The main target readership may be model builders and engineers, but this book will also be of great interest to anyone who studies vehicles and particularly military vehicles.
NAME: Warpaint, Colours and Markings
of British Army Vehicles 1903-2003
CLASSIFICATION: Book Reviews
AUTHOR: Dick Taylor
PUBLISHER: Mushroom Model Publica-
BINDING: Soft back
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: camouflage, British Army
Vehicles, one hundred years, centen-
ary, colours, markings, identifica-
The main target readership may be model builders and engineers, but this book will also be of great interest to anyone who studies vehicles and particularly military vehicles. It will also be of value to anyone who is interested in military history. The author has taken one hundred years of British military vehicles as his theme. This is an arbitrary period because the British Army used a number of powered vehicles before 1903, including armoured trains and road vehicles powered by petrol engines or steam. However, 1903 is as good a point as any to start and better than some in that it was the year when the ASC Motor Company was formed. The British Army has never been a single entity in the way that the Royal Navy was a single command structure from the Admiralty. Instead, the British Army was and still is a collection of military units organized by geographic area of recruitment or by technology and tactics. When the machine gun arrived, it was issued in small numbers until the Maxim presented a significant new weapon, replacing the various earlier types of rapid-fire rifle calibre weapons. At that point, the British Army formed a Machine Gun Corps. In the same way, the creation of more effective army medical facilities resulted in the formation of the Royal Army Medical Corps. This process runs through the semi-autonomous unit structure. New technology is tried out in small quantities by several units. If it offers a major advance, a new Corps or Regiment is formed to take responsibility for it and once well-established, the new formation becomes a Royal Regiment or a Royal Corps. The Army Service Corps developed from a number of supply organizations over several hundred years and by 1903 the Motor Company of the ASC was formed in recognition of the growing importance of motor vehicles to the movement of supplies, equipment, weapons and men. The rapid development of motor vehicles was then to see new types adopted across the units that make up the British Army, being issued as essential equipment. The introduction of the tank during WWI led to the creation of the Tank Regiment, but the development of armoured fighting vehicles resulted in new versions being issued to cavalry and artillery units and eventually to infantry regiments and combined force units. The author has followed the history of motor vehicles over the hundred years from 1903 and provided concise and effective text, supported by an excellent selection of photographs and drawings in illustration, where available photographs and artwork permit, full colour has been used throughout. To the rear of the book, there are a number of tables with an explanatory introduction to their use. These tables provide a detailed explanation of vehicle markings in a compact number of pages. The overall result is very effective and this book will be an important source document for history and model construction. For military vehicle modellers, this book will be indispensable.