Anyway, the first one I got done was Osprey Weapon #23: The M1903 Springfield Rifle which taught me a bit about a weapon of which I knew nothing. There's going to be a lot of the Weapon series in a row here, BTW, because they've been piling up and I wanted to get through them.
Next was Osprey Weapon #29: US Combat Shotguns. Somewhere, somehow, I got the impression that shotguns were against the laws of war, but clearly they got a lot of use, starting with trench-clearing weapons in WWI to the Vietnam War and beyond, wherever it appears that US forces might be engaged in short range, closed in combat.
Then I finished Osprey Weapon #31: MP 38 and MP 40 Submachine Guns, the iconic weapon that is nearly always evident in WWII movies. Production of this was outpaced by the Sten, the Tommygun, and the following book which I read:
Osprey Weapon #33: Soviet Submachine Guns of World War II which discusses the weapons that they produced, used, and exported after the war. Interesting.
Next was Osprey Weapon #34: The Lewis Gun, the British light machine gun in use from WWI through II and beyond.
Then, Osprey Weapon #35: The MP5 Submachine Gun, leaping forward into the modern era and the chosen combat weapon of anti-terrorist units in the present.
Next was the book Osprey Weapon #37: The M14 Battle Rifle. I once had a friend who fought in Vietnam who swore by this weapon and could never get over being handed an M16 when he got overseas. The book spends some time on this controversy, which I found therefore interesting to read.
Following that was Osprey Weapon #38: The Hand Grenade, a modern weapon that goes way back, and one which has several variants, not all of which are anti-personnel. I found this book particularly interesting.
Then it was Vesuvius by Night by Lindsey Davis, a shorter piece which describes the life in Pompeii just prior to and during the eruption of the volcano. Chilling piece of work.
Then breaking free of the Osprey Weapon series for a bit, I read Osprey Campaign #47: Yorktown 1781: The World Turned Upside Down, getting a bit of background on the ground and naval maneuvers which led to the British defeat.
What a week!