Here we take a look at a Pen and Sword release titled US Vehicles and Heavy Weapons of the Vietnam War.


The following introduction is taken from the Pen and Sword website:

The ground war in Vietnam pitted a myriad of American tanks, artillery, APC and trucks against not only the weapons of Communist North Vietnam, but also the terrain. Through archival images, the arsenal of the US Army and USMC are revisited. From the iconic M113 APC to the M48A3 tank, M551 Armored Reconnaissance/Airborne Assault Vehicle, M151 and M54 trucks, M50 Ontos, M107 and M109 artillery, and M42 Duster, the complete array of vehicles fielded is shown.

This book, the first in a series on the US military's weapons, vehicles, aircraft, and naval vessels of the Vietnam War, offers a highly illustrated reference for this wishing to delve deeper into this conflict.


This offering from Pen and Sword titled US vehicles and heavy weapons of the Vietnam war, is authored by David Doyle. David Doyle is a formidable author, having produced a huge number of titles covering military history from World War II to the present day, and these books are available from a wide number of publishing houses. This offering from Pen and Sword is a hard backed book, protecting 248 semi-gloss pages of a good quality paper. This book presents its contents is two main groups, the first being world vehicles, which for the most part are soft skinned and the second half is tracked vehicles which tend to be armoured. 

The US military at the end of World War II, stumbled from one war to the next in some ways, with the Korean War being the first major conflict where the equipment used would not have been out of place at the end of the Second World War. Move on the Vietnam War, and you start to see a major change in the USA line up. Which while still having the general trucks and Jeeps, they were more widely utilised and better quality, and in the case of the trucks, some were even used as fighting vehicles. Moving on to the tracked vehicles and you start to see better quality armour being used to transport troops around, heavier MBTs tended to be better designed, have better co-ordination with troops and vehicles and the tactics were a step up from World War II.  Self propelled guns and anti-aircraft weapon systems were more effective due to being equipped with both guns and missiles, and this book looks at them all, to a pleasing level despite the wide variety of vehicles used. 

The vehicles themselves each get a short write up, including a general data sheet and while I cannot say I learnt a great deal from the written content, others may get more from it. With that said a good quantity of the written information is written in the form of data presentation, rather than about the vehicles themselves. Each and every vehicle entry is accompanied by varying numbers of photographs, presented in both black and white and colour. The photographs are further accompanied with captions that provide information to varying degrees, but that in many cases in addition ot indentifying the vehicle you are looking at, you are provided with context as in what the vehicle is engaged in, and in some cases where and when. 


This offering from Pen and Sword can almost be considered as part of a series, as there are a number of titles presented in similar ways. For me, this book is for the modeller who has a general interest in vehicles used in Vietnam by the US, rather than specific vehicles. You are provided with a reasonable intro to each vehicle, and the mix of photographs and settings may unexpectedly get you interested in producing a model of a vehicle otherwise not considered. In my opinion this is a very good general reference book of the vehicles used in this period. 



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