M113 In The 1990s Part 1
by Carl Schulze, with illustrations
by Hubert Cance
Concord Publications, ISBN 962-361-677-5, Price: unavailable.
The ubiquitous M113 and its offspring constitute the most widely produced
AFV in history. There have been a number of books covering this vehicle
and its derivatives, including an earlier title from this publisher, but
with the continued and widespread use of the M113, “updates”
will always be quite welcome.
This book’s author has undertaken quite a task as he seeks (using
a multi-part series approach) to tell the story of the M113 and its various
users during the last decade of the 20th Century. If this first part is
an indication, it will be a splendid series indeed.The book begins with
an extremely competent capsule history of the early production variants,
along with tabular data on the M113, M113A1, M113A2 and M113A3. Between
the text and charts, an easily digested part of the production history
of the basic ‘113 is made available to readers. Likewise, upgrade
programs are also given a brief mention.
The full-color photographs that follow are all very well captioned and
come from the likes of Peter Blume, Walter Bohm, Yves Debay, Michael Jerchel,
Peter Siebert and Ralph Zwilling. As one would expect, they are of the
highest quality. There are also several color profiles spread throughout
the book by Mr. Cance, featuring a US M113A3, German Minenwurf-panzer
M548GA1 Skorpion, Canadian M113A2 TUA (TOW Under Armor) and Danish M92
(M113A2 with OTO turret). He also provides a scale drawing in four views
of a basic M113A2/A3 in a fold-out section in the book’s center.
The author has wisely chosen to tell the story in a “nation-by-nation”
format, rather than a format based on variations. So, naturally he begins
by showing US-manned vehicles, then Canadian vehicles, German, Danish
and Norwegian. The book concludes with a single page devoted to lesser
users such as Egypt, Kuwait, Portugal and Saudi Arabia.
There are a large number of variants shown, which is something sure to
get modeler’s juices flowing. Due to the overall excellent quality
of the photographs, vehicle colors, markings, special features and stowage
are all shown to excellent effect.
A brief run-down of types depicted ought to be useful as a means of whetting
the appetites of those who wish to model the ‘113 or its variants.
US vehicles are: M113A2 and A3 (with and without external fuel tanks and
ACAV kits), M163A1 Vulcan AA vehicle, M981A3 FISTV, M548A1, M577A2 command
vehicle, M1015 containerized load carrier, M1059A3 smoke dispensing vehicle
and M1064A3 120mm mortar carrier. Coverage of Canadian use includes the
unique ADATS (Air Defense Anti-Tank System), DAREOD (Damaged Airfield
Reconnaissance Explosive Ordnance Disposal), M113 TUA (Tow Under Armor)
and M113 C&R, as well as the more conventional M113 fitter’s
track, and M113 engineer variant. The German Bundeswehr is represented
by various M113GA1s and GA2AOs in their Flieger-Leit-Panzer, Green Archer
Radar, Beobachtungs-Panzer-Artillerie, Krankenkraftwagen, Panzer-Morser,
Schreib-Funk-Panzer, Minenwurf-Panzer Skorpion, as well as several other
types. Denmark is represented by standard M113A1s, Ambulances, TOW tracks,
and the unique M92. Several of these vehicles are fitted with passive
appliqué armor arrays. Norway weighs in with M113A1s, M548s, M577A1s,
M113A1 TOW ALT and several other interesting sub-variants, some with special
weapons stations or bolt-on applique armor arrays. In other words, there’s
quite a selection here!
With such a widely used vehicle, featuring a multitude of variants, the
M113 is surely a popular staple of model builders of post-WW2 AFVs. This
book is sure to be welcomed by them as well as those who simply enjoy
excellent photographic coverage of a vehicle which is still making history.
Personally, the remaining parts of this series will not be available soon
Frank V. De Sisto
Concord Publications are available from retail and mail order shops,
or from the publisher at: www.concord-publications.com