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Book Review
11
JGSDF
Missions & Manoeuvres No 7021 JGSDF Vehicles of the Modern Japanese Army
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by: Jeremy Hengest [ VONHENGEST ]

Author: Koji Miyake and Gordon Arthur
Photos: Koji Miyake
Translation: Jochen Vollert
Language: Bilingual (complete text) German/English
Pages: 64 2 inner cover
Date of publish: 2011

introduction

Following their surrender in WWII and the dismantlement of the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) and Navy (IJN) under the Potsdam Declaration, Japanís homeland forces went through a brief period of reorganization, eventually culminating in the modern Self-Defense Forces - more commonly known as the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF), Marine Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), and Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF). Japanese military ground forces have been a niche subject/market to those living outside of Japan for many years, and information in non-Japanese texts have been very limited for those of us who have desired it. This has been especially true for post WWII subjects until recently, with Trumpeterís ongoing wave of 1/35 JGSDF kits offering enthusiasts a breath of fresh air, and Tankogradís recent Missions & Manoeuvres No 7021 following hot on their heels.

the beginning

A Brief History of the Modern Japanese Army pp. 2-7:
This section is dedicated to delivering a brief background on Japanese military ground vehicles by era. Information is broken down by decade in small blocks of one to four paragraphs covering WWII, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and probable near future. Because the text is fully translated in both German and English it appears that there is more reading material than there actually is, and the dual column layout may be a little confusing the first one or two times you read through it.

The beginning of this section is intended to give you pretty basic details about what was going on with regards to Japanís development of military ground forces, and although it does not give you an in depth account, you will still feel like you have a good basic understanding of the history of Japanís ground forces. This Ďcrash courseí, so to speak, is very appropriate for a book that is intended to provide information on the modern JGSDF as it exists today, providing a well rounded publication that would otherwise be a spotters guide for modern JGSDF vehicles.

There are a handful of small post WWII maps and charts provided in this section that help to explain the breakdown of Japanese ground forces over the decades. The first four maps are small, and represent the locations of JGSDF Divisions and Brigades in Japan during the 1950ís, 1960-90ís, 2000-2006, and 2007-2009. Organizational charts for the JGSDF are also provided for 2007 and 2006 (this is the order they are presented in). The last page is dedicated to a large map and organizational chart of the JGSDF in 2010.

On a side note, the author ties in the Japanese automotive industry (aptly pointed out as one of the core reasons that Japan is known as a major industrial nation), but does not complete the bigger picture regarding this success and its roots. I would have liked to have seen this fully fleshed out because it is useful in understanding Japanís industrial growth and success, the driving force behind their long but ultimately successful development of ground force vehicles.

Japan understandably is a country that has had very limited domestic resources, which has affected all aspects of its industry. Domestic automobile durability, reliability, and quality suffered along with domestically produced Armored Fighting Vehicles (AFVs). Limited natural resources coupled with a limited industrial infrastructure resulted in limited production capacity and development was relatively slow. As mentioned by the authors, Japan was able to rebuild much of its industrial infrastructure by the 1970s. This is very important because it allowed Japanís automotive industry to reach production levels that allowed them to compete in the global market. This marked a huge turning point for Japanís industrial side, opening a massive door for trading thus allowing Japan to begin drawing in significant amounts of resources ultimately improving the quality of their products over the past three decades. Key was the ability to obtain foreign high quality steel, replacing the poor quality steel available domestically; resulting in higher quality, more reliable, more durable products across the board. Because of this, the JGSDF was able to develop products to meet their requirements in house, instead of significantly relying on Western countries, from the 1980ís onward.

the photo galleries

The remaining sections of this book are dedicated to photo galleries with paired text offering brief descriptions of each JGSDF vehicle. Each photo is complimented with its own unique caption.

Reconnaissance Vehicles pp. 8-9:
*2 photos of the XLR25R Reconnaissance Motorcycle
1 photo of the JTPS-P11 sentry radar system mounted on the Type 73 Medium Truck
**2 photos of the Type 87 RCV (Reconnaissance Combat Vehicle)

Anti-Tank Weapons pp. 10-11:
1 photo of the Type 01 LMAT (Light Antitank Missile)
1 photo of the Type 87 MMAT (Antitank Missile)
1 photo of the Type 79 HMAT (Anti-Landing Craft and Antitank Missile)
1 photo of the Type 96 MPMS (Multi-Purpose Missile System) mounted on the HMV (High Mobility Vehicle)

