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Anglo-centric view of history

It frustrates me that so much material for this hobby is biased towards English-speaking nations. Although I belong to one of those nations, I would love to know more about other nations history. The Osprey books seem to be the best in the world, but they obviously have far more titles on British and American subjects. So we have 2 on the Brits in the Crimean War, and 2 on the Russians, plus some overlaps from other books, but nothing on the French, Turks and Sardinians.

Same with figures. British and American companies favour their own histories. Now we have some Russian and Ukrainian producers they favour their own, thankfully, but there are many countries that have no producer and little representation. Thank goodness for Caesar - otherwise Asia would almost be completely ignored except where it fought the West.

What we need is producers to appear in India, Australia, South America, Africa and all those other places which are so poorly covered.

Re: Anglo-centric view of history

Hi Jon,

I absolutely support your point! A lot of history that we know is from western sources. So a lot of available figures on the market are for the better known wars.

I would like to get more stuff from other continents, colonial wars without the British, Asian wars, wars of Turkey in the east and especially for Strelets all this Russo-Turkish wars.

The problem is that if you don't have enough historic knowledge, maybe exotic figures would not be interesting for a lot of collectors.


Re: Anglo-centric view of history

Just a few notes:

The titles about nonwestern warfare are less numerous and sometimes very unaccurate. For example the Stephen Turnbulls book The Hussite Wars is a little catastrophe - and the ilustrations perhaps greater (I know that long years ago, during the communist regime, some czech historians wanted to write this book for Osprey, but they cannot). One specialist on Russian army wrote about the Osprey MAA books about Russian army in Napoleonic wars that he leaved them to his friends for free becouse of their unreliableness. Or the title of book Austro-Hungarian Army of the Seven Years War - when Austro-Hungarian monarchy was founded in 1867? :) I think that the western publishers are a little afraid tu put for example east-european names on their books. And so the books are written by authors with little competence.

This is a great problem with deeper reasons. Its only logical that the main focus in western world is given to its own history. And its really good that the number of books about other areas is growing (Osprey is one of such poblishers). The problem is with authors. And about Africa, Asia and others? Thanks to globalisation just a matter of time :)

With greetings from Czech republic Paboook

P.S. I was writing about popular history, not scientific.

Re: Re: Anglo-centric view of history

I would not take Osprey as serious researched history... There are some good ones but a lot of them - mostly the elder ones - are sometimes wrong or have mistakes in them. It is often a matter of sources.

Turnbull wrote an interesting book about the Japanese invasion of Korea 1592. He is a specialist on Japanese history and we should forget the Hussite book.

When I am talking about books I think about huge volumes, not just overfews of a subject.

100 years before books from other countries were often translated into French and German, so I have a lot of stuff written by Russians. Today we have mostly British or American authors. On the other hands I have a lot of exotic and - sadly - expensive books written by non-Anglo authors. The problem is only sometimes the political point of few which shines through the writing.

And the really good books all over the world are not going to be translated. I think about Roumanian sources for 1878, French material for Indochina 1885 etc.


Re: Re: Re: Anglo-centric view of history

Certainly while Osprey is a great series they are not always accurate, but then information should never be taken from only 1 source anyway. What we need is something similar from other countries. I know there is a similar series in Italian (EMI) and one in Spanish (Guerreros Y Batallas), while I have heard about one in Russian (ACT), although some of these are just reprinted Ospreys. Is there something of the like in French, German or some other language? That way we would get better coverage from real experts.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Anglo-centric view of history

There are some very nice books of ACT on the uniforms of the Russian Civil War and the Russian units within the Wehrmacht. The plates are very nice, but being unable to read or write in Russian I cannot tell you anything about quality of the text.
There is a very nice series of books on Bulgarian uniforms written in English by Alexander Vachkov. You can get them on ebay. They are quiet nice (although there are some language problems) and the colour plates are just great.
The Roumanian National Army Museum started to publish Osprey-style books on Roumanian military history. I was able to obtain one of these books and it was done by an author who has already worked for Osprey (Serbanescu).
Even the Portugese have small books that resemble the ones of Opsrey. I spent some time in Lisbon and was able to get two of them. They are about the Portugese Army in the Napoleonic Wars and about Portugal's wars in Africa in the 70s. The are really nice.
There is no real Osprey clone in Germany. Though they have started to publish some Osprey titles in German, there is no real "German version" of these kind of books. The only thing that I found that comes close to the Opsrey-style were some books on the Saxon army from about 1700 until 1918.

