Pen & Sword's Land Craft #9: Bradley Fighting Vehicle
|Pen & Sword|
|$22.95 from Casemate|
64 pages, softcover, 150 illustrations
The concept of an infantry fighting vehicle first came into fairly widespread use during WWII. The Germans used lightly armored halftracks as did the American army. Others, such as the British and Soviets mostly used trucks to move troops. As the war progressed, more heavily armored vehicles were used by the Germans to get troops closer to the fighting. Post war, the US started developing tracked vehicles for the infantry, the most common used in the 1960s and 70s was the M113. It was fast enough to keep up with the armor, but its aluminum construction made it susceptible to land mines and in Vietnam, troops more often rode atop it, somewhat negating its minimal protective value.
What the army decided it needed, was not only a more heavily armored vehicle, but one that could operate a variety of offesive weapons. This led to a competition to create what was needed. The winner was FMC with what eventually became the Bradley fighting vehicle. Two main variants were developed; one for the infantry and a cavalry version for scouting. Both were armed with a 25mm cannon in a turret and from there, each was modified to meet the needs of the user. These two vehicles were originally given different names, but since the similarity between the M2 and M3 were so many, it was decided to call them both Bradley.
In line with the earlier books in the series, we get a nice historical background (actually a bit more than normal) along with the variants produced and some of the operational history of the vehicle. There are also a goodly number of color profiles as well as a fairly good sized modeling section that provides built models and information on kits and accessories.
These sorts of books where you have a mixture of history, camouflage and models are becoming more and more the norm. This one is well done, and those who like the tank series will like this one as well.
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