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Concord Publications: Assault, Volume 10 (7810)

by Yves Debay, Ralph Zwilling and Tim Matzold, Daniel Nowak & Clemens Niesner

ISBN 962-361-098-X. Price unavailable.

The first article is entitled “1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Centaurs”, by Ralph Zwilling, and contains 59 color photos and four charts. The author describes the equipment and organization of a typical US Army heavy division’s artillery unit. Mr. Zwilling provides an extraordinarily detailed, yet easily understood technical description of the M109A6 “Paladin” 155mm SPG, as well as its accompanying M992A2 FAASV and M1074 PLS ammunition re-supply vehicles. Further coverage is given to the various HUMMERS and M981 FIST(V) assets as well as specialized weather measurement and communications devices. The photos in particular, detail the workings of the M109, M992 and M1074 as they deploy, fire, and re-supply. There are also a number of detail, as well as interior photos of the specialized equipment, making this article ideal for modelers. The text also provides a history of the unit, which dates back almost to the formation of the US Army in the 18th century. The four charts detail the structure of the overall Battery, the HQ Battery, the Firing Battery and the Support Battery.

The next article, “Thuringer Lowe, Germany’s Artilleriebrigade 100 in Training”, by: Tim Matzold, Daniel Nowak & Clemens Niesner, contains 40 color photos and one color drawing. I found the text to be rather difficult to follow, which is perhaps the result of three authors all having input, or English being a second language to some or all of them. Whatever the case, the series editor should have picked up the slack. The photos feature Flakpanzer and Bergepanzer Leopards, MARS rocket launcher systems, Fuchs and Luchs wheeled AFVs, various wheeled support vehicles, bridging equipment and sensor devices. There is also good coverage of tactical UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), specifically the CL289, Luna and KZO, including their launch and support vehicles.

The last article, entitled “Belgian 7th Mechanized Brigade, the Gallic Brigade” is by the well-known Yves Debay. It contains 53 color photos and one drawing. The stars of this article are Leopard 1A5 MBTs, M113-based AIFVs in both command and 25mm-armed versions, conventional M113s, Leopard 1-based “Leguan” bridge-layers and Bergepanzers, and finally, M109A3s and their derivative VBCL (Light Armored Command Vehicle). Individual troops and their personal weapons are shown as are crew-served machine guns and 120mm mortars. Snipers and their arms, as well as their “Ghillie Suits” are also shown. The Belgians also have “tank-sized Ghillie Suits”, which are shown in photographs to be quite effective as a means of concealment. The text gives a background history of the various units that comprise the brigade, as well as a brief on their current functions. There is also organizational material supplied, but beware since the text says that the 1st Lanciers Regiment contains three platoons each of four Leopards, while a photo caption later states that it is four platoons each with three Leopards. Which is it? Another odd turn in the text is where the structure of the Gallic Brigade is described as consisting of “3500 people and women”. Huh? Another caption states that the Belgians train with German helicopter assets, including the ”CH-57”. It should probably be the CH-53. In every instance, the author has “been around” and should know better, as should the series editor.

The center-spread color profile by Hubert Cance depicts a British AS90 in Basra, Iraq during 2003. I often wonder why the center-spread rarely supports any specific article in a particular volume, but it is nice to have. Regardless, Mr. Zwilling’s work alone keeps this particular issue from receiving a lesser rating, which would be the result due to the less-than-optimum text and captions in the other two articles.


Frank V. De Sisto

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