Osprey's Technicals


Leigh Neville


Osprey Publishing


$18.00 MSRP


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 48 pages, 7 x 9 inches, softcover
ISBN: 978-1-4728-2251-2

Though what we commonly know as 'technicals' have been around since WWI, today these sorts of fairly heavily armed vehicles are very popular with insurgent groups. There are also military forces, such as the US and British Special Ops groups and even standard armies using technicals.

The term's origin is somewhat debatable, but most believe it arose from NGO's which were not permitted arms, hiring what was known as 'technical assistance', which were armed groups, for protection. Many of these had light pickup trucks with various machine guns and cannon in the bed.

Why a pickup truck? Well, dedicated armed vehicles are heavy, expensive and difficult for Joe's Garage to maintain. A pickup truck is not and there are plenty of available spare. They also tend to be very reliable. The popular truck of choice is one not sold in the US, a Toyota Hilux, though others are also used.

These came to prominence during the 1980s wars between Libya and Chad. Here, the Libyan Army invaded the northern part of the country and set up both standard bases and airstrips from which to operate. The opposition was very good at cavalry tactics, but horses and camels just were not all that useful against machine guns. Instead, these groups were provided Toyota trucks and had a variety of heavier weapons mounted in the back. This began the 'Toyota Wars' and the maneuverability along with hit and run tactics were successful in helping to kick the Libyans out of the country. Other groups saw this and thus we have the explosion of these technicals in battlefields around the world.

The author has provided a superb look into the history of these vehicles and provides a more in depth look at those used in the last 30 years or so. The types of weapons carried on these trucks are limited only by the imagination of the people attaching things to the bed. There are even aircraft rocket pods on some and others have guns that are so large you wonder how they keep from tipping over in turns. All of this is enhanced by period photos, most in color, as well as some excellent illustrations. In all, it makes for a great introduction to these vehicles and is a book I have no trouble recommending to you. I think you will find it just as interesting a read as did I.

March 2018

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