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7820, Assault Vol.20. With articles by Sören Sünkler and Ralph Zwilling. Soft covers, 8.5 x 11-inches, 48 pages. Contains 172 color photos, three tables and three color plates. ISBN 962-361-161-7.
The latest edition in this series continues to cover contemporary military vehicles, units and the conflicts in which they are used. In fact, this volume covers all three subjects with an article on the latest vehicle type to be deployed with Germanys Fallschirmjäger (airborne troops), another on a US unit as it trains for an upcoming deployment to Iraq, and finally, an article covering the main rotary-wing assets deployed with US Army ground forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The first article is by Ralph Zwilling and is entitled: German Fallschirmjägers New Predator, Einsatzfahrzeug Spezialisierte Kräfte (ESK) Mungo. It contains 52 photos and one table featuring vehicle technical specifications. The text describes the concept behind the design of this light-weight, minimally-armored, wheeled personnel and weapons carrier and how it fits into the Fallschirmjägers operational concepts. The remaining information is imparted to the reader using the excellent color photos along with accompanying (and extensive) captions.
Mr. Zwilling strikes again with a second article called: Mission Rehearsal Exercise Noble Shepard, Dagger Brigade Trains for Operation Iraqi Freedom. It contains 46 photos and two charts, detailing the unit as it trains for deployment. The first thing that strikes the reader is that since the unit is working up in Germany, it is training under relatively un-friendly (and snow-covered) winter conditions for deployment to a desert region! Regardless, the text and photos take the reader through the details of the training evolutions quite nicely; the accompanying tables detail the Basic Issue personal items used by the troops (including Moisture-wicking Sports Bras for females) as well as Basic Issue equipment used by units being deployed to a combat zone.
The final article is entitled: U.S. Army Helicopters at War, and is by Sören Sünkler. It is composed of a body of text, 74 photos, and their accompanying captions. Coverage is limited to rotary-wing aircraft used by the US Army; these include the CH-47 Chinook, OH-58 Kiowa Warrior, UH-60 Blackhawk and AH-64 Apache. Each type is provided with a technical description, information on tactical use and a list of incidents (combat losses and operational accidents) incurred during deployment. Photos generally show overall views of the aircraft, with some details thrown in for good measure (to include the odd bit of nose-art); in addition, some sub-variants of the Blackhawk are also described, especially the UH-60Q Medevac version.
The fold-out center-spread art features three profile renderings of the Russian BMP-3 IFV. These are not credited, but appear to be the work of Laurent Lecocq, my partner in the books I have written for Concord. While well-done, they have virtually nothing to do with the remaining content of this issue.
Altogether, for modelers of contemporary subjects, especially those who cross-over into the realm of flying machines, this issue has much to offer. Vehicle, diorama and vignette ideas abound, while there is also fair amount of inspiration for figure painters.
Frank V. Curley Stooge De Sisto
Reviewers note: Since May of 2005, I have been writing books for Concord Publications. The reader may wish to take this into consideration. For my part, I will attempt to maintain an objective viewpoint when writing these reviews.
Concord books can be purchased at retail and mail-order vendors, as well as direct at: www.concord-publications.com.
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This message has been edited by zappa93 from IP address 220.127.116.11 on Mar 22, 2008 5:53 PM