Book Review
Love, Tommy
Love, Tommy – Letters Home, from the Great War to the Present Day
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by: Randy L Harvey [ HARV ]


This is a review of the Osprey Publishing LTD book Love, Tommy – Letters Home, from the Great War to the Present Day by author Andrew Roberts in association with Imperial War Museums.

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**Over the last 100 years the Imperial War Museum has been gathering together a collection a collection of tens of thousands of letters and archives from British and Commonwealth troops serving in the front line, in conflicts from the First World War through to the ongoing war in Afghanistan. Revealing the most intimate details of the lives of these soldiers, this collection uncovers the startling similarities between the men fighting in the muddy trenches of the Somme, yomping across the frozen ground of the Falklands and carefully picking their way through the heat and dust of Afghan wadis. **

** Love, Tommy is a selection of some of the most emotive of these letters. Correspondence of love, hope, and fear sit alongside amusing anecdotes, grumbles about rations and thoughtful reflections, all of which eloquently reveal how, despite the passage of time, many experiences of fighting men are shared in countless wars and battles. **

** Quoted from the book’s dust jacket.

Osprey Publications Ltd has released Love, Tommy – Letters Home, from the Great War to the Present Day as a hardback book with 256 pages and comes with a paper dust jacket. Included with the text are black and white and color photographs, color illustrations and detailed captions. It has a 2012 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-84908-791-9. As the title states the book examines and discusses letters written home from the front lines since World War I to present day by the soldiers serving there.

the contents

The First World War
The Second World War
Modern Warfare

the text

Ian Gardner covers the time frames from World War I to present day with the letters he has provided copies of. The military historian and enthusiast will appreciate this well written volume. Ian Gardner provides text with the letters that provides information such as the name of the letter writer, a brief history describing the situation, area, conflict, etc. that the letter writer was in. The text that the author has provided helps place the reader in time and area that helps paint a mental picture to better help the reader associate with the letter writer and what is being described in the letter. The text is well written and extremely detailed and I didn’t notice any spelling or grammar errors as I read through the book other than those in the original letters which are no fault of the author as he is simply providing letters from the past. Anyone wanting to add an excellent history book that covers several decades of warfare to their military library will be pleased with this book. Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the text as well as the types of letters contained for yourself.

the photographs

There are a total of 31 black and white photographs and six colour photographs featured in this volume. The photographs are what I refer to as period specific. As with most military photographs from the various time frames the majority of them are nice clear, centered and focused images, however, as I usually point out in other reviews, there are a few that have an out of focus look to them and some appear to be too dark and some also appear to be too light. Most of the featured photographs are lesser known from the event and not the same overused and well known photographs that tend to be the basic staple for some volumes on the subject. I definitely consider that a bonus as it is nice to have a reference book that contains several lesser known photographs. The photographs range from posed scenes to action scenes.

As with many photographs, they tell the untold story that each individual can see for themselves upon viewing them. The photographs help provide an image of the time frame discussed and also put a face to the name of some of the individuals whose letters are examined. On another note the photographs will not be of much to the scale modeller as the photographs are provided to show the different times frames discussed. The exceptions to this are the photographs of the various uniforms which will be a definite benefit to the scale figure modeller due to the retails that they contain. Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the photographs for yourself.

the illustrations

There are three colour illustrations provided in this volume and are contained within the pages of the photographs. As with the photographs, the illustrations come with well written captions that provide detailed information about each illustration. Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the illustrations for yourself.

The colour illustrations are of the following:
- The first tank attack during World War I
- Receiving mail in a billet during World War I
- The Withdrawal from Dunkirk, June 1940
the captions

The captions are well written and explain the accompanying photographs well. They go into detail discussing things such as specific individuals, specific locations and dates. As I read through the captions I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors. Grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings. The captions can be brief in some instances but still provide pertinent information as to what is shown in the photograph.
the maps

There are no maps included in this volume. Personally I would have liked to have seen some basic maps showing the areas where the letter writers were located.

informational charts

There are no informational charts included in this volume.


All in all I am very impressed with the book. This is a well written historical book that contains many excellent samples of war time correspondence as well as nice photographs and well detailed captions. It details letters written home from the front lines from World War I to present day very well. I would have no hesitation to add other Osprey titles to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others as it will be a welcome addition to one’s personal military reference library.

This book was provided to me by Osprey Publishing Ltd. Please be sure to mention that you saw the book reviewed here when you make your purchase.


You can take a look at the inside of this book at the Osprey website:

You can take a look at the inside of this book at the Amazon website:
http://www.amazon.com/Love-Tommy-Letters-Great-Present/dp/1849087911/ref=sr_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1350702638&sr=1-1&keywords=Love, Tommy: Letters Home, from the Great War to the Present Day

This book is also available as a Kindle Edition:
http://www.amazon.com/Love-Tommy-Letters-Present-ebook/dp/B008WNXHDE/ref=sr_1_1_title_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1350702638&sr=1-1&keywords=Love, Tommy: Letters Home, from the Great War to the Present Day

Imperial War Museum’s web site:
Highs: Well written text and captions Nice relevant photographs
Lows: None to really note
Verdict: This is a very nice reference book that is well researched and written and it details letters written home from the front lines from World War I to present day very well.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 978-1-84908-791-9
  Suggested Retail: $25.95 US
  PUBLISHED: Nov 03, 2012
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

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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