Zelda M113 in IDF Service...

...Part 2, Command and Medevac from Desert Eagle Publishing

Title: Zelda M113 in IDF Service, part 2, Command and Medevac

Author: Michael Mass and Adam O'Brien

Publisher: Desert Eagle Publishing

ISBN: 978-965-7700-04-4

The IDF Armour series of books from Desert Eagle Publishing has got to number 18 with this second title tackling the subject of the M113, known to the IDF as the Zelda.  In particular this one focuses on the Zelda Pikud (Command) and the Medevac versions, named the Pinuy (Medevac).  Each of these are in service with a wide variety of IDF units, and there are a number of individual variations among them.  This includes the conversion of the earlier M113A1 (with internal fuel tanks) as well as the M113A2, where the fuel tanks are moved to be mounted externally on the rear plate, either side of the main access door.

The photos are split to start with the Pikud variants as used in different units, which include the Armour School, Barak Brigade, 401 Brigade, Shelagh Battalion, 7th Brigade, Barak HQ and Sa'ar Battalion.  There are a variety of differences between those in use by the different units and these are all illustrated in the beautiful quality, detailed colour photos, which all have useful captions explaining the differences.  Some of them have the additional Vayzata (Toga) spaced armour and others without it.

The second half of the book looks at the Pinuy variants used by 53 Battalion Cast Lead, Armour School 460, 74 Battalion, 188 Barak Brigade, Ground Forces TC, 7th Brigade, Shelagh Battalion and vehicles in service with Operation Pillar of Defense, near the Gaza Strip.  The detail shown in these crystal clear pictures are a perfect modellers reference and offer plenty of inspiration for converting and detailing your models.  Some show them with largely empty stowage racks, while other show them stowed, and there are others that show the internal arrangements and of course, the colours.  Even the markings show some placement variations.

Now, if all this isn't enough, there is lots more thanks to the inclusion of mention of some other Command and Medevac vehicles used by the IDF, both now and in the past.  Add to this that the pictures showing the various units that utilize these variants, you will also see them alongside other vehicles such as Merkava and Puma engineer vehicles, plus a new command vehicle, the 'Ofek' (Horizon), using a Merkava Mk 2 chassis, with the turret replace by a new fixed superstructure.

I admit to having a fascination with the vehicles of the IDF, perhaps in part because they have made real-life conversions of existing vehicles, finding new uses for them when they may have become outdated for their original purpose.  It must be the modeller in me.  Another excellent addition to this series.  Thanks to the Aviation Book Centre, the UK importer for my copy.

Robin