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Posted on Oct 19, 2006 in Books and Movies, Front Page Features

HMMWV Humvee – Book Review

By Dennis C Huff Jr

humvee.jpgBook Review: HMMWV Humvee, 1980-2005, US Army Tactical Vehicle
by Steven J Zaloga illustrations by Hugh Johnson, Osprey Publishing, 2006

Steven Zaloga, a prolific and respected author on modern military equipment, does the honors for Osprey’s New Vanguard series treatment of the ubiquitous Hummer. The New Vanguard series packs a lot of information into its 48 page format. While it might lack the detail and depth of a larger book there is a great deal of information and lots of photos jammed into this offering by Osprey.

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The book goes through the history of the project that ultimately became the HMMWV. It starts with the vehicles it replaced and then goes on to describe the various studies that resulted in the AM General contract for the HMMWV. Used in every conflict since Panama the HMMWV has become as ubiquitous in the United States military as the Jeep was in the Second World War.

One early and less known use of the HMMWV described in the book was the Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) cassador battalions. It is possible that these vehicles were used in the successful defense against the People’s Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola (FAPLA) in the battle at Mavinga in southeastern Angola.

The challenges and needs of peacekeeping operations reinforced the need for up-armored vehicles and the early efforts are described. There is a fair description of the lack of armored HMMWV early on in Iraq and the efforts undertook to get them into the field is presented.

There are several HMMWV variants described, including the various armored versions currently fielded. The list includes the Avenger air defense vehicle, the electronic variants, scout vehicles, as well as the hardened or up-armored variants.

As is usual for Osprey books, photos and color plates are in abundance. One drawback to the color plates is that several show essentially the same vehicle as used by various units/nationalities in their various paint schemes, useful to a modeler but not as interesting to the general reader.

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