|TANKOGRAD - M113 in der Bundeswehr - Parts 1 & 2|
A look at the first two parts in a new four series from Tankograd on the M113 in German Service...
M113 in der Bundeswehr - Parts 1 & 2
Author: Peter Blume & Clemens Niesner
Softcover; A4, 64 pages
No other vehicle in the history of modern armoured vehicles has been nearly as successful as the American M113 armoured personnel carrier (APC). The Heer (Army) of the German Bundeswehr also procured this successful vehicle from 1962 onwards, fielding it under the name Mannschaftstransportwagen (MTW) M 113. In the Cold War period, some 4,000 M 113's and variants belonged to the vehicle inventory of the German Army, among them many specialised variants. During their service with the German Bundeswehr, vehicles of the M 113 family were also put through several programmes aimed at improving their combat capabilities and extending their in-service life. This documentation (requiring four parts due to the huge amount of variants) describes and illustrates in detail the use of the M 113 MTW and its variants by the Bundeswehr from 1962 to the present.
M 113 Command and Communication Vehicle
The above says it all really! The complete story of the M113 in German service from 1962 up to the present day, presented in four parts, the first two of which are now available. If you are familiar with Tankograd titles, then you'll know exactly what to expect with this series, and if not...then you're missing out.
Although mainly photographic in nature, as per the usual Tankograd format, there's a higher proportion of textual information presented in these two first parts. The text, along with all the photo captions is presented in dual English/German language, each section as listed above typically beginning with a couple of pages of text, before showing various photographs (colour where possible) of the variant being discussed. Part 1 is slightly heavier on information as presented in textual form, but this is to expected given that it's used mainly to 'set the stage' for presentation of the many variants used by Germany in the past five decades.
Close to the beginning of Part 1, a two-page spread in the form of a table presents the reader with and an overview of the main variants used during the time frame discussed, along with a table of technical data, many pictures taken from the workshop manual, and a few 1/35th scale line drawings.
Towards the end of part 1, a section on the Service life extension programmes, goes some way to explaining the longevity of this vehicle, or at least its variants in German service. Largely as a result of private development, two major programmes have been followed, resulting in NDV-1 and NDV-2 upgraded vehicles, involving but not limited to, upgrades in the drive train to improve baking and steering from a safety perspective. There's a detailed breakdown of which vehicles were subject to which programme offered.
From a purely modelling perspective, part 2 would seem to concentrate on the much more interesting variants, such as various command and control vehicles, radio and an armoured ambulance version....of which unfortunately we're only offered one picture of its inside layout. Towards the end of part 2 the weirdest version is one used for driver training, which looks ever so slightly like something the IDF would have used because of its glass cage perched on top of the vehicle, where presumably the instructor sat. There are even some photographs of a M113 drivers simulator...which could make for an interesting model to scratchbuild!
If you have an interest in the M113...even if it doesn't particularly centre around its use by Germany...you'll still find plenty of interest in this series of books, along with of course, plenty of period photographs taken throughout the vehicle's lifetime. As is usual with Tankograd titles, only the necessary information is presented, and done so in a clear, concise way, along with exceptionally well captioned photographs, which almost all readers will find themselves looking at again and again. Recommended.
My thanks to Justin at Bookworld for the review sample.