This is the fifth and final volume in a series from Tankograd covering the U.S. Army’s presence in Germany since the final days of World War II up to 1969. The other volumes in the series are: (1) 3006, Reforger 1969-1978; (2) 3007, Reforger 1979-1985; (3) 3008, Reforger 1986-1993; and (4) 3012, USAREUR 1992-2005. This volume begins in the final stages of World War II as the U.S. Army was advancing deep into Germany and ends 24 years later in 1969, when both the Cold War and U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War were at their height.
The book contains 64 pages and 128 black and white and 12 color photographs. It should be noted that all of the color photographs appear on the front and back covers and many are duplicates of black and white photographs found elsewhere in the book. The photographs are fairly large but many appear to be overly dark, making it difficult to distinguish details on the vehicles contained in the picture. Each photograph is accompanied by a caption in both German and English. The captions are informative, generally providing both a historical setting for the photo as well as technical information about the vehicle. In addition, the book is interspersed with pages of text, once again, in both German and English. The book could have used a good proofreader as there are spelling mistakes and typographical errors throughout.
The book is divided into the following chapters:
This sets the scene for the U.S. Army’s presence in Germany during the post-World War II era. Of course, the initial reason is the defeat of Nazi Germany and then the occupation following the close of hostilities. The reason for the presence of U.S. forces in Germany quickly morphs from a small, lightly armed occupation force into a sizeable and well-equipped force to counter the perceived threat from the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact armies.
Invasion and Occupation:
This chapter consists of 2 pages of text and runs a total of 7 pages in length. There are 15 photos by my count that include, among others, photos of (a) M4A3E8 Sherman tank (2); (b) M5A1 Light Tank; (c) M8 Armored Car; (d) M3 Halftrack; (e) M7 Priest; (f) Willys Jeep; and (g) an M24 Chaffee exiting a landing craft after crossing the Rhine River.
Return of Forces and Demobilization
This chapter consists of a half page of text and no photographs.
U.S. Armed Forces Presence in Germany 1946-1950:
This chapter consists of a little over a page of text and runs to a length of 3 pages. It includes a breakdown of the units and where they were stationed.
7th U.S. Army ‘Seven Steps to Hell’:
This chapter runs just over 3 pages of text and is only 4 pages in length. It includes a table: “Organization of the Divisions of the 7th (U.S.) Army in 1953. It has a single picture showing 3rd Infantry Division troops disembarking from Sikorsky CH-34 helicopters in 1961.
Changes in the Location of Forces:
This chapter has a single page and no photos. It recounts the numerous changes in forces that occurred between 1954 and 1959.
Increase in Forces in Reaction to the Berlin Crisis:
This chapter has about a page of text and is 3 pages in total length. It contains 3 photographs showing an M3A1 Jeep, two M48A1s and an M59 personnel carrier.
Reorganization and Force Reduction:
This chapter tracks the changes in the U.S. forces in Germany following the Berlin Wall crisis up to 1969. It contains a table of the U.S. Army forces present in West Germany in 1969 and the area where it was stationed. There are no photos and it is only 2 pages in length.
This chapter begins the heart of the book and it runs 5 pages in length and has 14 photos including pictures of (a) Willys Jeeps; (b) a ¾ ton Dodge Weapons Carrier; (c) GMC 6 x 6 2.5 ton trucks; (d) M34 2.5 ton trucks; (e) an M34 fuel tanker being towed by a Caterpillar D7 bulldozer; (f) a Class 530 A Fire Truck (which also appears in a color photo); (g) M151 Ford Mutts; (h) an M54 5 ton truck.
This chapter has 58 photos running through 28 pages of the book. The pictures include the following vehicles: (a) M24 Chaffee; (b) M41 Walker Bulldog; (c) M26 Pershing; (d) M47 Patton; (e) M48A1 Patton, one with an M8 dozer blade; (f) M48A2 Patton; (g) M60 Patton; (h) M60A1 Patton; (i) M103A1 Heavy Tank; (j) M75 Armored Personnel Carrier; (k) M59 Armored Personnel Carrier; (l) M113 Armored Personnel Carrier; (m) M577 Armored Command Post; and (n) M114A1 Armored Scout Vehicle.
Vehicles-Artillery and Air-Defense:
This chapter has photos of the following: (a) M37 105mm self-propelled howitzer; (b) M43 203mm self-propelled howitzer; (c) M40 155mm self-propelled gun; (d) M55 203mm heavy self-propelled howitzer; (e) M109 155mm self-propelled howitzer; (f) M107 175mm heavy self-propelled gun; (g) M110 203mm self-propelled howitzer; (h) M139 Honest John Artillery System; (i) M15A1 Anti-aircraft halftrack; (j) M42 Air Defense Gun Vehicle; (k) M55 Quad .50 calibers; and (l) Hawk Anti-aircraft Missile System.
This chapter has photos of the following: (a) M32 Armored Recovery Vehicle; (b) M74 Armored Recovery Vehicle; (c) M88 Armored Recovery Vehicle; (d) M48A2C Armored Vehicle Launching Bridge (AVLB); and (e) M728 Combat Engineer Vehicle.
This chapter has photos of the following: (a) Bell OH-13H Sioux; (b) Sikorsky UH-19 Chickasaw; (c) Sikorsky CH-34 Choctaw; (d) Bell UH-1B Iroquois; and (e) U-6A Beaver (also duplicated in a color photograph).
These include: (a) M65 “Atomic Annie” 280mm Cannon; (b) Sikorsky CH-37 Mojave Helicopter; (c) M113 Ambulance; (d) M60 Patton; (e) M26A1 Dragon Wagon; and (f) M55 203mm heavy self-propelled howitzer.
In my opinion, this is a very impressive volume detailing the equipment of the U.S. Army in Germany during the Cold War era. A highlight of the book is the inclusion of numerous photos of the M103A1 Heavy Tank, an AFV I was not even aware existed. The only letdown is the quality of the photographs as they appear overly dark to me. I recommend this book to anyone interested in the vehicles of the U.S. Army during this period of time.
Highs: An overview of the motorized equipment of the U.S. Army in Germany during the Cold War. The book also has informative captions.Lows: The quality of the photographs is a little dark hiding some of the detail. The captions could have used a good proofreader.Verdict: I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking a brief introduction to the vast assortment of motorized equipment used by the U.S. Army in Germany during the Cold War era.
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