US Army Vehicle Markings 1944...

... from Casemate Books

Title:  US Army Vehicle Markings 1944

Author: Jean Bouchery & Philippe Charbonnier

Publisher:  Casemate Books

ISBN:  978-1-61200-737-3

This was originally published in French by Histoire & Collections, but now we have it in English, published in partnership with Casemate Books. A hardback book of 143 pages, this is a real gem. It starts with a section describing the 'Arsenal of Democracy', and this provides a series of thumbnails of the many and varied military vehicles used by the US armed forces along with many of their allies. That leads nicely into a section on the 'Communications Zone', the multitude of support vehicles such as those used on the famous Red Ball Express convoys. Third comes the Organisation of the US Army', and this is divided into Infantry, Armored, Airborne and Non-Divisional units. Chapter 4 looks at Common Markings, such as Registration, National Markings, Usage Markings, Ambulances and more. Chapter 5 tackles Unit Markings and a shorter chapter 6 on the topic of camouflage schemes.

Throughout the book there are plenty of archive photos to illustrate examples, along with many data tables and lots of excellent artwork. The book includes helpful explanations for bumper codes and unit markings seen on armoured and soft-skin vehicles, including a variety of tactical and unit markings.  One element new to me is a good explanation of the colour coded, 5-digit unit serial numbers which were used to identify loading priorities in readiness for the Normandy invasion.

This is a first class reference that will be handy for historians looking at old archive photos, for vehicle restorers who want to get the right finish for their completed vehicles and of course an ideal reference for any WW2 modellers. I'd suggest this should be a must for any modellers reference bookshelf and I am confident you won't be disappointed.

Published by Casemate Books, who kindly provided my review copy.