With a constant need for improving the military prowess starting after the War of Independence in 1948, the IDF (Israel Defense Force) was provided with many pieces of military equipment from MBT’s (Main Battle Tanks) to artillery and specialized weaponry. One such addition the IDF war chest was the US supplied M109 SPG in the early 1970’s.
The behemoths packed the power, mobility and protection the IDF was looking for on the battlefield. After slight modifications to the US version of the M109, the M109A1’s were produced. This SPG (Self Propelled Gun) known as the Rochev sported a 155mm M107 with 360 degree incursion of the rotating turret. The platform for the M109A1 was an aluminum hull and turret allowing for swifter deployment and general movement and adding valuable protection to the SPG and its crew.
I would not be until around 1997 that the M109A2 Doher would make the scene. This beast had a few upgrades from what its predecessor had including improvements to the panoramic sights; electrically operated travel lock and the use of an external generator were all added along with a few minor upgrades as well. Both the Rochev and Doher are still in use today to help protect the people of Israel and the quest for peace.
Rochev and Doher – M109A1/A2 Rochev and Doher in IDF Service
– Michael Mass and Adam O’Brien from Desert Eagle Publishing
have teamed up yet again to provide us with Volume No. 10 in their IDF Armor Series: M109A1/A2 Rochev and Doher in IDF Service. This book is an eighty-three page pictorial documentation printed in a high quality A4 format taking us up close and personal to the M109A1/A2 variants as seen in service with the IDF.
- Rochev/Doher In Action
- Doher Engine
- Rochev/Doher Interior
This book contains over 230 high gloss color photos and exploded view schematics of the Rochev and Doher SPG’s. The Introduction of the book is a 4-page historical layout of how the M109 came to be a part of the IDF Services; defining the SPG predecessors to the M109A1/A2’s, a brief description on the differences between the more recent Rochev and Doher.
The first Chapter, Rochev/Doher In Action
is nine pages of color photos showing these beasts in operation. Each picture is supported by informative text to highlight particular key-point features.
The Chapters Rochev
is a complete pictorial walk around of the exterior of both of the M109A1/A2 SPG’s. These two chapters are jamb-packed with every angle with supporting notes explaining what we are seeing. Not only are the pictures showing exterior detailing to the SPG’s but just about every one of these pictures show a wide range of weathering on these vehicles. This is a tremendous example of weathering reference to work with.
The Chapter titled Rochev/Doher Engine
(Compartment) is certainly the meat of this M109A1/A2 sandwich. This chapter covers a complete walk around within the Rochev and Doher engine compartment. There are several high resolution color pictures of the 450hp Detroit Diesel 8V71T engine and Allison transmission both installed as well as out of the vehicle on the ground. For the scratch builder, these are some highly coveted details to have when building a model of the M109. A nice treat is the full color walk around of the empty engine compartment which again, is a highly coveted look when it comes down to scratch building interior sections of these SPG’s. There is a nicely rendered diagram labeling individual parts on the engine; add this to the supporting text for each picture and you should have just about everything you need know when building an engine and/or engine compartment.
One of the best parts of this book is the Chapter Rochev/Doher Interior
. This is a complete interior walk around, with supporting text, of every inch of the interior of these monsters. There are highly detailed pictures of the driver and commander’s areas as well as up-close detail shots of the M107 breech and controls. Again, this interior pictorial is not only an incredible look inside the belly of the beast but invaluable information for the modeler when attempting to construct an interior for these vehicles.
Next is a short chapter on the Rochev/Doher Insignia.
This chapter clearly shows markings on these SPG’s up-close, even showing how these insignias are hand painted on. This section may seem short; however, the entire book supports this chapter where as there are several references throughout the book to the individual markings.
The book culminates with the final chapter Rochev/Doher Ammunition
. This is a 2-page color explanation of the ammunition used by these to brutes. This sections serves as a sort of walk around of the M109A1/A2 ordinance, showing marking and correct coloring used to differentiate them.
I have said this time and time again; Desert Eagle Publishing
supplies the highest quality, highly detailed and most in depth looks into the subjects their books about. Rochev and Doher – M109A1/A2 Rochev and Doher in IDF Service, their tenth book in their IDF Series of books, is exactly what the modelling doctor ordered. Cover to cover; this book is overflowing with beautifully presented up-close and highly detailed pictures of both the Rochev M109A1 and Doher M109A2 SPG’s. I honestly feel this is the most comprehensive examination of the M109A1/A2 variants out there today. Every inch of the exterior and interior, including the engine compartment of these two vehicles has been fastidiously laid out within the pages of this book.
For the military enthusiasts, this book is an incredible view into and around IDF M109A1/A2 Rochev and Doher; for the scale modeler, this is truly the be all and end all in the quest for the all-coveted walk around photos of the IDF M109A1/A2 subject and all supported with a tremendous amount of technically supportive text. Considering the highly detailed pictures, information along with some of the most incredible weathering references, Rochev and Doher – M109A1/A2 Rochev and Doher in IDF Service from Desert Eagle Publishing
hands down will make an essential addition to anyone’s personal library. Highly Recommended!!