Book Review
Orde Wingate
  • move

by: Randy L Harvey [ HARV ]


This is a review of the Osprey Publishing LTD book Orde Wingate by author Jon Diamond and illustrator Peter Dennis.



** Orde Wingate was one of the most influential and controversial commanders of World War II. His innovative use of long-range penetration in Africa and then Burma proved highly significant in the development of post-war special forces and other elite units. However, his methods and abrasive character made him intensely unpopular with many of his commanding officers and contemporaries, and his reputation has suffered as a result. This new study examines how Wingate developed his ideas, based around the indirect approach, in the interwar conflicts in the Sudan and Palestine, before going on to put them into practice in Ethiopia and, finally, with the Chindits in Burma where he met his death. **

** Quoted from the back cover of the book.


Osprey Publications Ltd has released Orde Wingate as Number 20 in their Command series. It is a paperback book with 64 pages. Included with the text are black and white photographs, colour illustrations, colour maps, an informational chart and detailed captions. It has a 2012 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-84908-323-2. As the title states, the book covers the background, strategies, tactics and battlefield experiences of Albert Kesselring during his military career.

the contents

- Introduction
- The early years
- Military life
- Hour of destiny
- Opposing commanders
- Inside the mind
- When war is done
- A life in words
- Select bibliography
- Index

the text

The text in the book is well written and gives a detailed account of the military career of Orde Wingate and various military actions and campaigns with which he was involved. Jon Diamond has gone to great lengths to research Orde Wingate and provides detailed coverage of his military career prior to and during World War II. The text and the captions accompanying photographs are well written and detailed on all counts. As well as discussing Orde Wingate, Jon Diamond discusses several other areas such as Operations Longcloth and Thursday, Allied commanders, and other such items of interest. Anyone interested in the military career of Orde Wingate will find this book very informative and interesting and a worthwhile read. The book didnít contain any spelling or grammar errors that I could find as I read through it. 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. I feel that if the text is well written then it shows that the author has taken the time to be a professional with their writing. Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the text for yourself.

the photographs

There are a total of 42 black and white photographs included in this volume. There are no colour photographs featured. The photographs of Orde Wingate and all of the other photographs are from prior to and during World War II. Several of the photographs are close ups of Orde Wingate and other military commanders in propaganda type settings, conference scenes and other such settings. There are also in-action photographs of different subject as such as Indian troops advancing through an Eritrean village, men of the Kingís African Rifles (KAR) stacking captured Italian weapons, Chindits crossing a river in Burma, Chindit sappers placing demolition charges on railway tracks, an RAF transport parachuting supplies, a Burmese railway bridge exploding from Chindit charges, a Waco glider landing, an US Army bulldozer and scraper building a runway and wounded being loaded into a L5 light aircraft. The majority of the featured photographs are very nice and will help the military diorama modeller as well as the military figure modeller as they show several different uniforms styles and also show individual sidearm choices as well as the ranks and decorations. Jon Diamond has chosen photographs that are specific to Orde Wingate and his military career and not just random World War II military photographs of the period. One thing I did notice is that not all of the photographs and accompanying captions are in a correct chronological order.

Some of the various aircraft, vehicles and equipment shown are:

- Waco gliders
- Dakota transport aircraft
- US Army bulldozer and scraper
- American L5 liaison aircraft
- Trucks and a staff car
- Ethiopian camel troops moving supplies with a camel pack train
Some of the various allied commanders and other people of interest shown are:

- General William Slim
- General Sir Archibald Wavell
- Abyssinian guerrilla Patriot leader Ras Garussa
- General Sir Alan Cunningham
- Emperor Haile Selassie
- Brigadier Daniel Sandford
- General Sir Claude Auchinleck
- Major Bernard Fergusson
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 by illustrator Peter Dennis that are very well done and nicely detailed. 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:

- Special Night Squad (SNS) operation north of Ein Harod, 11 June 1938
- Railroad bridge demolition by Calvertís Column 3 at Nankan, Operation Longcloth, 6 March 1943
- Unloading gliders for airstrip construction following the landings at Broadway during Operation Thursday, march 1944

the maps

There are five colour maps included in this volume that are well done, nicely detailed and are of:

- Wingateís area of operations in the Sudan
- Wingateís area of operations in the Palestine
- Wingateís area of operations in Ethiopia during the East Africa campaign
- Wingateís area of operations in Burma during Operation Longcloth, February 1943
- Wingateís area of operations in Burma during Operation Thursday, March 1944
Please refer to the scan that I have provided so that you can judge the quality of the maps for yourself.

the charts

There is one informational chart provided that shows:

- Key to military symbols and to unit identification

the captions:

The captions are well written and are very detailed and explain the accompanying photographs in great detail eliminating any doubt as to what is shown and taking place. I didnít notice any spelling or grammar errors as I read through them which is a detail that is important to me. I was very impressed by Jon Diamondís captions as they are very helpful to the reader due to their detailed content as opposed to other captions I have seen that are very brief and lack detail necessary to explain the accompanying photograph. Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the captions for yourself.

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.


This is a well written book. Jon Diamond has gone to great lengths to research Orde Wingate and provides excellent coverage of his life both on and off of the battlefield as well as his life after World War II. I would have no hesitation to add other Osprey titles to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others.


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

The American Heritage Picture History of World War II
C.L. Sulzberger
American Heritage Publishing Co. Inc.

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

Take a look at the book on the Osprey web site:


Take a look inside of the book at the Amazon website:

http://www.amazon.com/Orde-Wingate-Command-Jonathan-Diamond/dp/1849083231/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356278942&sr=8-1&keywords=orde wingate

Kindle edition available at the Amazon website.


Imperial War Museums website.

Highs: Well written and detailed text and captions Detailed illustrations and photographs
Lows: Nothing to mention
Verdict: This is a very nice reference book of British Commander Orde Wingate that is well written.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 978-1-84908-323-2
  Suggested Retail:  $18.95 US
  PUBLISHED: Jan 09, 2013
  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.

View Vendor Homepage  |  More Reviews  

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.


Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move