Images of War, FV430 Series, Rare Photographs From Wartime Archives

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

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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

ISBN: 1-52674-289-6

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.