Books in review April

U.S. Half-tracks Part II: The development and deployment of the U.S. Army’s half-track based multiple gun motor carriages and gun motor carriages. (ISBN 978-0-9861127-4-4 The Ampersand Group, Inc, 235 NE 6th Ave., Suite B, Delray Beach, FL 33483; 561.266.9686; jeff@ampersandpubco.com; www.ampersandpubco.com. Hardcover, over 448 pages and 700 photos total, 2016, $49.95).

Layout 1

A companion to the blockbuster 2015 volume on the U.S. Army’s development and deployment of half-track vehicles, this “Part II” specifically looks at half-tracks configured as gun motor carriages. In explicit photographic and archived-researched details, the first four chapters delve into half-tracks mounting mortars, artillery pieces, and anti-aircraft guns. The second half of this volume also examines field modifications, followed by two chapters of “in-action” photography during and after WWII. The final chapter looks at the attempts to develop a three-quarter track vehicle.

Addendum and appendices are often hold some of the best information in Doyle’s books, and those found in this volume didn’t disappoint! The first addendum revisits topics from the first volume, often adding to or correcting the information presented. The second is a welcome look at a close relative – the M3A1 scout car. The appendix contains important registration and contract details that restorers will find invaluable.   

Whether you own a half-track or are just a passionate fan of these iconic vehicles, this book has stepped out far beyond the literature that has been available. Knowledge is the strongest tool in the toolbox of any restorer, modeler, or scholar. At only $50, this is going to be the strongest, best-valued tool that you add to your toolbox this year. — JAG

Patton Hidden in Plain Sight: The Images Uncovered,  by Denny G. Hair. (ISBN: 9780692535905; CreateSpace. Available through Amazon or www.pattonthirdarmy.com. Softcover, 218 pages, hundreds of color and b/w images, 2015, $39.95)

Patton Sweeps

A retired crime scene investigator, author Denny Hair has emerged as an expert on all-things Patton. This book is a result of thousands of hours of research and covers new information about General George S. Patton Jr. Hair has coupled personal, anecdotal accounts about Patton with hundreds of photos of the General, some of which have been colorized, and many never before published. It promises to be the first of a series of books covering Patton and his Third Army during WWII.

Patton Hidden in Plain Sight sheds a view on the General and his world unlike any book, presenting images from Third Army after-action reports. Any Patton enthusiast will treasure this book for the rare photos and staff recollections it shares. Collectors and military vehicles will be pleasantly pleased with the variety of artifacts that illustrate the book as well.—JAG

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