From: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
A great shame. Looking regularly at the pictures of ships, planes, tanks and maps in my dad's Purnell's History of the Second World War was one of the highlights of my pre-teen years (I was a young boy, I didn't actually read like the words and stuff ).
It helped that I was an avid Airfix modeller too - and even though we couldn't afford many models to make, there was always poring over the catalogue
Ahh...Purnell's History of the Second World War. I didn't discover them until my late teens, when I was able to pick virtually every copy up, and the later special editions, for a song from a second hand book shop. As a result, I did actually read the words and stuff They still stand up really well, except the Russian stuff is infected with Cold War Commie nonsense.
It was from an era where they assumed you know what's going on and weren't afraid to go into detail. The classic 70s documentary, The Secret War (which I managed to download) is in the same vein. It's really fast paced and thorough. Many modern WW2 (and WW1) documentaries have to hold your hand and explain that long ago there was a big war...
Re pouring over the catalogues; my younger brother and I loved that too. In a pre-internet age it was often a way to discover new military hardware. I can remember discovering the Mig 29 Fulcrum in one and thinking..."That must be a new Soviet fighter! And it looks sick!"