American Wheeled Armoured Fighting Vehicles





...a new Images of War title from Pen and Sword


Title: American Wheeled Armoured Fighting Vehicles

Author: Michael Green

Publisher: Pen and Sword Books

ISBN: 978-1-4738-436-9

This new addition to the Images of War series should be popular with modellers who like modern wheeled armoured vehicles used by US Armed Forces.  As something of a fan of wheeled AFV's, there are some excellent references in here for modellers.  Since WW2 the US Military have been through phases of favouring and equally not favouring the use of wheeled vehicles..  In recent years they have very much been back at the forefront of new types entering service.

The book is divided into 5 chapters.  The first looks are Pre-WW2 Wheeled AFV's has 7 pages of text to provide details of a sequence of projects, starting with the first example of a machine gun being mounted onto a motor car, through armoured cars of various shapes and sizes before getting to the M3 Scout Car, which went on to provide good service in WW2.  Chapter 2 looks at developments during WW2.  These were influenced by both German and British experience in Europe, and that American industry built armoured cars to meet British requirements as well.  The photos, all provided with informative captions, include the Staghound and the M8/M20 series, along with some more experimental builds which never went into production.

After WW2 the US Military favoured fully tracked vehicles, and it wasn't until involvement in Vietnam that the need for wheeled armour became a requirement once more.  As an interim measure this led to workshop built armoured gun trucks being built and used for convoy escort in particular.  There are interesting experimental vehicles such as the XM808 Twister, but what was put into production and had widespread use, was the V100 Commando 4x4 armoured car series.  There are a number of pictures of these in Vietnam, and they are followed by the later use of the LAV-25s by the US Marine Corps, which in turn were done in a number of variants which are included in the photos.

Chapter four deals with the use of the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, the Hummer,  When this was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan they were fitted with extra armour, but this then overloaded the chassis and the engine.  It also resulted in heat build up inside for the crew, which then needed air conditioners, which overloaded the vehicle still further.  This then led to the final section of the book.  In this, with bridging and the road infrastructures not built to take heavy armoured vehicles, so the US Army made use of the 8-wheel Stryker armoured vehicle series before leading on again into the variety of MRAP, Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, in 4x4 and 6x4 configurations.  All of these are covered with some excellent colour photos, well chosen so they provide plenty of great detail for modellers not just on the detailed fittings on the vehicles themselves, but also their colours as well.  This is another excellent addition to the Images of War series, and from a well respected author in Michael Green.