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"Achtung Schweinehund revisited" Topic

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Action Log

20 Mar 2007 4:47 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "Achtung Scheinehund revisited, 2nd attempt" to "Achtung Scheinehund revisited"

23 Jul 2007 6:01 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "Achtung Scheinehund revisited" to "Achtung Schweinehund revisited"

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Darrell B D Day20 Mar 2007 2:56 a.m. PST

There was a posting about this book when it first appeared but I haven't seen anything since. Now it's been around for a while, what's the verdict? Is it a "must-have". Is Harry Pearson a TMPer. So many questions.


Dave Wargamer20 Mar 2007 3:30 a.m. PST

I'm reading it the second time. It's a very funny but also a curiously moving account of our wargaming lives. I'd call it a must have.

It helps understand the references if you're British and over 40 but I can't imagine any wargamer not getting most of the humour. My wife enjoyed it too.

battleeditor20 Mar 2007 3:42 a.m. PST

I just returned from the Rheindahlen 2007 show, where as part of my prizegiving speech, I read a passage to the assembled throng of Brits, Germans, Dutch, Belgians, Americans, Danes and others. Both men and women, and ranging from youngsters to greyhairs, most of them gamers, but some of them not.

They all 'got' it. They all laughed out loud. Dozens of them wanted to take a flick through my copy afterwards.

It's a brilliant book. And for the few quid that Amazon are selling it for, it's a bargain for a work that I'm convinced will change people's attitudes to the hobby.

Thistledo20 Mar 2007 4:01 a.m. PST

As a British wargamer over 40 I certainly enjoyed it and had a similar progress through the hobby. Very amusing book.

Red358420 Mar 2007 4:17 a.m. PST

I'd guess the response to the book will largely be determined by age and geography.

For a 40-something British male it will almost certainly ring lots of bells…maybe less so if you are from elsewhere [although I could well be wrong…did you have Clark's Commandos abroad!?]

Personally I thought it was a great read…very funny…taught me a few things… and showed that lots of our wargaming sterotypes really do exist!!!

Darrell B D Day20 Mar 2007 4:17 a.m. PST

Sounds good. As a British Wargamer of over 60 I'll give it a try.


commissar kersey20 Mar 2007 4:54 a.m. PST

Perhaps there should be a German local issue called "Attention! Fish and chip eater!"

Grizwald20 Mar 2007 5:00 a.m. PST

Great book, but my wife and a friend were a bit upset when I read them the passage about the tortoise!

Lee Brilleaux Fezian20 Mar 2007 5:04 a.m. PST

Yes, this is a real must for wargamers. It is just laugh-out-loud stuff. I don't think you really have to be British and over 40 to get it, although I am both.

Harry has his own website at

I emailed him and he replied with appreciation for my wild acclaim of his great contribution to wargaming.

MartRobson20 Mar 2007 5:55 a.m. PST

It is top quality!

tomrommel120 Mar 2007 7:39 a.m. PST

over 40 and a German wargamer liked it very much recomended!!
Tells a story not very differnent from mine concerning wargaming that is!

Yellow Jack the Pirate20 Mar 2007 10:04 a.m. PST

Aha! I enjoyed the beginning and the end, the middle got a bit tedious. Me an' me shipmates all agree its well spending a few dubloons on.

Yellow Jack

CraigSpiel20 Mar 2007 6:21 p.m. PST

Is it available in the US yet? I am having no luck on Amazon US, and for some reason, I can't log into Amazon UK, without the PC sending an error report. Bizarre!

Big Martin21 Mar 2007 5:08 a.m. PST

As a fifty-something British wargamer this book really hit home with me.
Reading of his childhood adventures brought back the days when we used to all go over the fields and into the woods beyond playing war. When I look at the vast housing estate that now covers those fields and see the sad remains of what always seemed to us a vast, spooky forest I feel so sad. I always wanted a Johnny 7 gun as a kid but, with 2 younger brothers, my parents couldn't afford one. My best mate at school had one and I was always jealous.
Wargaming wise it was definitely been there, done that, or, in the case of hiding the cost of the figures you bought from the wife, knowing someone in our group who has.
Reading it on the bus to and from work over several days recently I couldn't stop myself laughing and I could see I got some really strange looks from other passengers.
All-in-all I recommend it highly.

