UNEF: The Yugoslav Contingent
Middle East Wars, #25
Helion & Company
64 pages plus covers
At the end of the 1956 Arab-Israeli War, the UN created a new concept in order to manage the ceasefire- peacekeepers. These military forces under UN control would come primarily from non super-power members of the UN and would be tasked with patrolling territorial lines as agreed to by the previously warring parties. In a time of superpower confrontation and competition, peacekeepers were supposed to help previously warring parties ensure that whatever ceasefire terms they had agreed to would not only be maintained, but also policed by entities not actually involved in the fighting providing time for things to cool down and for more permanent peace negotiations to occur.
One of the first nations to be accepted for UN peacekeeping duties on this, the first peacekeeping mission, was Yugoslavia and it contributed a reinforced reconnaissance battalion to the 6000 man force. Equipped mostly with American vehicles supplied under the MDAP, the Yugoslavians stayed the entire 10 year term of the UNEF (UN Emergency Force) until the 1967 war pushed out all of the UN peacekeepers. This book is a history of that mission, over the entire 10 years with over 150 photos plus profile drawings of various people and vehicles in Yugoslav service.
The book is in A4 format and, although there are some colour photos the majority of the photos are in black and white. The text is all in English, which is generally quite good, but does suffer from some of the syntax and synonym errors common to books written by non-native English speakers. Notwithstanding that, however, it is a very readable account. The book goes into some detail of the organisation and day-to-day work of the Yugoslav contingents over the 10 years and is very definitely a history oriented book as opposed to a vehicle oriented book. There are some vehicle photos, but it is always the men that are the main subject of the photos and not the vehicles. For modelers, this book provides good context for the Yugoslav army of the period and fodder for interesting vignettes and dioramas, but not a lot of vehicle detail.
This is a very niche subject on a pretty niche army, but it is a good book, nonetheless, and will add depth to any military library.
Highly Recommended for enthusiasts in Middle East and Yugoslavian military history.
Thanks goes out to Helion & Company and Casemate Publishing for this review sample.
Reviewed by Paul Roberts
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