Wireless for the Warrior Volume 2 Book Review

Last year we reviewed the first volume of Wireless for the Warrior and at the time I noted that whilst it gave a good overview of different radio sets in use by British and Commonwealth troops, it did not have details of the most common sets as these were covered separately in more detail in the second volume. Since writing that review, I have managed to add the second volume of the book to my library, it having recently been reprinted by the publisher. The first thing that strikes you when the book arrives is its size; it is twice the length of the first volume and in hardback is a substantial book.

The book covers the most common radio sets in service during the Second World War and as well as the expected 18, 19 and 38 sets it also covers the less common sets that were still on general issue such as the 22 and 62 sets. Each radio has a section devoted to it and includes a general description as well as detailed information on specifications. The book is packed with Illustrations, both photographs of the radios themselves, but also electrical diagrams of the internal components, diagrams showing how they were fitted inside vehicles, reprints of operators instructions and details of the accessories that accompanied each radio. Extensive lists also help identify what radio an accessory could be used for- invaluable if you have one of the seemingly myriad range of different British microphones for instance!

As well as covering British manufacture, the book also details those radios produced in Canada, Australia and the USA to Commonwealth standards and includes details of the differences between these and the standard British versions where appropriate. The book is excellent and has a wealth of helpful information, my only criticism is that it is very technically heavy at the expense of history and context sometimes. It would be nice to have a bit more information on the use of the radios, their limitations and how they were tactically deployed and a few less circuit diagrams, but I suspect the book was written as much for the radio enthusiast, to help him maintain his radio, as it was for the collector and World War II enthusiast.

The book is dense, although the pictures and illustration help relieve this, and should be regarded more as a reference book to go into to find specific information rather than a book you sit and read cover to cover. It has proved invaluable to me so far in writing the blog posts on the WS19 and WS38 Mk III radios we looked at earlier this year so if you have an interest in British radios of the Second World War it is the essential tome. It is also surprisingly reasonably priced at £48.95 and available now from Electron Publishing here.

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