Black Hat Miniatures21 Mar 2007 12:41 p.m. PST

I bought it yesterday and finished it today. It's well-written,very funny in places and rings a chord with any Uk Wargamer over 40…

Another recommendation


Lowtardog25 Mar 2007 7:39 a.m. PST

Like you mike bought it this week should finish it tonight, a very good read

Garrison Miniatures26 Mar 2007 2:08 p.m. PST

Repeat what I've said a couple of times; excellent book, buy it.

Camsell5929 Mar 2007 10:52 p.m. PST

Yes, I am a TMPer! Despite the fact that he'd already published four titles by me and all of them had been moderately successful, it took a long time to persuade my publisher to commit to publishing Achtung Schweinehund ("Who will buy it?" was his oft heard refrain). It's just been reprinted for the third time, so I guess he now has his answer. Your support has made that possible. Thanks.

VillageIdiot30 Mar 2007 1:33 p.m. PST


excellent book, I felt the years fall away, and there I was back in my mispent youth. I still remember my first real experience of a proper wargame, at the school wargaming club. A Napoleonic game featuring figures from Minifigs and Hinchcliffe, after the game I went straight to the model shop in Maidstone and bought two battalions of Minifigs Wurtemburgers!!!

These days I get to be one of those sullen traders at the wargames "exhibitions" ;-]]]

So thanks for a great read, I know its a book that I shall read a good few times.

Nigel H
Anglian Miniatures

Conrad30 Mar 2007 1:42 p.m. PST

Yes but what model of British early war tank is portrayed on the cover and if it's a Vickers Mk VI why doesn't it have the Vickers AA HMG mounted on the commander's side of the turret, and what kind of camouflage scheme is it using -

– only joking! Saw a lot of copies on sale at Triples, will probably end up buying it meself given the reviews above.

Camsell5912 Apr 2007 11:57 p.m. PST

The Tank on the cover is actually Italian but the publisher liked the image so much he stripped the markings off and stuck a union flag on it instead. The book had been out about three days when I got the first email pointing this out;-]

christot13 Apr 2007 2:41 p.m. PST

Was the e-mail from someone called Dave?

cheers chris

Fifty403 Jul 2007 4:40 p.m. PST

The cover image/Italian tank story is an excellent anecdote to introduce the future reprinted version -- captures the wargames community to a T!

By John 5404 Jul 2007 9:32 a.m. PST

The book is a cracking read, the passage about toy gun bayonet charging your dad's goolies while pumped up on sugar had me laughing so much, I swear, a little wee came out!

Trajanus05 Jul 2007 10:32 a.m. PST


I just want to know how you knew all the people I have known, yet we have never met and I have never met any of the people you knew!

Enjoyed the book immensely but can't figure out if it's a sad commentary on the human race or a positive one.

Guess its just one of those glass half full/glass half empty moments!

Jeremy Sutcliffe22 Jul 2007 11:48 a.m. PST

Following the hype – bought it and read it.

Very disapponted.

Rambling and episodic and with no cohesive structure.

Too many "in" references that would not communicate with a general audience.

Bujinman22 Jul 2007 11:02 p.m. PST

If you are a British wargamer of the 40 something variety the book is absolutely brilliant – I suspect if you didn't grow up with the things the book portrays you would find it as the poster above 'rambling and episodic' – for me it was brilliant, not the best written perhaps but had me chuckling away and saying things like 'hey I remember that' at regular intervals.

If you never ripped a branch from a tree to use as a rifle or have thrown a pine cone into a mates 'mg bunker' after sneaking up through the braken or even threw darts at those airfix models on the front lawn – then the book may be a bit of a mystery :-)

Thomas Nissvik23 Jul 2007 1:29 a.m. PST

As a Swedish wargamer under 40, I got enough of the jokes and references to make it a smashing read.

Jeremy Sutcliffe24 Jul 2007 12:02 a.m. PST

I'm a wargamer of the 60 something variety.

It started off OK but it lost its way.

Jeremy Sutcliffe24 Jul 2007 12:03 a.m. PST

And believe it or not, I saw it in Foyles (big London Bookshop) yesterday in the World War Two section!

Thomas Nissvik24 Jul 2007 12:32 a.m. PST

I bought it in april at Borders or possibly Waterstones somewhere in central London, but I don't remember in what section it was standing.

