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The Chinese People's Liberation Army since 1949: Ground Forces

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army since 1949: Ground Forces Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review January 2013 Title The Chinese People’s Liberation Army since 1949: Ground Forces
Author Benjamin Lai Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2012 ISBN 9781780960562
Format 64 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $18.95

Review

The recent spate of studies on China's muscular military continues with an excellent little handbook from Osprey.

The lavishly illustrated The Chinese People's Liberation Army since 1949: Ground Forces – part of the publisher's popular "Elite" series – tells the total tale in just 64 colorful pages.

Author Lai's treatment traces the history of PLA regular and reserve forces, the People's Armed Police, and the People's Militia.  Contents recap Chinese command levels, educational institutions, training efforts, defense industries, military regions and local forces.  Unit notes detail organization from army group to squad.  And AFVs, airborne assets, border security troops, political commissars, and even the PLA Railroad Corps make appearances.

I especially enjoyed coverage of the PLA during the 1960s and 1970s.  Now I know why Chinese infantry didn't wear protective steel or composite helmets for years!

Photos, extended captions, color plates and informative illustrations season this engaging effort.  The uniform and insignia details will certainly delight heraldry enthusiasts.  And charts, bibliography and index complete contents.

Make this timely title your introduction to the Chinese People's Liberation Army.

Highly recommended.

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!

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