A Child's Encyclopedia of Artillery:

OK, I'm sure there's some American equivalent of this somewhere, too, but it's funny that I initially came across it in Russian, at ("," to translate it), under the category "children's developmental and educational literature."

Cornellian (mail):
Yep, in Russia the Second Amendment has real teeth :)
4.17.2006 8:48pm
Mike BUSL07 (mail) (www):
That brings back some memories. I never had that book, but it certainly seems to reflect the culture accurately. My 1st grade textbook had a picture of a Red Army cavalryman bayoneting a capitalist in the stomach. On the 2nd page.
4.17.2006 9:02pm
Mike BUSL07 (mail) (www):
The poem accompanying in the drawing translates roughly as

Eat pineapple, Chew quail,
Your last day approaches, Bourgeois.
4.17.2006 9:04pm
Glenn W Bowen (mail):
on the other hand, my elementary school library had titles such as "Weapons", "Firing Line", and "From Musket to M14".
There was always a waiting list for the gun/military books. I still have a copy of "Weapons", by Edwin Tunis.

they lacked the doggerel of the Russian equivalents... but the intent was there:)
4.17.2006 9:17pm

Your last day approaches, Bourgeois.

As it turned out, the Twentieth Century's great discovery was how many Divisions the Pope really does have.

If there is "an American equivalent," to this book, it's probably titled "A Child's Garden of Torts."
4.17.2006 9:19pm
Shelby (mail):
To veer wildly off course, why would a cavalryman have a bayonet? Shouldn't that have been a sabre? And, couldn't this matter have been rectified if Mike B had had access to a child's encyclopedia of hand-to-hand weaponry?
4.17.2006 9:30pm
Glenn W Bowen (mail):
"light cavalry" would have bayonets, as they dismounted to engage the enemy.
4.17.2006 9:33pm
David Brown (mail):
I was born in 1965. I remember as a child in California in the early 1970's proudly owning a book entitled, "The How and Why Wonder Book of Nuclear Weapons". I wish I still had it. I suppose my mother still does - she throws away nothing.
4.17.2006 9:53pm
Mike BUSL07 (mail) (www):
Shelby,I used the term "cavalryman" to describe a "Budenovskaya Cavalry" troop, not to suggest that the soldier in the picture was mounted - best as I recall, he wasn't.

Anyway, here is a Budenovets, like the one pictured -
4.17.2006 9:54pm
Sasha (mail):
Glenn -- Doggerel??? That's Mayakovsky!
4.17.2006 10:06pm
jpaulg (mail):
Artillery, the Russian god of war since the time of Peter the Great. Glad to see some things never change.
4.17.2006 10:37pm
M (mail):
I was going to get in on the defense of Myakovsky, too. Anyone who can threaten to throw Pushkin of the boat of modernity deserves some respect. But also, one of my favorite books when I was a kid was some sort of kids encyclopedia of Rockets and missiles- all the great rockets and missiles of the world, from the V-1 up to the "Peace Keep". Hours of fun.
4.17.2006 10:40pm
M (mail):
Ahg- I mean "Peace Keeper" in the last bit, of course. The book also had air-to-air, air-to-surface, surface to air, etc.
4.17.2006 11:03pm
Don't show that book to a lefty in the USA they will ban it so the nieve little Capitalist can become foolish with things like conflict resolution, anti-bullying and international peace relations. Watch out you will put your eye out with that. I perfer realism to idealism any day.
4.17.2006 11:07pm
Bleepless (mail):
Slava Rossii! Or else.
4.17.2006 11:22pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
If there is "an American equivalent," to this book, it's probably titled "A Child's Garden of Torts."

A is for Assault
B is for Battery
C is for Conversion....
4.18.2006 1:23am
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
To veer wildly off course, why would a cavalryman have a bayonet? Shouldn't that have been a sabre?

I saw, 20+ yrs ago when I could have bought it cheap but was getting married and lacked cash, a Cossack's saber (or so described) that had a sheath for a bayonet mounted on the outside surface of the scabbard. So I'd guess they did carry both.
4.18.2006 1:27am
Boalt Student:
To veer wildly off course, why would a cavalryman have a bayonet? Shouldn't that have been a sabre?

I'd like to clear up some things.

1) What the trooper holds in his right hand is a pike, or, in western terms, a lance. His rifle is slung across his shoulder.

2) The rifle that cavalryman carries is likely a Mosin-Nagant dragoon rifle. In that case, he would have a bayonet and it would have been attached to the scabbard of his saber. The rifle could also be a Mosin-Nagant Cossack rifle, in which case it would not have a bayonet.

