Pen & Sword's Kings of Battle: US SPG 1963-2023

Author/Artists: David Grummitt


Pen & Sword


$29.95 from Casemate


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 64 pages, softcover, over 100 illustrations
ISBN: 978-1-399040510

It would probably not be much of a stretch to state that, at least in western military services, there has been a slow switch from towed artillery to artillery that is self propelled. Prior to WWII, this sort of vehicle was basically unheard of, however, the Germans and British both developed mobile artillery, often put on the chassis of obsolete tanks. This allowed for quick deployment and movement of what are often considered the most important pieces of equipment in a battle.

After WWII, there were a number of pieces of equipment that were developed in terms of mobile artillery. In the US since 1963, this has focused on basically two. One is the M110, an 8 inch self propelled howitzer. While this stayed in service quite a while, its use was fairly limited, much due to its size as anything else. It also offered no crew protection against even small arms fire. The other is the M108/109 series. These two vehicles differed in the size of the gun with the 108 having a 105mm gun and the 109 a 155mm gun. The 105 was useful, but not as useful as the longer ranged M109 and many were later converted to 109 standard.

The M109 was a very successful vehicle becoming the mainstay of artillery units from the early 1960s up to the present day. There have been multiple modifications to the gun in terms of not only the gun itself, but in terms of the fire control systems and even the automotive portion of the vehicle.

The author covers the history of US self propelled artillery before getting into the M108/109 and M110. This includes not only the differences between variants, but also its combat history. In addition there is a fairly large modelers section which is basically all AFV Club 1/35 M109s. As in all previous books in this series, there is also an extensive selection of full color profiles as well as kits and accessories. In all, it makes for an excellent volume on the type and one that I can quite easily recommend to the enthusiast.

January 2024

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