Vehicle-based Communications Equipment pp. 11-12:
1 photo of the JMRC-C4 mounted on the HMV
1 photo of the JMRC-C20 mounted on the Type 73 Medium Truck
1 photo of the JMRC-C50 mounted on the HMV

Transport Vehicles pp. 13-19:
2 photos of the Type 73 Small Truck (Jeep)
**2 photos of the Type 73 Small Truck (Pajero)
2 photos of the Type 73 Medium Truck
3 photos of the HMV
1 photo of the ShizaiUnpansha Dump Carrier
2 photos of the Type 78 Snowcat
3 photos of the Type 73 Large Truck
2 photos of the Type 74 Extra-Large Truck
2 photos of the Type 74 towing the Type 73 Extra-Large Semi-Trailer

Logistics Ė Fuel Service and Medical Service pp. 20-22:
1 photo of the HMV based Dengensya Aviation Power Supply Vehicle
1 photo of the Type 73 Medium Truck based 1.5-ton Kyuukyuusya Ambulance
1 photo of the Type 73 Large Truck based YagaiSyujyutsu Field Operation System
1 photo of the Type 73 Large Truck based Mizusya Water Tanker
2 photos of the Type 73 Large Truck based Nenryosya Fuel Tanker (4 and 5-ton models)
1 photo of the Type 74 based Extra-Large Truck based Nenryosya Fuel Tanker 10-ton

NBC Vehicles pp. 23-25:
1 photo of the Type 94 Decontamination Device mounted on the Type 73 Medium Truck
1 photo of the KagakuzaiKanshiSouchi Chemical Substance Surveillance Device based on the HMV
1 photo of an evaluation vehicle based on the Type 73 Large Truck
1 photo of the Jyosensya Decontamination Vehicle Type 3(B)(DCn) based on the Type 73 Large Truck
1 photo of the PBDS (Precision Biological Detection System) based on the Type 73 Large Truck
**2 photos of the CRV (Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle) based on the Type 82 Command and Communications Vehicle (note: The 1/35 Trumpeter kit is called an NBC Detection Vehicle)

Engineer Vehicles pp.26-34:
1 photo of a Road Roller (Kawasaki)
1 photo of a Bucket Wheeled Loader
1 photo of a Cyugata Medium Dozer
1 photo of a Grader
1 photo of the YuatsuSyoberu Excavator
1 photo of a Truck Crane
1 photo of the DouroMatt Road Mattress carried on the Type 73 Large Truck
1 photo of the DouroSyougaiSagyousya Road Obstacle Vehicle based on the Type 73 Large Truck
1 photo of the Sansuisya Water Spray Vehicle based on the Type 73 Large Truck
2 photos of the Type 81 VLTB (Vehicle-Launched Trestle Bridge), carried on the Type 74 Extra-Large Truck and in deployed position
2 photos of the Type 92 Ribbon Bridge (92R) sections carried on the Type 74 Extra-Large Truck
1 photo of the Type 07 Manoeuvre Support Bridge section carried on the Type 74 Extra-Large Truck
2 photos of the Type 92 MCV (Minefield Clearance Vehicle) based on the Type 73 Tractor
1 photo of the Type 94 Shoreline Mine-laying Vehicle
2 photos of the Type 91 Tank Bridge (91TKV), carried on the Type 74 Tank (74TK) and in the deployed position
2 photos of the ShisetsuSagyousya Armoured EV (Engineer Vehicle)

Recovery Vehicles pp. 35-36:
1 photo of the Jyuu Heavy Wrecker based on the Type 74 Extra-Large Truck
1 photo of the JyuuSourinKaishusya Heavy Wheeled Recovery Vehicle
1 photo of the Type 78 Armoured Recovery Vehicle (78ARV)
1 photo of the Type 90 Armoured Recovery Vehicle (90ARV)

Anti-Aircraft Systems:
2 photos of the Type 93 CSAM (Close-Range Surface-to-Air Guided Missile) mounted on the HMV
1 photo of the JTPS-P18 carried on the HMV
1 photo of the JTPS-P14 mounted on the Type 73 Large Truck
1 photo of the Type 81 air-defense system mounted on the Type 73 Large Truck
2 photos of the Tan-SAM mounted on the Type 73 Large Truck
1 photo of the HAWK (Homing All the Way Killer)
1 photo of the HPI Radar for the HAWK system towed by the Type 73 Large Truck
1 photo of the Cyuu-SAM Type 03 SAM LAU (Launcher Unit)
1 photo of the Cyuu-SAM Type 03 SAM LDR (Loader)
1 hpoto of the Cyuu-SAM Type 03 SAM MFR (Multifunction Firing Radar)
1 photo of the Cyuu-SAM Type 03 SAM Signal Processing Section
1 photo of the Cyuu-SAM Type 03 SAM FCS based on the HMV
**1 photo of the Type 87 Anti-Aircraft AW (Automatic Weapon)

