The following introduction is provided by Pen and Sword:
The Bradley Fighting Vehicle was developed in the 1970s to counter the new Infantry Fighting Vehicles of the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies. Designed to survive the imagined high-intensity, Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) battlefield of the Cold War, it became, alongside the M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank, the mainstay of US armoured forces during the 1980s. As the Cold War ended, however, it would go on to prove its worth on other battlefields. During the First Gulf War the Bradley would destroy more Iraqi AFVs than the Abrams, while during the 1990s it would prove itself an effective weapons system in the missions to Bosnia and Kosovo. During the 2003 invasion of the Iraq and the fighting that followed it confirmed its reputation as a versatile and deadly AFV.
This volumes examines the development and service history of both the M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle and the M3 Bradley Cavalry Fighting Vehicle. The various modifications and improvements over its long service history are described, as is the experience of the soldiers who have fought alongside and in it during the past three decades. The book also gives a full account of the wide range of kits and accessories available in all the popular scales and includes a modelling gallery covering the most important Bradley variants. Detailed colour profiles provide both reference and inspiration for modellers and military enthusiasts alike.
This offering from Pen and Sword is part of their ‘Land Craft’ book series, with this one covering the Bradley Fighting Vehicle being the 9th in the series. The author of this offering is David Grummitt who has authored a good number of titles. This book series are all soft backed books with a glossy card cover protecting the pages within. In this case there are 64 pages with the book being roughly A4 in size and presented in a portrait format. The contents are presented as follows:
The development of the infantry fighting vehicle
The development of the Bradley fighting vehicle
The Bradley described
Camouflage and markings
The Bradley described (Continued)
The future of the Bradley
The Bradley in service
The Bradley today
The text in this offering from Pen and Sword is well written and provides a reasonable level of detail considering the number of pages in the book. I quite enjoyed reading this title, but it again as in many of the preceding titles in this series breaks the text up for no good reason that I can see or understand as dropping the portraits and modelling sections in the middle of a written chapter just breaks up the flow of the book. So while I found the written segments of interest the break location is a poor choice in my opinion.
The photographs included in the title of the actual vehicles are a nice selection of colour and black & white. Each of the photographs has a caption that provides the needed basics of the image to help the viewer where needed. All of the images have been well chosen as regards the quality of the images and I was also pleased to see a good selection of finishes represented. The photographs will also help the modeller when it comes to applying a realistic weathered finish to a model.
13 prints are provided in this title showing a very good selection of finishes in detail with the artist adding a tasteful degree of weathering. If it comes to complaints I will restrict it to all of the prints being shown from the left hand side only, more angles would have been a nice inclusion. The finished models in the book are as follows:
M2 1-58, 197th Infantry Brigade, Infantry Centre, Fort Benning, GA 1983 – 1/72nd Trumpeter kit by David Grummitt
M2 1-7 Infantry, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Exercise Central Guardian, Hesse, Germany, January 1985 – 1/35th Tamiya Kit by David Grummitt
M3A1 2-4 Cavalry, 24th Infantry Division (Mechanised), Operation Desert Shield, Saudi Arabia, November 1990 – 1/35th Tamiya Kit by Torsten Wagner
M2A2 ODS Bravo Company, 1-26 Infantry, Task Force Falcon, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armoured Division, Kosovo, August 1999 – 1/35th Tamiya Kit by David Grummitt
M2A2 ODS 1-41 Infantry, 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, As Samawah, Iraq, March 2003 – 1/72nd Dragon Model by David Grummitt
M3A3 2-5 Cavalry, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fallujah, Iraq, November 2004 – 1/35th Meng Model by Patrick Winnepenninckx
M2A3 Alpha Company, 2-5 Cavalry, 1st Armoured Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Exercise Combined Resolve II, Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, June 2014 – 1/35th Meng Model by Torsten Wagner
I appreciate the inclusion of finished models and I like that some of the work done to the base model is shown, but I feel less kits with more detail would have been more insightful for the modeller. The model kits have had a far micro review and comparison that will enable quick choices to be made by the modeller. The micro reviews cover the main options in 1/35th and 1/72nd scale. The after market sets are very minimal as regards coverage but I was pleased to see companies such as FC Model Trend getting mentioned.
This offering from Pen and Sword is a Heinz 57 for me; I am not a fan of broken text sections due to the insertion of the modelling chapters, and I would have preferred more details on less models. On the plus side I really like the prints included in the title, the text is well written and the author knows his material. So I feel this title offers value for money and I feel will offer something to anyone interested in the vehicle.