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Book Reviews: December 2017

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The HMMWV’s of Arifjan, by Christopher Causley (ISBN 9781365578045, Michigan Military Technical & Historical Society, available through print-on-demand from Softcover, 8.5” x 11”, 114 pages, illustrated throughout in color, 2016, $41.99)

During Operation Iraqi Freedom, the HMMWV found itself thrust into roles for which it was never intended, direct combat roles, especially along the supply routes in convoy security roles. When faced with new combat challenges, the American soldier can be a very creative and resourceful individual, and in a combat environment, most of the rules are set aside in the name of mission and survivability.

The HMMWVs used by the transport units for convoy protection on the Kuwait – Iraq supply routes are rolling testaments to this. All of the photos presented here were taken between February and August 2004 on and around Camp Arifjan, Kuwait and represent a small sample of the often ingenious modifications and adaptations applied to the vehicle by the units in theater.

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MaxxPro MRAP: A Visual History of the Maxxpro Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles, by John Adams-Graf (ISBN 978-1-944367-04-6, The Ampersand Group. available from David Doyle Books, PO Box 172287, Memphis, TN 38187,; Softcover, 10.9” x 8.7”,120 pages,full color throughout, 2015, $22.95)

From its introduction in 2007, the International Harvester Navistar MaxxPro evolved to meet the demands of U.S. military personnel in defeating the effects of improvised explosive devices on vehicles in the theaters of operation in Iraq and Afghanistan. By 2015, nearly 9,000 MaxxPro MRAP variants had been in service with 16 nations in addition to the United States.

Based on the sturdy and reliable line of International Harvester commercial trucks, the MaxxPro MRAP variants would grow to encompass the M1224; M1224A1; M1234; M1235 and the massive M1249 wrecker. Co-authors John Adams-Graf and David Doyle tackle this subject like never before.

Tracing the origins of the MaxxPro from its conception in 2006 and throughout its varied career in all combat theaters, this is a Visual History title like no other. Drawing on official documents and Defense Department imagery every facet of the vehicle’s development and deployment are covered.

Arranged chronologically, the coverage depicts Iraq and Afghanistan zones, as well as training areas and finally the redeployment of the MaxxPro family in the hands of Iraqi and Afghani national troops. This coverage is also supplemented with detailed walk around images of the M1224 and M1249 wrecker. All in all, a title not to be missed by the modern vehicle enthusiast and an indispensable reference for anyone owning the Kinetic, Trumpeter, or Bronco scale model kits.

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M10/Achilles: A Visual History of the U.S. Army’s WWII Tank Destroyer, by David Doyle (ISBN 978-1-944367-19-9000, The Ampersand Group. available from David Doyle Books, PO Box 172287, Memphis, TN 38187,; Softcover, 10.9” x 8.7”,127 pages,66 b/w and 144 color photos., 2015, $22.95)

In late 1941, the concept of a separate tank destroyer force began to jell. The quest for larger weapons began, as did the desire for a self-propelled antitank gun, or Gun Motor Carriage. By January of 1942 a prototype was in the works to mount a 75mm gun in an open topped turret on the chassis of the twin GM Diesel-powered M4A2 Sherman Medium tank. After some months of development a design was finalized for a vehicle sharing the suspension, lower hull, and engine with the M4A2 but with an upper hull made up from thinner, but sloping, armored plate. Initially designated T35E1, the design was standardized as the M10. In addition to the 6,700-plus Diesel-powered M10 tank destroyers, a further 1,700 M10A1 vehicles were built.

While the 3-inch weapon of the M10 was superior to that found on earlier U.S. tank destroyers, it was inadequate against the ever-increasing weight of German armor. The British addressed this by rearming some of the 1,700 M10s that they received with the Ordnance Quick Firing 17-pounder antitank gun. These vehicles were designated by the British as 17-pdr. SP M10 Mark 1c. After the war the name Achilles was given these vehicles. Photo coverage in this books includes plentiful period shots and detail photos of the M10, M10A1 and Achilles.

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American Wheeled Armoured Fighting Vehicles (Images of War), by Michael Green (ISBN 978-1473854369, Pen and Sword, available in the US from Casemate Publishers, 1950 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083, 610.853.9131, Softcover, 7.5” x 9.75”, 208 pages, 250 b/w and color images, 2016, $24.95)

This well-researched and illustrated book describes all the different types and variants of wheeled armored fighting vehicles since the first M1 was ordered in 1931. The M8 armored car was widely used during World War Two but it was not until Vietnam that further wheeled AFVs came into service, notably the M706 armored car.

After a lull the US Marine Corps adopted the Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) in 1983. The US Army first used armored Humvees in 1994 and variants remain in service (M1141 and M1116). Other types today include the Guardian (M1117) and the Army version of the LAV, named the “Stryker.” To meet the operational requirements of Iraq and Afghanistan the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle (MRAP) was ordered in bulk from 2007.excellent selection of photos and in this case, most are in full color.

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