...Images of War from Pen and Sword
Title: M2/M3 Bradley
Author: David Doyle
Publisher: Pen and Sword
A slightly different addition to the Images of War series simply for being a more modern topic, rather than a collection of old black and white archive images from WW1 or WW2. The M2/M3 Bradley was developed as a replacement for the aging M113, and designed to give the infantry an APC with greater firepower than those it replaced. The turret carries a 25mm chain gun plus two TOW (Tube launched, Optically tracked, Wire guided) anti-tank missiles. Perhaps hard to think that the first ones went into service as far back as 1981. Their service since then is well illustrated as the photo coverage features their entry into service, training areas in the USA and Germany, and service in Germany, Iraq and as part of the UN Peacekeeping force in Bosnia Herzegovina.
The book of 230 pages is divided into 6 chapters to tell the story using a marvellous collection of colour images. It begins with the early prototypes and entry into service, 'The M2 and XM2'. Then we get to 'The M2A2 ODS (Operation Desert Storm)' before two more chapters which look at the specific detail of the 2 main variants, 'M2A3' and 'M3A3'. For chapter 5 we get to the other significant vehicles which uses the basic chassis of the M2, though lengthened, for 'The M270 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System)' before rounding everything off with 'The Bradley Deployed' where we see it in the operational environments.
Packed with colour photos, all with well detailed and informative captioning, there is a lot in here for both the military vehicle enthusiast but especially for the modeller. We see the Bradley in both desert and European colour schemes and when in service, with detail of crew stowage and weathering. The other element is that we see a lot of detailed interior photos, where the colour and detail is perfect for modellers looking to get the detail just right. One other thing to comment on I think has to be seeing a few pictures which show examples that have been devastated in combat, perhaps a useful reminder of what horrors war entails.
Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.