"Finland’s Maavoimat: Vehicles of the Modern Finnish Army"
by Clemens Niesner
Since there are not a lot of reference books available that focus on Finnish Military Vehicles, I was very anxious to get this book for review. Plus, being that I am a wheeled fighting vehicle enthusiast I was definitely looking forward to seeing what Finnish wheeled vehicles are featured in the book.
The book is divided into the following main sections:
- Background Information (10 pages of coverage)
- Motorcycles, Quads, Cars & Trucks (16 pages)
- Air Defense (6 pages)
- Wheeled Armor (7 pages)
- Engineers (7 pages)
- Artillery (5 pages)
- Over-Snow Vehicles (2 pages)
- Tracked Armor (7 pages)
- Main Battle Tanks (4 pages)
Accuracy of Information
From what I can determine, the accuracy of the information provided by the author is very good to excellent. When compared with my personal references covering the Finnish Army in general and on the individual vehicles in specific (on some = scant; on others = a lot), the book looks to be very accurate. I did not identify any wrong or misleading information contained in this book and there is absolutely no reason for me to believe the information is inaccurate in any way. I don’t think I missed any significant errors either.
Photograph and/or Illustration Quality and Selection
The photographs are the primary focus of this book. Tankograd and the author provides us readers with a generous 128 color photos in 64 pages. The color and clarity of the photos is very good as well. Since this book is really an encyclopedia of Finnish vehicles, you don’t get a ton of detail photos specifically showing widget X on vehicle Y. Most photos provided are of the type where they give overall views of the vehicles and camouflage/markings. Most of the photos provided are in an easily viewable/useable size so as to be able to identify a specific vehicle, markings or camouflage. In some photos you can even identify/discern all but the smallest details too.
The selection of photographs provided by the author is excellent in quantity and variation as well. It looks like the author provides a photo or more of just about every vehicle that is currently fielded by the Finnish Army (as well as some serving a few years back), but I am not 100% sure of course.
Although the author provides photographs of many different vehicles in this book, some are covered more extensively than others. Here is a summary of military vehicles that are covered a bit more than others (in roughly the order they appear):
Motorcycles, Quads, Cars & Trucks
- Polaris ATV
- Land Rover Defender 110
- Toyota Hi-Lux Pick Up
- Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen
- Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van
- Mercedes-Benz ATEGO Truck
- SISU SA-150 VKH Truck
- SISU A2045 HMTV Truck
- SCANIA P Series Truck
- SISU E11T HMTV Series Truck
- SCANIA R164 Tractor Trailer
- Valtry N163 Tractor
- Ilmatorjuntaohjus 12 Air Defense System (SISU E13T Truck with AIM-120 Missile Launcher)
- Ilmatorjuntaohjus 90 Air Defense System (SISU XA-181 Wheeled Armored Carrier with Croatale-NG Missiles)
- Ilmatorjuntapanssarivaunu 90 Air Defense System (T-55AM with Marksman Anti-Aircraft Gun Turret)
- RG-32M MRAP
- SISU-XA-180 Wheeled Armored Carrier
- SISU XA-185 Wheeled Armored Carrier
- SISU XA-203 Wheeled Armored Carrier Series
- PATRIA XA-360 Armored Modular Vehicle
- Leopard 2R Armored Engineer Vehicle
- Leopard 2L Bridge Layer
- SISU E15TP-L Truck with Leguan Bridge
- M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS)
- Hagglunds BV206 All-Terrain Carrier
- Hagglunds BV308A Armored All-Terrain Carrier
- MT-LB Tracked Armored Carrier Series
- BTR-50YVI-2 HQ Command Vehicle
- BMP-1 AIFV
- BMP-2 AIFV
- CV9030FIN AIFV Series
Main Battle Tanks
- Leopard 2A4FIN MBT
- Leopard 2A6FIN MBT
There are also two (2) color illustrations provided; one a map of Finland showing unit locations and the other being the Finnish Army Badge (Crest). Both are rendered nicely and contribute to the general usefulness and appeal of the book.
Use as Reference
As the book is encyclopedic in nature, it should not be considered the “end all” resource on modern Finnish Army vehicles. However, it is a great reference to have in your collection if you are at all interested in that country’s military or modern military vehicles in general. This book is an excellent reference for modelers as well as vehicle enthusiasts because there just aren’t a lot of references available covering the military vehicles of Finland. Although the amount of information given by the author about the vehicles is not huge, it is more than sufficient for anyone wanting to learn more about the vehicles featured.
Editing of Information/ Text Flow
The full text is provided in both German and English. The text flow (e.g. the writing ability of the author) and editing of the information that is provided is also very good. The information is also provided in a logical and organized way and wasn’t confusing. The book structure makes sense too in that it the book is set up in a format based upon the vehicle types in service with the Finnish Army and is easy to use and very informative.
Quality of Print Medium
This edition is a sturdy 8” x 11 ½” soft cover book. The construction of the book facilitates fairly frequent use/reading of the book, but probably won’t hold up extraordinarily well with constant use. Obviously, all soft cover books suffer from the fact that they don’t hold up as well as hard cover books. The pages are a bit on the thin side when compared to other books in the same quality/price range. However, there should not be any problems with the book being easily damaged as they are sturdy enough. With all this being said, in my opinion, this book is a bit sturdier than other soft cover books due to the slightly thicker material used for the cover.
This book will be a great addition to your reference library if you are at all interested in modern armored fighting vehicles in general or Finnish vehicles specifically. A multitude of vehicles in current service are covered with the use of a large number of high quality color photographs. The only minor limitation of the book is that there aren’t too many detail photos included. As this book is encyclopedic in nature, that aspect wouldn’t normally be covered anyway, but you should know what you’re getting for your money.
Thanks goes out to Tankograd Publishing for this review kit.
Reviewed by Patrick Keenan - AMPS Chicagoland
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