3) Cavalrymen who fought dismounted were called dragoons, not "light cavalry." Light cavalry was an obsolete term by that time and the term was used to refer to the amount of armor the trooper wore. Anyway, the trooper in the poster is just a plan ole' red cavalryman. With a lance. And a rifle. They had severe shortages in those days, you know.
4.18.2006 2:42am
Glenn W Bowen (mail):
I believe there was "light cavalry" used in the NZ forces, WW1, in the middle east.
4.18.2006 6:11am
Frank Drackmann (mail):
No Sopranos Line this week?? The show is finally getting good..building up to some blood letting hopefully.
4.18.2006 7:37am
Dave Hardy:

A is for Assault

B is for Battery

C is for Conversion....

But never "B is for Barratry!" :^)
4.18.2006 9:29am
Mike Heinz (mail):
Well, I don't know about the rest of you but I clearly remember having several books about famous WWII battles, ships, planes and so on when I was a kid.

Heh. I remember selling my book about the battle of Midway to another kid for $0.50 and getting yelled at for it.
4.18.2006 9:50am
triticale (mail) (www):
Not even a rechargeable Barratry>
4.18.2006 9:52am
Brooks Lyman (mail):
Leaving aside official (?) propaganda for the kiddies, to turn them into cannon fodder or barbarians (barbarianism is very useful if you are trying to run something like the Soviet Union...), and also leaving aside the typical male competitiveness, there's something about guns and particularly large artillery.... The idea that one can accurately throw a heavy projectile a long distance - tens of miles - with great accuracy is fascinating.

It's particularly fascinating if one does not have to comtemplate what happens to people on the receiving end...
4.18.2006 10:08am
Australian Light Horse fought in the Boer War, in the Middle East in WW1, then traded their horses for nasty, smelly tanks and armored personnel carriers in WWII and afterwards.

At the Battle of Beersheba, the Light Horse used their horses to approach the Turkish trenches, then dismounted and used their bayonets.
4.18.2006 10:16am
One expects such literature for the young from totalitarian regimes, but this is Russia today. How different is the post-1990 Russia really?
This site provides a fascinating glimpse into Soviet past:
or in English:
4.18.2006 11:18am
keypusher (mail):
Since so many of you posters seem knowledgeable in matters military, I am going to veer even further off topic: What was the difference between the Light Brigade and the Heavy Brigade in the Crimean War? (No credit for "Half a league" or anything similar.) They weren't wearing armor, were they?
4.18.2006 11:30am
gawaine (mail):
This kind of thing can be great for engaging the right kind of mind, if you leave off the "Die evil imperialist scum" part.

I'm using a book called the Art of the Catapult in homeschooling my eight year old. Building scale model ballistae and catapults (mostly for firing miniature cows or wooden rabbits at forts) is a great way of learning about the past.

We're not quite ready for artillery yet, though.
4.18.2006 11:49am
Alan M. Carroll (mail) (www):

Have you seen this? I have a couple of them, definitely cool.
4.18.2006 12:20pm
Rob P-M (mail):

The Light Brigade was composed of light cavalry: lancers and hussars being the usually British nomenclature in the 19th century. Lancers carried lances as well as sabres. Light cavalry was mounted on swift horses. The light cavalry sabre was quite curved and significantly lighter than the heavy cavalry sabre, which was usually straight.

The heavy brigade was composed of heavy cavalry: often called dragoons in British nomenclature, but not always. Heavy cavalry in the mid-19th century often (but not always) wore steel breastplates (curraisses - hence the term curraissier in the French and various German/Austrian armies). In the British army dragoons usually did not wear breastplates, but the Guards cavalry did (e.g. Horse Guards, Dragoon Guards). Heavy cavalry was mounted typically on heavier horses and attacked with greater "shock" power in the charge (or so the theory went).

Dragoons can be just any heavy cavalry, but properly, dragoons are mounted like heavy cavalry, but carry short muskets as well as sabres and fight dismounted - the precursors of mechanized infantry, if you will. The US Army at one time (pre-Civil War) had proper dragoons, but from the Civil War on, all American cavalry has been essentially light cavalry. The American military never had European style heavy cavalry mounted on heavy cavalry chargers and wearing curraisses.

Mentioning the Crimea, it is a mildly interesting, if obscure, fact, that when the heavy brigade charged (successfully, unlike the light bridage) at Balaclava against rather desparate odds, the leading two regiments, the Scots Greys and the Inniskilling Dragoons, noted (and the officers and men were inspired by the fact) that they were in the same positions they had been in for Uxbridge's crucial cavalry charge at Waterloo.
4.18.2006 12:49pm

Light Cavalry was primarily organized for reconnaissance, screening, raiding and harassment. Heavy Cavalry was organized for shock and envelopment.
4.18.2006 12:49pm
Doc (mail):
I think the Horse Guards still have shiny breastplates.
4.18.2006 1:08pm
PersonFromPorlock wrote:

Your last day approaches, Bourgeois.