Jed H R24 Jul 2007 11:26 a.m. PST

I recognised myself in the Action Man section, although (the shame of it) in the early sixties I used to shoplift the uniforms in order to collect the stars off the packaging, to get the free Action Man.
It took so long to collect them that I had discovered women, alcohol and cigarettes before I had actually claimed my prize!
As for Sven Hassel, I was a massive fan of the whole series! My eldest daughter, born in '75, is soooooooooo lucky that her gender saved her from being lumbered with the christian name Sven. My younger daughter is still not speaking to me about the name Navarone ……….. (JOKE)

lutonjames22 Aug 2007 9:33 a.m. PST

Just finished reading it- excellent- and i'm 37 and got all the references- but if your a bit younger- you may not get all the stuff about about Slade, Skinheads etc. It all rings completly true.Think my ex will enjoy it and she's 30!- also will lend it out to any friends- who ever say- 'whats that wargames thing your into, all about?'

Think loads of my mates who ain't wargamers would enjoy the book.- perehaps it's a british guy thing (if there in their 30's and 40's).

Barks103 Jan 2012 3:06 a.m. PST

My review- I'm with @Jeremy Sutcliffe


Marc the plastics fan03 Jan 2012 6:18 a.m. PST

What it did do was to open up the hobby to people admitting they played with toy soldiers for a while in teh UK media – so not all bad.

As one of those 40 something UK gamers it was my life, so I liked it, but your review is honestly acurate about the book. Not sure what of that ilk would be better though.

UK John08 Jan 2012 2:37 p.m. PST

wondered if others went back and read it for a second time?

1815Guy08 Jan 2012 4:40 p.m. PST

Just ordered mine!

Its £2.00 GBP used – £4.00 GBP or £5.00 GBP new. Barely the price of a wargames mag these days! And that includes postage!

Saw them in Amazon, Book Repository, and websites if you are having difficulty. Yellow cover is 2007, blue 2008, but I assume the content is identical in both?

I await with bated breath, and barely able to control my "raging fury" :o)

1815Guy08 Jan 2012 4:45 p.m. PST

Whilst getting all nostalgic, you might like to have a look at the old "Commando" picture novels. Used to get mine with Valiant, and Hotspur. Commando was serious literature to a 9 year old, and cost a full shilling.

Anyway, Carlton books are re-issuing them as collections, well worth a look if your google fu is up to date, or if you are in a hurry there are some here:


I got a load at Xmas for 'bathroom reading', and they really tooko me back to childhood.

stenicplus09 Jan 2012 5:34 a.m. PST

Used to get them all free back in the 70's and 80's when my Grandad worked at Fleetway Printers in Gravesend.

Stupidly never kept them safe and over time they've been lost, lent, destroyed etc…

Ben Waterhouse10 Jan 2012 4:23 a.m. PST

Disagree with Barks1 – This is one of my favorite books about the hobby of playing with toy soldiers I have read.

stenicplus10 Jan 2012 5:15 a.m. PST

Finaly got to read Barks1 review. I tend to disagree too.

You contradict youself I fear:

But I'm not sure what it's all about.

And yet

It is a readable nostalgic ramble of one gamer's experiences, with some notes on the history of the hobby thrown in.


It describes how one boy's fascination became a grown man's obsession.

So you are not sure what it's about and then clearly pin point exactly what it is about.

Interstingly in The Elfish Gene the author doesn't relate too much about historical gaming. Granted he's not disparaging but it's not his thing so why should he? Equally, why should the author of Achtung Schwienhund have to consider Sci-Fi?

Personal logo Milhouse Supporting Member of TMP23 Aug 2013 10:49 a.m. PST

Just finished it . Tremendous. Very funny. Yes, lots of English references but still wonderfully entertaining, laugh out loud funny and even thought provoking .

Gloria Smud28 Aug 2013 3:55 a.m. PST

Gott Im Himmel Tommy – fur you ze buch ist over!

TylerD30 Aug 2013 6:48 a.m. PST

Personally, I thought it was superb! Its never failed to make me smile and even laugh out loud in places.

I'm currently giving it its third outing, as it is funny and truthful, reminds me of my childhood and somehow refocuses my wargaming enthusiasm, when the horrors of "real life" punch below the everyday belt.

Thanks for putting pen to paper, Harry!

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