Regards Frank

Re: Re: Re: Anglo-centric view of history

I wasnt trying to slag Osprey. They are great, but ANY book can be wrong in some regard, and Osprey are no better or worse than anyone else.

I like their format and accessibility, but of course in so few pages the subject cannot be covered in great depth. I am interested in all history, so I will simply not live long enough to study all of it in depth. Osprey are a great start, and if I want to know more I can seek out more weight research.

The point was made further down that Osprey is popular history, which is why they have made so many titles. I will check out the ACT, Bulgarian, Romanian ad Portuguese titles mentioned - thanks guys!

Re: Re: Anglo-centric view of history


I have to support the osprey author in one thing.
Since 1711, when the Hungarian war of endependence (organized by Rakoczi) finished, the official name of the country was 'Austrian Empire and Hungarian Kingdom'. Name of the army could be Austro-Hungarian. Otherwise, there was 2 kind of style of uniform for the line infantry, the 'German' and 'Hunagrian', however it didn't determind the nationality of the soldiers.
You are right, after 1867 the name of the country was Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.


Re: Anglo-centric view of history

I don't think people should knock Osprey so much -- clearly their material has improved with the end of the Cold War and the opening of archival material in formerly Communist and non-Western countries, as well as the ability of authors and researchers to collaborate more easily across borders. Frankly, I like to peruse their older titles for the novelty and sentiment, but trust the newer materials more in terms of accuracy!

Re: Re: Anglo-centric view of history- You think that's bad?

Try teaching world history to high school kids. The texts are 99% Euro and Anglo centric.

In my high school

I am taking Advanced Placement World History, and they have a rule that they can only spend less then 30% of the curriculem discussing the acomplishments of caucasian civilizations. i find this rediculous, and part of the reason that we never actually learn about wars, just the causes and effects. For example, instead of learning about WW1 we learned how it effected the Ottomans and instead of learning about Victorian England we learned about how England effected Africa.

Re: In my high school

It would have made so much more sense if they had taught about the dangers of entangling alliances and the disasterous egos of autocrats and generals.

Spandaus trump elan every time, no matter what Joffre thought.

Your theory is Quite Laughable

If the English speaking nations are supposedly getting all the airplay when it comes to Books and Merchandising of military items, answer me this.....

When it comes to World War II, why is it that books and figures based on the Germans Forces outnumber all other subjects 2 to 1 ? The ratio of German plastic figures far outnumber the Yanks & Brits as well.

When it comes to the Napoleonic Wars, most books and figure makers focus mainly on the French. The ratio of French figures to British ones are over 3 to 1.

If your theory is correct than why are there no plastic units on the market representing the Americans or British in the War of 1812 ???

If you look at all the written materials and military figures made of either plastic of metal over the years, you will most likely find that less than half are based on the Americans & British.

PSR Statistics state otherwise

Of the current & upcoming HO plastic figures on the market, Plastic Soldier Review has listed.....


French......66 current, 11 future
British.......35 current, 5 Future


German......73 current, 12 future
British.........33 current, 1 future
American....24 current,3 future

Re: PSR Statistics state otherwise

I am not talking about Plastic figures but about historical correctness!

We lost the topic we had in the beginning. We started not talking about numbers of books, but about the quality. All the booklets you spoke about are in Osprey-style. You will never get enough deep researched information if you read a 48 page booklet with around 35.000 words.

I have all the Osprey books as I have a lot of booklets from other nations too. I like the books and they give good information. But they are not always right in their oppinion.

So if you are really in historical research you have to read dozens of books about a subject to find - if possible - the truth.

Ok, maybe I am a freak in this, but I see myself first as a historian and then a figure collector. I take the figures to built dioramas and show what happened. This is how I see the hobby.

