-build when the mood strikes. I mainly model WWI and WWII figures, armor, vehic...

Copyright ©2021 text by Randy L Harvey [ HARV ]. All rights reserved.


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