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Assault Volume 11

by Yves Debay, Walter Bohm, Carl Schulze and Tim Matzold, Daniel Nowak & Clemens Niesner

Concord Publications, ISBN 962-361-113-7. Price: $11.95 USD.

This series continues to bring good-quality color images of current armored vehicles, troops and weapons, as well as helicopters to English-language readers. In fact, I don’t know of any other publisher that presents this type of material in English. This latest volume covers several armored units and specific vehicle types, as well as a state-of-the-art air defense missile system, all with fine color photography.

The first article is by Tim Matzold, Clemens Niesner & Daniel Nowak, and covers the subject of “Armored Recce with the 9th/12th Royal Lancers”. It does so with 36 color photos of CVR(T)-series AFVs, as well as wheeled support vehicles. There is a single chart that presents specifications for FV-103 Spartan APC, FV-105 Sultan Command Vehicle and FV-107 Scimitar Reconnaissance vehicle. Aside from the vehicles that are presented in the specs chart, the photos also depict another member of the CVR(T) family, the Striker ATGW vehicle. Wheeled vehicles such as Land Rover TUM “Wolf” (with a photo of a radio/command version), and various Bedford trucks (MK, MJ and TM) complete the coverage. Interestingly, many of the Scimitars that are still in desert camouflage colors from their deployment to Iraq, also wear appliqué armor. Unfortunately, the captions really don’t go into much detail in that regard. The text includes a brief history of the unit in question as well as a description of the exercise being photographed. There are also notes on the vehicles within the unit, as well as its organization.

Carl Schulze follows with a fine piece on a recently fielded ICV entitled, “Ulan: Austria’s New Multi-Role Armored Infantry Combat Vehicle”. His text gives a concise and informative run-down on the development and technical characteristics of the Ulan as well as information on its initial deployment. To do so, he presents 29 excellent color photos and one specification chart. The captions are informative and concise. Now, all we need is a kit!

The next article is by Walter Bohm, and covers a US OPFOR unit in Germany. It’s entitled “Men in Black: US Army Europe’s Opposing Force in Germany”, and consists of 47 color photos, as well as text. The photos are unusual in that this is the only active US Army unit that still fields the M60A3 MBT. These are used as surrogate Russian T-80 MBTs, while the units HUMMVEES are given visual modifications (“VISMODS”) to make them represent Russian BRDM-2 scout cars and other specialized vehicles such as SAM launchers. The ubiquitous M113-series is also seen with VISMODS (including a large plastic garbage can on the rear decks!) to mimic BMP-1 and BMP-2 MICVs. Also seen are UH-1Hs disguised as Mi-24 “Hind” assault helicopters. Also seen are various assigned troops who wear commonly black BDUs and helmet covers, thus their nickname of “men in Black”. The text ably describes the unit’s mission and its equipment, while the photo captions also do a fine job of describing the subject.

Yves Debay finishes this issue with two short articles, the first of which, “The Leopard I in the Greek Army”, contains 12 color photos of Leopard A4 and A5 in Greek service. His second piece, “Fire of Thor”, describes the Greek use of the Russian Tor-M1 (NATO code: SA-15 “Gauntlet”) air defense missile system. Containing only nine color photos, it barely scratches the surface of this tantalizing subject. In the case of both articles, Mr. Debay brings his expertise to bear with informative text and captions. As one would expect, the quality of the photographs is excellent.

As is usual with this series, an un-related (to the issue’s articles) color center-spread profile by Hubert Cance is included. It depicts an M2A2 Bradley of the US 1st Armored Division’s 1st Battalion, 41st Armored Infantry Regiment, in Iraq during April of 2003.

For those on the look-out for quality color photo references on contemporary material, this series is hard to beat, especially for the asking price.


Frank De Sisto

Concord Publications are available from retail and mail order shops, or from the publisher at: www.concord-publications.com.