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Cameras at War (Paperback)

Photo Gear that Captured 100 Years of Conflict – From Crimea to Korea

Military > Post-WWII Warfare > Korean War Military > Pre-WWI > Crimean War P&S History > By Century > 19th Century P&S History > By Century > 20th Century Photographic Books

By John Wade
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 272
Illustrations: 260 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526760104
Published: 21st July 2020
Last Released: 6th October 2022



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Books about war and the pictures that came out of conflict usually concentrate on the picture content. But behind every picture there is a camera – and that’s what this book is about. Profusely illustrated throughout with pictures of the cameras, rather than the pictures they took, it looks at 100 years of conflict from the Crimean War to the Korean War. It begins in the days when a photographer needed to be more of a scientist than an artist, such were the difficulties of shooting and processing any photograph. It ends with the cameras whose compact dimensions, versatility and ease of use meant that photographers could largely forget the science and concentrate on the art. Some cameras simply recorded events. Others defined and changed the way those events proceeded. These were the cameras that went to war, and this is their story.

If cameras and military history is your thing, then this is the book for you.

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Gallipoli Association

Interesting and useful documentation with a special reserved position in my library.

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Miniaturas JM

Whether you can trust an enthusiast's review of such a thing, I don't know, but as I guess I'm the target market and I've just read it in a morning (while smugly noting the mentioned models I possess... as you do) & will definitely refer to it again, then I think it's probably hit its mark.

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WW2 Talk

This book is a comprehensive study of 100 years of development and use of cameras to record conflict and to support military operations. The development of combat photography during 100 years of conflict is impressive, with the quality of resilient film stock supported a rapid expansion of war photography. – Most Highly Recommended

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... an interesting book.

The Armourer, January 2021

Review by Martyn Boyd

A thoroughly enjoyable and informative book. Full of technical details about the cameras but not in an overly dry, text book way. Personally I’d have liked to know more about certain of the cameras, how they were deployed etc but that’s for my further reading. It’s a very good comprehensive account of the subject and I recommend it.

Ulster Aviation Society

As a keen military historian and photographer I found this fascinating on so many counts. It doesn't bring the story right up to the present day but I think it is helpful to look back over the 100 years of camera development between the Crimean and Korean Wars.

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Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

The best of this month’s Hertfordshire-linked books and book news

Hertfordshire Life, October 2020

A fascinating read that I got through in no time at all. If you are at all interested in some of the more obscure aspects of military history, or the history of photography, I would highly recommend this book.

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Iron Mammoth

A former editor of the UK magazine Photography, John Wade has written numerous books and articles on photographic and social history. Cameras at War contains clear and concise writing and excellent illustrations of cameras, accessories, and even vintage advertising.

Jerry Cleveland, History in Motion, September issue

This is an amazing collection of superb photograophs beginning with some from the Crimean War - coupled with a brilliant narrative that emphasises the use of photography to record conflict. Where would we be without such evidentiary mementoes?

Books Monthly

About John Wade

John Wade is a freelance writer and photographer, with more than forty years’ experience in both fields. He has written, illustrated, edited and contributed to more than thirty books, plus numerous magazine articles, for book and magazine publishers in the UK, US and Australia. His specialities are social history as well as photographic history and techniques. His most recent books include Transport Curiosities (Pen & Sword, 2022), Cameras at War (Pen & Sword, 2020); The Golden Age of Science Fiction (Pen & Sword, 2019), London Curiosities (Pen & Sword, 2017), and The Ingenious Victorians (Pen & Sword, 2016).

Perfect Partner

Transport Curiosities, 1850–1950 Weird and Wonderful Ways of Travelling by Road, Rail, Air and Sea (Hardback)

Over the years many weird and wonderful types of transport have come and gone, some of which succeeded against all odds, others that spectacularly failed, and some that never got beyond a designer’s drawing board. Railway engines driven by horses, for example. Or maybe the surprising number of cars, boats and trains driven by aeroplane propellers. In this book you will find cars that flew, cars that floated on water and boats that ran on roads; steam-powered aeroplanes, electric submarines, railways driven by pneumatic air, aircraft with flapping wings… and a whole lot more. If you are a person…

By John Wade

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