This book adds to the immensely popular multi-faceted Images of War Series. The FV430 was the backbone of British infantry mobility through the dangerous period of the Cold War and a very important military vehicle of the period – Highly Recommended
NAME: Images of War, FV430 Series, Rare Photographs From Wartime Archives FILE: R2937 AUTHOR: Rob Griffin PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword BINDING: soft back PAGES: 216 PRICE: £16.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: Cold War, Blitz Krieg, all-arms, mobile warfare, mechanized infantry, armoured infantry carriers, tracked vehicles, nuclear battlefield, support vehicles, command vehicles, missile carriers, battlefield ambulance, engineering vehicles
IMAGE: B2937.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/yyuwstdk LINKS: DESCRIPTION: This book adds to the immensely popular multi-faceted Images of War Series. The FV430 was the backbone of British infantry mobility through the dangerous period of the Cold War and a very important military vehicle of the period – Highly Recommended The British introduced armoured fighting vehicles to the battleground in WWI and the British code name 'Tank' became the internationally common name for Armoured Fighting Vehicles. British officers also wrote the first books advocating the use of all-arms mobile armoured formations, but it was the Germans who first adopted the philosophy. A key part of the challenge for the British Army between the two world wars was that the nation was almost bankrupted by WWI, had lost many junior officers who would have become the forward thinking senior officers of the Thirties and Forties, and were faced by a political class who wanted to spend public money on anything but military procurement. When WWII began the differences between the British and the Germans were fewer than popular history recalls. The Germans had expected to expand with a number of stages of occupation until the French and the British were isolated and weakened before Germany directly waged war on those countries. Hitler was planning for a major war in the mid 1940s. When the Anglo-French patience was broken by the German invasion of Poland, the Germans were still awaiting the arrival of the first real Main Battle Tanks and supporting equipment. This was not critical for the form of annexation anticipated but did present real danger to the Germans in a full land war with the Anglo-French Alliance. The British proved at Arras that their tanks were more than equal to the German Panzers in 1940. The French were also equipped with some powerful armoured designs. What they lacked was the will to assemble their armour in numbers to attack any enemy vulnerability. Instead, they scattered their armour across the front in isolated packets where they could not support each other. At Arras, and probably in desperation to hold the Germans long enough to enable the Dunkirk Evacuation to be carried out, the British assembled most of their tanks to attack the Germans, and scraped together vehicles to carry the infantry along to support the armour. The result was a major shock to the Germans and demonstrated how effective the British armour could be when used intelligently. It is interesting to speculate what would have happened had the BEF managed to assemble the intended number of tanks and mechanized infantary. Although the Universal (or Brengun) Carrier was much under-rated it was the closed vehicle the British had to a true Blitz Kreig personnel carrier. Initially what the Germans had to advantage was a well-rehearsed plan for Blitz Krieg. Behind that they also had a family of armoured vehicles completing development and starting to be sent out to the panzer divisions. France was out of the war and Britain had to start again, having left most of the heavy equipment of the BEF behind in France. Even having the opportunity for a fresh start in 1940, with newly mobilized troops being trained from scratch, and a need to develop and build new equipment from the lessons of the Battle of France, the British failed to adequately include plans for infantry carriers and came to depend mainly on US manufactured armour which was usually behind German development, but produced in impressive quantities. At the end of WWII, Britain had to face the fact that a new conflict was developing with the Soviet Union and could burst into hot war with very little notice. Facing the NATO troops was a very large armoured force of the Red Army and, as the conventional forces numerical advantage lay with the Soviets, the NATO commanders expected to employ tactical nuclear weapons to break up the large Soviet armoured forces. Inevitably, the Soviets would acquire nuclear weapons and any Soviet attack could move from conventional weapons to a full scale nuclear war very quickly. In 1945, the British needed an armoured vehicle that could transport infantry, keep up with the Main Battle Tanks and self-propelled artillery, and provide overhead armour with a method of access and egress for the infantry. That meant the vehicle had to be tracked, have adequate exit doors and be capable of further development. Very rapidly, that basic set of requirements was expanded to provide protection from radiation, biological and chemical weapons. The result was the FV430. It was to prove a very successful vehicle, was developed to cater for additional roles, and was to still be in service 50 years later. The author has provided a very descriptive text that is supported by many fine images, mostly in full colour, and including some FV430s in civilian ownership and preservation. The FV430 takes most of the book, but the author has introduced it with an effective review of the development of the infantry carrier in the British Army before the FV430. He has also covered the many variants, including the Swingfire missile platform. As with most successful armoured vehicle designs, the FV430 lent itself to diversification. A proven hull and running gear is usually preferred for adaptation to other roles. One interesting aspect of the FV430 history is that it has also been used as the basis of reconstructions of German WWII armour, with photographs of these adaptations being included in the book.