The Jeep, Second World War - Land Craft series #1

The Jeep, Second World War - Land Craft series #1

ARRSE Rating
4 Mushroom Heads
The Jeep, second World War - Landcraft series #1. Lance Cole
ISBN 978 15267 465 11. Pen & Sword Publishing.

The first vehicle to start the new Landcraft series by Pen and Sword had to be the ubiquitous Jeep. This was a vehicle that featured in all but the first year of WW2 and was seen in every theatre of operations. Not only did the Jeep touch the lives of many but it is also a true icon that played a significant part in the course of World history during World War Two. Over 20% of the vehicles used across the whole of WW2 were Jeeps.

Similar to the excellent Tank Craft series, this book has the same layout and format. Following on from the introduction, the book starts off with the development and design of one of the most versatile vehicles of WW2. The Jeep was developed from various European light cars that John N. Willys brought back to America. After many hiccups and false starts, the Jeep as we know it emerged in 1937, being built by Bantam (Austin of America), although, whether by chicanery or design; Ford were awarded the contract by the U.S. Government, although Willys' were eventually awarded a renewed contract in 1941!
The Jeep in detail covers the integral design of the vehicle with it's simplistic controls, the four-speed gearbox (3 forward and 1 reverse) and differential drive. It was advised to disengage the front wheel drive to save on wear and tear on the transmission. Wire cutters were mounted onto the front of the vehicle prior to D-Day, to save its occupants from decapitation by stretched wire!

Camouflage and markings takes up a good portion of the centre of the book with the almost obligatory Olive-drab, U.S. scheme to the fore. Surprisingly, there is a yellow, airfield rescue vehicle show. as well as a pale grey and pale blue vehicle shown depicting the U.S. Seabirds of the U.S. Navy. Also shown are armoured jeeps in Soviet service and an LRDG vehicle complete with twin Vickers MG's and Pintle mounted, water-cooled Vickers

The model showcase gives us a look at another desert warrior; a heavily armed Jeep of L Detachment SAS, in North Africa, modelled in 1/35 scale. The SAS vehicles feature well in this series as the second model is a well-worked model of Italeri's SAS Command Car, circa 1944. The third and fourth offering are models of Jeeps in U.S. service. Number three is the 151st Fd Regt Artillery spotter. A good model showing the vehicles basics as well as incorporating a decent radio model. Number four model is the no frills, Standard Jeep from Tamiya and has been built straight from the box.

The modelling products covers all of the available models on the market from 1/72, 1/48 and 1/35 scales. Some of the earlier models are a bit of a let down, but skilful tweaking can change them into something worthwhile. There is also a checklist of what to look out for when buying your kit.
The final 2 sections deal with a photographic collection showing the Jeep in service and in action and a section dealing with the variants of the Jeep.

Overall, this is a decent treatise on one of the workhorses of the second World War, like it's title, uncompromising and nothing fancy. It does give an excellent insight into one of the best-loved vehicles of WW2.

I would have liked to seen how the various radio equipment was fitted to the vehicle and also how modifications were made to improve the roadworthiness of the Jeep

Grumbles aside, I would recommend this book to members of the modelling community.

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