A worthy addition to the extremely popular Images of War series from Pen & Sword. The author, an avid military vehicle enthusiast and award winner for vehicle restoration, provides an excellent account of the much under-reported M29 Weasel tracked cargo carrier. – Very Highly Recommended
NAME: Images of War, M29 Weasel, Tracked Cargo Carrier & Variants, Rare Photographs From Wartime Archives FILE: R2893 AUTHOR: David Doyle PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword BINDING: soft back PAGES: 146 PRICE: £14.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War II, World War 2, World War Two, Second World War, armour, logistics, gun tractor, personnel carrier, cargo carrier, tracked vehicle, snow mobile, amphibious carrier, winterized Jeep, US Army, Allied Forces, European Theatre
IMAGE: B2893.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/yytbzjn4 LINKS: DESCRIPTION: A worthy addition to the extremely popular Images of War series from Pen & Sword. The author, an avid military vehicle enthusiast and award winner for vehicle restoration, provides an excellent account of the much under- reported M29 Weasel tracked cargo carrier. – Very Highly Recommended This is another battle winning US design that owes its origins to the British requirements on land, sea, and in the air. Unlike the Mustang fighter, this British- originated requirement has never received the attention it deserves. The armies of Napoleon and Wellington may have marched on their stomachs but, by WWII, they also need motorized transport to keep up and supply fast moving armoured formations, and they needed air transportable vehicles to give the light infantry of the airborne divisions adequate mobility after they landed by parachute or glider. By 1940, Britain was standing alone and requiring a large increase in the numbers and types of vehicles and weapons, beyond the capacity of British industry which had lost most of its men to military service. This made safe neutral America a very logical place to turn to for many of these requirements. Churchill was also considering the time when he hoped the US would enter the war on the side of Britain and the Commonwealth, then requiring a similar rapid expansion of its military equipment. Encouraging the US to design and build to British requirements therefore had the dual benefit of meeting British needs and making equipment, designed from British battle experience against the Germans and Italians, available to US military forces when their time came to enter the war. Originally, the specification that led to the development of the Weasel was for a vehicle that could be carried by gliders to Norway and provide mobility in the snow. Some might wonder why the British did not simply use the highly reliable Universal Carrier, AKA Bren Gun Carrier, as it stood, or in modified form. The main reason was probably that this versatile tracked armoured vehicle, developed out of the British light tank developments of the 1930s, was in production to meet other pressing needs and would have required some work to reduce ground pressure for operation in soft snow conditions. To reduce weight for glider transportation would probably have meant a new unarmoured or lightly armoured chassis and bodywork, although the Red Army was to become a very enthusiastic operator of Universal Carriers shipped to them after the German invasion of the USSR. They found no difficulty in operating the vehicle in a full range of snow and ice conditions or in the wet conditions following the annual thaw. Unlike the Universal Carrier, the M29 evolved out of the work on the T15/M24 as an amphibious vehicle that could be used to carry troops, supplies, ammunition and tow loads including anti-tank guns and trains of sleds. It had a higher silhouette, increased further by a folding windscreen and canvas cover carried on steel tube hoops. It became an important and valuable asset from the Normandy landings as Allied troops fought their way off the beaches and North to Germany. The author has provided descriptive text and a fine collection of photographs, many in full colour, to present not only the direct history of the M29, but also of the earlier development efforts from which it evolved and the attempts to winterize the ubiquitous Jeep.