...a visual history of the MaxxPro Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle, from Ampersand
Title: MaxxPro MRAP
Author: John Adams-Graf with David Doyle
This is very much a book for modellers from publishers Ampersand. It is another very useful book in their Visual History series, and for covering another modern MRAP, Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle. The opening couple of pages of text give the background to the emerging need for better mine protected vehicles. Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan was seeing a significant change to the threat faced by the US military. Existing equipment had been primarily designed in preparation for an intensive war in Europe, but what they now found was a huge increase in the use of roadside bombs and IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices). Casualties were increasing, along with the number of attacks. There was a need for better protected vehicles, using a V-shaped hull rather than the flat underside to even an armoured Hummer. Developed around a successful civilian truck chassis and engine, it was the new armoured body which the manufacturer came up with.
The meat of the book lies with the large collection of super clear photos showing not only the overall vehicle in service, but also highly detailed images of things like the springs and drive train underneath the vehicle, even the wiring behind the front bumper. The only thing missing for many modellers are pictures of the interior, and hence the colours etc of the internal fittings. What we do have though is a detailed coverage of the various modifications that were made to the series of MaxxPro MRAPs during a relatively short service life. The change in theatre from Iraq to Afghanistan led to changes that were needed to help it cope with more off-road conditions, strengthened suspension and changes to protection packages. The picture captioning throughout adds so much information to the story.
The chapters tackle the variations of the MaxxPro, the M1224, M1224A1, M1234, M1235 and closing with the M1249MRV, the 6x6 recovery variant I can't remember seeing before I read this book.
With models available in 1/35 from Kinetic and another due this year from Bronco Models this will be an ideal reference. The other thing which I found fascinating to read are the details of how many of these MaxxPros were built in a relatively short space of time, around 9,000 going into service. Then with US withdrawal from both Iraq and Afghanistan, how many of them have been put into storage, passed on to other governments or, which I admit surprised me, simply destroyed just to get rid of them, after only about 10 years in service. I am sure I am not the only one who thinks 'well if you don't want them, I'd have one'. A good book for modern military vehicle enthusiasts as well as a first class modellers reference.
Thanks to Justin at Bookworld for my example.