Helion's Italian Soft-Skinned Vehicles Vol 1

Author/Artists: Ralph Riccio, Mario Piere & Daniele Guglielmi


Helion  Publishing


$59.95 MSRP from Casemate


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 146 pages, softcover, over 200 images
ISBN 978-1-804513-27-0

It is probably no surprise to most of you that the majority of vehicles in a nation's army are unarmored vehicles, often referred to as soft-skinned vehicles. These range from standard civilian vehicles to those specially developed for the military. One nation's offerings in this regard about which little has been written is that of Italy during the Second World War.

Due to the sheer numbers of different vehicles, this has been divided into several volumes. This first volume concentrates on motorcycles, motor cars, and light trucks. The book starts with an overview of Italian vehicle production in general. As was the case with the aviation sector, what was sufficient for peace-time turned out to be insufficient for war time. Italy had a great deal of difficulty keeping up with needs with output being a great deal lower than was hoped. This not only translated into lower numbers, but difficulty in providing spare parts for those vehicles that were in service.

An especially interesting portion of the first part of the book was on tires. Tires really did make a difference in terms of how the tread was cut. Tires of the time were also not as durable as those on our cars and trucks today so work into improving that durability is also covered. Enthusiasts of pre-war Italian cars and motorcycles will see quite a few that are recognizable, especially when it comes to staff cars. It is pretty obvious that the authors have done a lot of background work to get this volume to press. There are a ton of great period photos and diagrams in this one, making it a real treasure for enthusiasts. It makes for a great read and one that I highly recommend to you.

January 2024

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