Hey Frank, this Roumanian magazine you mentioned, have you a link for it? I have some Bulgarian booklets partly with English text. It is very difficult to find uniform-stuff for the Balkan countries in Germany, so this would be something
very interesting for me!


Re: Re: PSR Statistics state otherwise

Hello Uwe,

maybe the following links might help you:

I got my copy on ebay. If you are looking for the following book on Roumanian uniforms: Uniformele Armatei Romane, you should try this address:

And here a link for some nice pictures of Bulgarian uniforms:

Best wishes,


Re: Re: Re: PSR Statistics state otherwise

Hi Frank,

many thanks for the tip. I will try to find the first book of the Roumanian series.

And this Kuban book shop looks very interesting!


Re: Re: Re: Re: PSR Statistics state otherwise

Hi Uwe,

I am happy that i was able to help you.
As you and other mebers of this forum seem to be interested in Eastern European countries here is another nice link on Serbian uniforms:

The pictures on this web-page are taken from a Serbian book which is quite hard to get.


Re: Re: PSR Statistics state otherwise


You are not a freak at all."Real experts" rarely write for series such as Osprey. They write scholarly books and articles for scholarly journals. Who's SERIOUSLY interested in knowing EVERYTHING about a specific subject will go to the library and read through what he can find. And if those books and articles are written in foreign languages, he will make an effort and try to learn as much as is needed to understand.


Re: Re: Re: PSR Statistics state otherwise

Hi Pol,

I absolutely aggree. For example at the moment I am searching for information about the KNIL (Royal Dutch Colonial army) in Indonesia. A very interesting subject and I visited the Dutch colonial museum in Arnhem. They have really good stuff there.

So I am always after new subjects but I fear most of them will never be released as figures. On the other hand in 25/28mm nearly everything is available, so maybe the time will come for 1/72 to reach this level too?

I started learning French and I am thinking of Spanish too because of doing real research from both sides.

Ok, Chinese could be a little bit difficult, so the Boxer Rebellion or Taiping could be get a little bit one-sided


Two Words


Re: Two Words

simple economics.

I help design and illustrate archaeological books and they are expensive things to make.

Someone could produce books on a minor or more obscure subject, but the saleability goes down. So if you can only guarantee a few hundreds copies being sold, then the book will cost £50+, if you want lots of colour plates then we are talking hundreds of pounds per book. (look at Elting)

What Osprey and Tempus do as publishers is try to stick to popular topics (though credit to them they are pushing this more and more), they have a multi national sales base, which means they can guarantee thousands of sales and thus have a massive print run which pushes the cost down, and thus the price of each volume- hence tempus's/Ospreys retailing at £10-£20 each.

I suspect Osprey are able to branch out more subject wise, because they now have a broad reader base which means they are more likely to reach the people who want obscure titles, and others who now like the range and read the catologue and try different subjects because of the Osprey franchise.

They may not be the best in th world agreed, but there are few who are trying and mnaking it work so credit for that.

"Popular topics"

"Popular topics", what's that? A friend of mine once asked Osprey to finally publish a number of titles on the Spanish and Dutch armies and navies of the 16th to 18th centuries rather than on each and every minor US dog unit or publish another dozen books under different headings on always the same heroic Brit feats. Their answer: If those armies (the Spanish and Dutch) should turn out to have been relevant for military history, Osprey will think about it.


So, according to Osprey, those armies are completely irrelevant for military history. And, of course, there would not be enough readers interested in such titles! (Let's not talk about the negligible fact that alone in the US there are lots of Hispanics and citizens of Dutch origin who would be very much interested. I think there's even at least one non-Hispanic reader who'd be interested in such titles. I think his name is "Bill", or something like that... ).

Well, that's what I call anglo-centric.

Re: "Popular topics"

popular topics are ones that sell thousands- i.e WW2 Roman, and Napoleonic. And yes that also means they will concentrate on America, England, France, Germany etc. They are primarily trying to make money, not fight for the underplayed role of certain nations in history- like the place of the croatian military in the napoleonic wars. (Its not fair, and I wish they would too, but they rarely will)

Anyone is welcome to set up a book company and try. BUM clearly feel strongly about doing this with their models, look at their napoleonic future releases:

BUM - War of Independence - Catalonian Somatens

BUM - War of Independence - Cazadores of Catalonia

BUM - War of Independence - Barcelona Volunteers

BUM - War of Independence - Catalonia Legion Infantry

BUM - War of Independence - Catalonia Legion Cavalry

BUM - War of Independence - Garrochistas of Bailen

BUM - War of Independence - Almansa Dragoons

They are passionate about their country and doing something about it- and good luck to them! I'll have some for one to fight alongside my brits.

