Armored HEMTT Armored Variants of the U.S. Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck book is the second one about HEMTT published by Tankograd and the fourth book in their American Special series. As the title suggests the book covers armored versions of these logistic vehicles and focuses on armor components and sets. Modelers interested in more general information about HEMTT variants should check the previous Tankograd book in the same series (reviewed here
Like the previous volume, the new book was also written by Carl Schulze and is published in the same bilingual German/English format, printed on high quality semi-gloss paper in approximately A4 size. The book contains 64 pages with 115 color photographs (according to the information on the back cover, although the same info also claims that there are two big format graphics in the book, while there is in fact only one small drawing from the armor kit installation manual reproduced). All text in the book, including photo captions is printed in two languages. Color photos in the book are of very good quality.
There is only one six page chapter of text in the book, split into seven sub-chapters. Remember that it is a bilingual publication, so of these six pages only about three are in fact in English. The rest of the book are photos many full page ones with captions. Sub-chapters are:
- Introduction the first untitled sub-chapter in one paragraph provides basic information about HEMTT vehicles and their history.
- No Armor Protection
the short chapter describes the weakness of all standard HEMTT vehicles: the total lack of armor protection for the crew.
- 1996 Add-On Armor Requirement for Bosnia
in this chapter author describes the development of the initial requirement for increasing armor protection of logistic vehicles participating in IFOR operations in Bosnia. These requirements resulted in the purchase of first 450 Crew Protection Kits for HEMTT.
- Operation Iraqi Freedom Increasing Requirement for Add-On Armor Kits
covers the changing situation in Iraq after the March 2003 invasion: from conventional war where armor protection of logistics vehicles was not considered necessary, to the guerilla was with insurgents using RPGs and IEDs against coalition convoys that made the use of armor protection of crews a necessity. In this chapter described are three versions of armor protection kits prepared for HEMTT: Level III (kits developed, manufactured and installed by deployed troops from armor steel sheets), Level II (industrially manufactured add-on armor kits) and Level I (entirely new armored cab replacing the original soft-skin one).
- Level III and II Add-On Armor for the HEMTT
contains more detailed description of Level II and III kits. According to the information in this chapter, there are currently no plans for production of Level I kits.
- For all HEMTT Variants
chapter contains a list of all HEMTT variants for which the CPK add-on armor can be fitted. This in fact is a complete list of HEMTT variants with only one exception the M1142 Tactical Fire Fighting truck is not on the list and according to the author it is unclear whether it is possible to mount the CPK on it.
- Components and Mounting of the CPK
provides more detailed description of the Level II Crew Protection Kit.
- CPK Model B
this short final chapter covers the improved version of the CPK: Model B.
The rest of the book is filled with color photos with bilingual captions. There are additional bits of information provided in these captions including more detailed information about specific implementation of armor kits on portrayed trucks, but many of the same data from the text part of the book is also repeated in them. Photos show most - if not all - major HEMTT variants with armor kits installed (although not armored trucks are also shown in the beginning of the book), but almost all photos show entire trucks, i.e. there is only a couple of close-up shots of CPK components provided. But clear large format photos should still provide enough information for those modelers wanting to scratch build armor kits for their Italeri/Revell HEMTT models. There are a few photos in the book of trucks with interesting non-standard markings applied on them by crews and close-up pictures of some of these markings are also provided.
Despite the lack of close-up shots of armor components, the book should be very helpful for all modelers planning to build a model of HEMTT deployed to Iraq and also Afghanistan. I would appreciate some information about the practical effectiveness of the armor kits used in Iraq - the text only mentions its theoretical effectiveness, but does not include any information about actual combat experiences. It is interesting to see on excellent photos the development of the add-on armor from the first troop-built Level III kits to most advanced Level II CPK Model B, and various additions to them further improving crew protection, like machine gun ring shields. It is important to mention that the book, while obviously focused on up-armored trucks, is also an excellent reference for various variants of standard soft-skin HEMTT vehicle with plenty of clear photos, as the only area covered with armor parts is the truck cab.