Puma Heavy APC...
...Centurion Based APC in IDF Service, Part 3, from Desert Eagle Publishing
Title: Puma Heavy APC, Centurion Based APC in IDF Service, Part 3
Author: Michael Mass and Adam O'Brien
Publisher: Desert Eagle Publishing
Number 19 in their IDF Armor Series from Desert Eagle Publishing is now available and I have to say this is another definite winner. After many years when there were restrictions on the publication of IDF AFVs it is so good to see these detailed photo sets now available for modellers and AFV enthusiasts. Among the many bits of new information to be found in both the text and the photos, is that Puma is more accurately Pumah, an abbreviation of Poretz Michsholim Handasi =Engineers Obstacle Breaker. The IDF have made long term use of many old Centurion hulls, some now around 70 years old. With turrets removed from the Shot Cal gun tanks, new superstructures, upgraded engines and a variety of other new fittings they continue to provide a valuable resource despite their age.
The opening 4 pages provide introductory text that gives the background of the development of the Puma and other Centurion variants such as the Nagmachon, Nakpadon and Nagmapop. Accompanying photos show some of these but then we get into the meat of this particular title and how the Puma has been used for a variety of engineering tasks, and remains in service despite their aging hulls. The various sections start off with The Puma Family before going on to feature the Puma Meisher Bridge Adapter, so it can either push or pull the Meisher bridge and this is followed by the alternative 'P' type bridge version. Then there is Puma Viper 'Tzefa', with the heavy trailer for the Viper mine clearance device. The 'Pikud', a Puma Command variant follows and then the Puma Dozer Daqhpor, fitted with the Urdan dozer blade. The detail photos of the blade, its' mounting gear and even an exploded diagram of the parts are a dream for the modeller. Similar comments apply to the next set of super clear photos, showing the Puma Mine Roller, the Nochri.. Lots more very detailed photos and these also indicate that on some, the colour of the Nochri units can be different to the colour on the Puma they are mounted on.
The final section features another very detailed coverage of the Puma Carpet 'Ritzoof'. This features a large box mounted on the rear of the hull, and this carries a series of 20 rounds using a Fuel-Air explosive, ideal for clearing minefields. It also shows the different colours of both Live and Training rounds. Also seen in this section is not to get too fixed on the different Puma variants as we some fitted with both the Carpet rockets on the back and the Nochri mine rollers on the front.
So for the armour fan you get to see great detail on these real-life AFV conversions, while for the modellers the references on colour and weathering will be the perfect reference if you are building the recent 1/35 Puma model by HobbyBoss or if you are lucky enough to have any of the 1/72 resin kits by Cromwell Models, as they include the basic Puma, the Nochri and the Carpet, all subjects that are featured in this super new book thanks to Desert Eagle.
Thanks to the Aviation and Military Book Centre for my copy.