I'm not saying its right that things are so anglo-centric, in terms of production of books etc, or in terms of the view and study of history.

But I am interested in my countries history and so am part of the process that studies/produces books on it. If you feel the same about yours then I say get out there and do it, I'll almost certainly read and or buy it.


Re: Anglo-centric view of history

Look the fact is that Osprey and and other publishers are there to first and foremost make a profit. Without profits company's go out of business. I'm sure that these company's have reserched into what will and will not sell, there jobs depend on knowing such insights. Anglo-centric books sell, and because they keep producing them obviously sell very well. It's like the figure companys Napoleonics, ancients and 20th century figures sell, so that is what gets produced by the bucketfull, and the odd set here and there is produced to appease those who want something a little different. It's not about bias or historical superiority it's about profits , sad but true I'm afraid

Re: Re: Anglo-centric view of history

Sorry Noel I appear to have duplicated what you rightfully said/posted whilst I was still typing- couldn't agree more!

Re: Anglo-centric view of history

Adam, Great minds think alike LOL

Re: Re: Anglo-centric view of history

for a long time, there was a great deal of respect for english scholars and academia. i still think their historians are first rate, (Keating, Taylor, etc.) as are their essayists. (Huxley, Orwell, etc.) this is not to say that other countries have not produced great historians. and the english do have a knack for translating murky heavy subjects into an easily digestible form, such as the osprey books. anyway, any historian who's truly objective about his or her subject will provide a worthy study of a subject. by the way i missed you guys, been out for weeks with a kidney stone.

Re: Re: Re: Anglo-centric view of history

I always thought of Osprey as an introduction to the subject, rather than the last word. There pictures are nice, even if not always accurate.


Daj si pivo kolega!Vraj rozpusta solne kamene.
Skore uzdravenie mojemu ceskemu bratovy praje Palo.

Maj sa!

Re: Re: Re: Re: DAJ SI PIVO

Pivo pozivam pravidelne ;) Zdravim :)

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: DAJ SI PIVO

Ja uz 6 rokov planujem ist domov dat si dobre ceske capovane pivo KOZEL-tu v USA ho nemaju-tak pijem PLZENSKE!No hlavne pred tym ked pojdem do Afganistanu-Tak si dam ho viacej nez treba!Lebo v sluzbe nebudem mohol si dat!

Re: Re: Re: Re: DAJ SI PIVO

Czy panie macie zimne piwo? Na zdrowie!


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: DAJ SI PIVO

Tak mame zimne piwo.A co pani pije?Okocin?Ziwiec?Ja pije i polskie,ceskie i slowackie pivo-wszistko smakuje.

Na zdrowie!


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: DAJ SI PIVO

It's starting to look like the haron forum here more and more. And that's not a good thing.

Met al die mensen die stiekum in hun eigen taal gaan praten zodat je niet weet wie of wat ze aan het beledigen zijn. En da's misschien maar beter ook:)

You get the picture

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Joachim

Dear Joachim

I see you are from Holand and unfortunatly I don't speak your language I wish I could but I can't.As my grandfather is polish and I'm from slovakia-I use any oportunity to talk In these languages.My grandfather is polish and he forgot to talk in polish because he wasn't using it.I don't wanna to forget.

I'm serving in so I don't have much time to talk in Czech,Slovak Polish and Russian.It never bothered me that for exemple sites najemo-they talk mostly in german,soldatiny in italian...and so on.I can only regret that I don't speak these languages-but I'm not going to force somebody to not to talk in thers native tongue.If I had Russian azbuka on my kaybord I would use it but only to talk to Russian speaking people.I can write it in latine which is quait different.I'm not going to talk to you these languages because I know you are not speaking them.And I have liked haron site because it was in russian also that doesen't mean that evrybody speak english-I couldn't speak it 6-7 years ago!Fredom of speach but I'm not disrespecting anybody here-I don't mind that you talking in your language-But I'm sorry I can only reply in english to you!And The best way I can.

