Early US Armor...

...Armoured Cars 1915-40,  from Osprey Publishing

Title: Early US Armor

Author: Steven J. Zaloga

Publisher: Osprey

ISBN: 978-1-4728-2514-8

New Vanguard number 254 from Osprey is another from popular armour historian and modeller, Steve Zaloga.  It tells the story of those early days when much of the development of those early cars were the results of attempts by various truck manufacturers to find a market for military vehicles, both at home and abroad.  There was competition between the manufacturers and even rivalry between elements of the US military establishment.  As well as the larger organisation of the US Army were a potential customer, so were the National Guard organisations in the individual states.  Rare photos and some excellent colour artwork by Felipe Rodriguez illustrate these early designs, many of which can't really be described as 'successful', often being heavy with narrow wheels and thus too heavy to have the necessary off-road mobility.  The first combat use of an early design was a punitive raid on Mexico.

At the end of the book we get to the M3 Scout Car, which was more popular with the likes of the British army in WW2 rather than the US Army, who preferred the further development which resulted in the M2 and M3 half-track series which of course they used in huge numbers.  That however leads to another story.

We can always rely on Steve Zaloga to produce a well written and informative book, covering an aspect of US armoured vehicle design that is not well known, making this a worthy addition to your reference bookshelf.

Thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review copy.