Think Fast! Commie.
4.18.2006 1:45pm
R. Gould-Saltman (mail):
Ah, the C.B. Colby books! A staple of American young male reading in the 50's and 60's, a series which included
"Arms of Our Fighting Men: Personal Weapons, Bazookas, Big Guns" ,
"Bomber Parade: Headliners in Bomber Plane History",
"Frogmen: Training, Equipment &Operations of Our Navy's Undersea Fighters" and
"First Rifle: How to Shoot It Straight &Use It Safely"

in addition to "Musket to M-14".

I remember the page layout, the b&w photos (from DOD?), and the clipped newsreel-like text style clearly, even though I probably last saw one of the books in 1968 or so. But for them, How might I everhave known that at one point, the Army made an add-on barrel for the M-3A1 "Grease Gun" submachine gun, with a 90 degree bend in it, to permit firing around corners?
4.18.2006 2:36pm
Jack Diederich (mail) (www):
The US equivalent is a comic book, of course. The Punisher Amrory is a series detailing every weapon that appears in the series - which is a whole lot of weapons.

The Punisher is a Marvel comic book about a guy who's family is killed by criminals. He makes it his life's mission to kill organized crime and criminals. No super powers but lots of toys. Think of a very violent James Bond.
4.18.2006 3:04pm
Being, i'm guessing, much younger than all of the posters here, by the time i was in middle school/jr. high, i had even better resources, Tom Clancy's detailed books on nuclear submarines and armored cav units! I'm sure its very useful for me to know that its always a good idea to come up slowly to periscope depth to confirm one last time that there are no emergency messages before rigging the ship for missle launch. Now if we can just get Hugh Hefner to make a book about guns and bombs interspersed with sexy playboy bunnies and centerfolds, along with box scores from famous baseball and football games, we can get all the necessary cultural education for young males into one volume!
4.18.2006 3:08pm
big dirigible (mail) (www):
Russian tactical doctrine called for the bayonet to remain fixed on the rifle at all times. So, no scabbards. Generally, any "Russian scabbard" isn't. Later (ca. 1944) the Soviet Union adopted a folding spike bayonet for the latest incarnation of the venerable 1891 rifle. The Finns used Russian weapons, in original configuration or reworked to Finnish standard, but they didn't keep the bayonets fixed. In Finnish service, Russian bayonets had Finnish-made scabbards, or were replaced with new Finnish blade-type bayonets.

I still have all my old "Rockets &Missiles" books, Tunis's "Weapons", and, for that matter, my Mosin-Nagant vintovkas and their bayonets. "The only difference between men and boys" doubtless translates well into Russian.
4.18.2006 5:56pm
Glenn W Bowen (mail):
R. Gould-Saltman
big dirigible

CB Colby it was indeed:) the photos &text did seem to be government issue.

Tunis wrote &illustrated several good books, among them, "Colonial Craftsmen", "Frontier Living", and "Indians".

they are still available, but the original hardcovers are the ones I would want- the later paperbound editions have been PC'd, I think.
4.18.2006 9:04pm
Ah, the C.B. Colby books! A staple of American young male reading in the 50's and 60's, a series which included
Arms of Our Fighting Men: Personal Weapons, Bazookas, Big Guns

A favorite even in the 1970s! My buddies and I spent hours poring over a grubby copy of this in our grade school library...
4.18.2006 11:31pm
Forget the books how about the Military Surplus Stores that were in all small towns. You could go in there even as a girl in the 1960's and the smell of gun oil and grease was unique. All the uniforms and the big empty artiallary shells. I loved it. My brother got one of the big artillary shells(The BATFE and swat team would be called out now if someone saw it) an I and my other sister got our uniforms and helmets. We would stand out in the ditch all dressed up with our BB guns and salute the National Guard as it drove by to go to summer camp. What a wonderful time.
4.19.2006 12:30am
Pete Zaitcev (mail):
I had the full compliment of Mityaev's books back in the time.

Regarding Russian and Soviet literature for children, check out this: Syn Polka, p.273
This is a Russian equivalent of Charlotte's Web, I gather. It's a tale of boy's life with its simple joys painted against the backdrop of mundane and extreme violence.
4.19.2006 2:12am
Alan K. Henderson (mail) (www):
"Artillery lends dignity to what might otherwise be a vulgar brawl" - Frederick The Great

(In Civilization IV, Leonard Nimoy's voice recites this quote when you discover Artillery technology.)
4.19.2006 5:28am