So what are you saying that I'm not aloved to use slavic languages on any forum?These are my roots my slavic ancestors have passed to me.And I'm realy realy sorry thath I'm not dutchmen-So please accept my apologies.

By the way can anybody explain to me in Russian,Polish Czek or Slovakian what is RESIN? what kind of meterial it is?It is easy to break-or it is flexible?Thanks in advance!

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Joachim

hello Pavol,I will try to answer you,resin is a 2component material made by-1-a mass,2-a hardener.till they are separated, no one of those component can "dry,",but if you mixt them,they become "hard" into 3 is also called "polyester"and it is frequently used in car or boat becomes hard,but the more thinner ,the more fragile!it all depends on which use you want to manage them.I frequently use them to reproduce soldiers , ammo boxes or barrels for exemple

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Andries

Thanks Andries!

Now I know Thanks to you-very good explaination inded
Dank u veel[dutch-flamesh]
I know that you in belgium speak 3 languges so I wanna to make sure thath I will thank you in your language]
Best regards!

Dear M. Palansky

M. Palansky-Switching languages can be an indication that the writer doesn't have adequate fluency in the intial language to express his thoughts or to understand the thoughts expressed by others. It can also, unfortunately, be an attempt by the person switiching languages to talk about the other posters behind their backs. Having minimal knowledge of Slavic languages I wan't able to follow what you were saying, but like most here I assumed that you were in the first catagory. Peace.

Re: Dear M. Palansky

Hi,Bill.Just call me Pavol-Mr.Palansky is sounds too formal.
Where are you from?Usa?

Best regards!

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Joachim

czesc Palo resin to po polsku zywica.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Joachim

stredo slovenski-kraj ?

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To Hank

No,eastern part[Nie-Vychodoslovensky kraj]
Do you know anybody over there?[poznas tam niekoho?]

Take care![maj sa]


Re: To Hank, Czech/slovaks are cool

Rozumie cie Palo, No its the only Czech/Slovak I know. Just trying to communicate say hi, in a friendly manner.maj sa, Palo

Re: Re: To Hank, Czech/slovaks are cool

Thanks Hank!
Where do you live now?In usa?Usa is my adoptive country.

Take care my friend!

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Jakub!

czesc Jakub!
Dzienkuje bardzo juz rozumie.
To ja sie dziwilem ze robia zolnirzuv ze zywice-Ja myslalem ze to guma!
Wibacz popolsky rozmaviam swietne no pisac szie po polski neucilem-muj dzadek newie pisac!

Pozdraviam prziaczelu!Mam nadzeje ze mne zrozumialesz.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Jakub!

rozumie cie Palo doskonale przez kilka miesiecy w Irlandii mieszkalem ze slowakami. bardzo fajne chlopaki (gardla glebokie) i dziewczyny ... a i bardzo ladne tez(dziewczyny oczywiscie). jestes modelarzem czy tez przypadkowo znalazles sie na tym forum?

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Jakub!

Czesc Jakub!
ja jestem v stanach-tutaj percentualne to najladnejsie polki.Jak bilem v Bagdade to spotkalem polscich zolnierzuw lato 2005[Mam zjenca-jak chces to czy wisle]Patrzilem szie na hat evrethyng page-zobaczilem twoje imje-widze ze potrafisz malowacz.
Ja lubje historiu[military history]-wszistko-rzimanuw tez-co czebie interesuje?
Nie juz dlugo jestem tutaj[na strelets-forum] no pisacz po engelsky newiedzalem-to tutaj w stanach[Mieszkam v New york-u]sie nauczilem gadac po engelski-v armii mne pisacz nenauczily-tilko godacz sie nauczilem.
No to naraze

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Jakub!

hey Palo
pisz do mnie na priva jesli masz ochote

moje figurki mozesz tez zobaczyc tez tutaj na strelcu i w paru innych miejscach.
lubie antyk i średniowiecze.