As indicated by the title of the book, this publication looks at 40 years of the US 1st Armoured Division in Germany. The book examines the resources available to the 1st Armoured Division during that time, but also touches on its service during World War Two, The Korean War, and its limited participation in the Vietnam War. The book then continues with the participation of the U.S. 1st Armoured Division in the Gulf.
Below is the introduction to the book written by Tankograd Publications:
The 1st Armored Division is among the most famous and oldest divisions of the US Army, and it has now been in existence for more than seventy years. The unit can look back on the many operational deployments it conducted over the years and which made it what it is today, a powerful, major fighting force with a proud history, a history that is also strongly related to Germany. This publication tells the history of the 1st Armored Division and shows the unit’s vehicles, from light off-road vehicle to main battle tank, during its deployment in Germany between 1971 and 2011 in many hitherto unpublished photographs.
This publication consists of 64 pages and has 101 colour photographs along with 17 B&W photographs. The text in the book is printed in both German and English. The book is broken down into vehicle types, which are:
The Division at War
Light Wheeled Vehicles
Heavy Wheeled Vehicles
Tracked Armoured Vehicles
Field Artillery Vehicles
Air Defence Vehicles
The book starts with a written introduction providing a condensed history of the U.S. 1st Armoured Division (consisting of eight pages). If you are thinking "only eight pages?" and you are looking for the history of the U.S. 1st Armoured Division, then this book is not for you. If on the other hand, all you want is a brief introduction, this is sufficient for that purpose and provides an insight into just how far and wide the U.S. 1st Armoured Division has traveled.
Here is a breakdown of the sub headings in this short introduction:
• The early years
• The birth of a Division
• Germany – a new home
• Operation Desert Shield/Operation Desert Storm
• Structural changes
• Conflicts of the 1990’s
• The crest – sign of a unit
The book then moves onto the pictorial portion, which is broken down into vehicle types, rather than periods. The pictures start with an homage to the U.S. 1st Armoured Division’s contributions prior to 1971, with 4 black & white photographs showing Shermans and Stuarts during World War 2, then two black & white photographs of Sheridans during the Vietnam War. These four pictures showing vehicles in service with the division does provide some nice data in the form of vehicle names and decoration imparted by the crews.
The book now moves onto its designated time period of interest starting with Light Wheeled Vehicles. This area of the book provides images of vehicles such as the M715 Kaiser Jeep with an interesting four-colour camouflage scheme from the early 70s, and then moves through vehicles such as the Gama Goat and M151 Ford Mutt, all before closing with images of the M114 and M1151.
The next area looks at the Heavy Wheeled Vehicles and provides images of vehicles such as the M520, M911, and HETS. The support vehicles shown here in a large number of guises provides a good pictorial history of camouflage utilised through the period this book covers, and it is this facet that I found the most interesting from a modellers view point.
The next area examined is the Tracked Armoured vehicles, and unsurprisingly shows a large number of variants of the M113, such as APC, anti-tank, ambulance, and command versions. Moving forward in time, this section of the book finishes with the M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle.
The next area covered takes a look at the big guns of the Field Artillery. This area of the book is heavily-occupied by the M109 and M110, but also provides pictures of the M992 forward artillery ammunition support vehicle, and the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System.
This next section of the book is of particular interest to me, as it looks at the Air Defense Vehicles. This section covers platforms such as the M48 Chaparral and M113 Vulcan air defence system. Also covered are the M561 Gama Goat-based Forward Area Alert Radar, and the Avenger system mounted on a modified Hummer.
Now the book shares with us a look at the Support Vehicles, which consist mostly with recovery vehicles such as the M88A1 and M578. However, the NBC defence aspect is also examined, with the M93 Fox getting a look in.
The engineering aspect of the U.S. 1st Armoured Division is not ignored either, having their own area in the book simply titled "Engineer Vehicles." The vehicles covered here are the M728 CEV and M812 truck, alongside the M48 and M60 in the Armoured Vehicle Launched Bridges role. The bulldozer also gets a chance to shine with a great picture of the M9 ACE.
This next section of the book will likely receive the most attention from modellers as the tanks have arrived. This section provides a nice selection of M60 tank pictures in both colour and black & white, before moving onto the M1 Abrams tank. I think that the M1 Abrams must have become the most-identifiable modern tank (with the possible exception of the Leopard in all of its guises).
The book starts to draw to a close with "Army Aviation," and this section features my personal favourite: the AH 1 Cobra. Also covered here is the Bell UH1 and OH-58 C Kiowa, before the Black hawk and Apache close this area of the book.
This book has managed to provide a good selection of pictures and a brief introduction to the U.S. 1st Armoured Division in Germany in only 64 pages. The pictures of vehicles are for the most part very good, considering the age of some of them. If you are looking for a book covering a good selection of vehicles in US service generally and the U.S. 1st Armoured Division in Germany specifically, this book is a good place to start.
Highs: As a modeller the best aspect of this book for me are the pictures showing variations in camouflage and the large number of vehicles covered.Lows: This was an ambitious project to cover the U.S. 1st Armoured Division in Germany and being limited to 64 pages it will not meet everyone’s needs.Verdict: I highly recommend this book as an introduction to the U.S. 1st Armoured Division in Germany and as I nice quick ref book on various American vehicles.
Our Thanks to Tankograd Publishing! This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...