Armoured Fighting Vehicles and Armoured Personnel Carriers pp. 42-49:
*4 photos of the Keisoukoukidousha LAV (Light Armoured Vehicle)
**2 photos of the Type 82 CCV (Command and Communications Vehicle)
2 photos of the Type 73 APC (Armoured Personnel Carrier)
**5 photos of the Type 96 WAPC (Wheeled Armoured Personnel Carrier) (note: Trumpeter offers two versions in 1/35 styrene kit form, labeled as A and B)
**5 photos of the Type 89 FV (Fighting Vehicle)

Artillery and Artillery Support Systems:
1 photo of the JTPS-P13 mortar detection radar device
2 photos of the 120mm Mortar RT (120RT), in firing position and in tow behind the HMV
2 photos of the MLRS
1 photo of the JTPS-P16 artillery detection radar carried on the Type 74 Extra-Large Truck
2 photos of the Type 88 SSM (Surface-to-Ship Missile) mounted on the Type 74 Extra-Large Truck
2 photos of the FH-70 155mm Howitzer
1 photo of the Type 75 Self-Propelled Howitzer (75HSP)
1 photo of the Type 96 Self-Propelled Mortar (96MSP)
2 photos of the 203mm Self-Propelled Howitzer (20HSP)
2 photos of the Type 99 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer (99HSP)
1 photo of the Type 87 ASV (Ammunition Support Vehicle)
1 photo of the Type 99 ASV

Main Battle Tanks pp. 58-64:
*5 photos of the Type 74 Tank
*5 photos of the Type 90 Tank, 1 showing the Type 92 Mine-Roller attached (note: Tamiya offers their 1/35 kit both with and without the Type 92 Mine-Roller)
4 photos of the Type 10 Tank prototype

There are some nice photos unique to the insides of the front and rear covers as well.
1 photo of the Type 75 Armored Dozer (not listed in the engineering or recovery section)
2 additional photos of the LAV

conclusion

There arenít enough photos of any particular vehicle to make this book incredibly useful for modelers who wish to address corrections or super-detailing in their kits. Each photo is depicts the particular vehicle in its entirety, as is appropriate for the bookís purpose. This book also lacks operational photos such as deployment of JGSDF vehicles to the Middle East. This being said, many of the photos depict the vehicles during normal homeland operational duties or during training exercises, which are beneficial, especially with the understanding that most of the JGSDF are not deployed outside of Japan.

What this book offers is a unique collection of photos and information intelligently organized in categories that are intuitive to the reader. It will only take you a matter of seconds to find the appropriate vehicle for your next project or identify any particular JGSDF vehicle that you are unfamiliar with.

For those of you who are not yet aware, Tamiya has kitted a small handful of these vehicles in 1/35 scale. Trumpeter has recently been releasing new-tool 1/35 kits over the past few years, with the Type 87 Anti-Aircraft AW being their latest edition - it should be hitting the shelves soon. I have denoted which vehicles are currently available in 1/35 styrene kit form. If you havenít yet noticed, several JGSDF vehicles are based on the HMV, Type 73 Medium, Type 73 Large, and Type 74 Extra-Large trucks, making them good choices for base kits that we may see available in the future.

* = Tamiya
** = Trumpeter
SUMMARY
Highs: Excellent primer for anyone interested in modern JGSDF vehicles, easy to navigate, intuitive organization, clear high quality photos, useful and descriptive text accompany each photo.
Lows: No walk-arounds limit the usefulness in respect to modeling, would have benefited from expanded information.
Verdict: A great and welcome addition to the niche Japanese armor category, highly recommended to all Japanese military and JGSDF enthusiasts, modern armor fans, and to all who are looking for something different.
Percentage Rating
85%
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: Nr 7021
  Suggested Retail: 14.95 Euro
  Related Link: Tankograd Publishing
  PUBLISHED: Apr 30, 2012
  NATIONALITY: Japan / 日本
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.75%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 90.19%

Our Thanks to Tankograd Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Jeremy Hengest (vonHengest)
FROM: TEXAS, UNITED STATES

I've always had an avid interest in history, machines, art and learning. Scale modeling seems to be a natural conduit for bringing these things together, and I strive to further broaden my knowledge and skill bases as I inevitably continue to discover more throughout my life.

Copyright ©2019 text by Jeremy Hengest [ VONHENGEST ]. All rights reserved.



   

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