Osprey Vanguard 252- M113 APC 1960-75
48 pages plus covers
Another in the well-known Osprey Vanguard series of AFV monographs, this book is physically the same as the others in the series. The size and length is strictly to form as is the roughly 50/50 mix of text and images; images made up of period photos, some profile side views and some high quality graphics. Image quality is first rate.
The M113 is truly an ubiquitous AFV in Western armies. With over 80,000 made, they can be found in every corner of the world and still serving over 50 years from its first introduction. This book focuses on the early service of the M113 “battle taxi” in Vietnam, predominantly with the ARVN, American and Australia forces, with a nod to the service of other free world forces in Vietnam at the time.
As is typical for this series, the book starts with the development of the M113 with some interesting (if small) photos of the precursors of the M113, the M75, M59 and even the M44. There is also a fair amount of coverage of the various variants used by the three principal users in Vietnam with photos and profiles of fitter vehicles, flamethrowers, bridging vehicles, etc. The bulk of the book, though is made up of short battle histories illustrative of the successes and failures of the use of the M113 by the various armies, all grouped by army. The ARVN section is first, US Army second and Australian Army use last. While individually interesting, the battle descriptions do not go towards forming a coherent narrative or towards describing an evolution in either the use of or defence against the M113 in the field. There is no summating discussion that tried to draw these threads together, which, I feel, is a shortcoming of the book.
The photographs in the books are generally quite small, yet the quality and selection are first rate. Many different variants are shown in a broad variety of environments. While not the best references for model making, they do provide a lot of fodder for anyone looking at making a period diorama.
With some reservations regarding the lack of a consistent theme, this book is still highly recommended!
Thanks goes out to Osprey Vanguard for this review copy.
Reviewed by Paul Roberts, AMPS FF Worthington, Toronto, ON
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