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Vietnam Tracks

Armor in Battle 1945-1975

Revised Edition

Simon Dunstan


S u m m a r y

Publisher and Catalogue Details: Vietnam Tracks - Armor in Battle 1945-1975, Revised Edition by Simon Dunstan
ISBN: 1-84176-833-2
Media and Contents: Soft cover, 196 pages plus 4 pages of maps..
Price: GBP14.99 (USD$26.95) online from Osprey Publishing
Review Type: FirstRead
Advantages: Good historical narrative and description of vehicles and their usage; covers French, ARVN, US Army, USMC, Australian and NVA armour and their units; 200 contemporary photos with detailed captions; good photo reproduction; 14 excellent colour photos (plus four additional colour photos on the covers)
Recommendation: Recommended to post-war armour modellers and enthusiasts


Reviewed by Brett Green

Osprey's "Vietnam Tracks" will be available from Squadron.com




Although the Vietnam War was burned into the consciousness of Western television audiences during the 1960s and 1970s, hostilities really commenced almost immediately at the end of the Second World War.

In September 1945, Ho Chi Minh proclaimed the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Within weeks, however, the country was once again under occupation - this time by British and Nationalist Chinese forces - in preparation for the restoration of French Colonial rule.

Despite a brief respite, Ho Chi Minh's Viet Minh commenced a campaign against French forces in 1946.

The United States supplemented France's ageing armour units upon the outbreak of the Korean War, and the new state of Communist China represented a source of assistance and equipment to the Viet Minh.

By 1954, France had lost possession of her colonies in Indo China and Vietnam had been divided along the 17th Parallel. Much of the departing French's antiquated armour was transferred to the new South Vietnamese Army. American military advisers began arriving as early as 1956, but armour played only a minimal role until 1962. That year saw the arrival of the first M113 Armoured Personnel Carriers.

The arrival of the US Marines in March 1956 saw the war move into the television phase with which so many of us are familiar

Simon Dunstan's book, Vietnam Tracks - Armor in Battle 1945-1975, covers armour activity of all protagonists for this entire turbulent period. French Armour in Indo-China is described in the first 35 pages, followed by Armour of the South Vietnamese Army.

The bulk of this title is devoted to US Army and Marine armour and their operations, with additional separate coverage of Australian and North Vietnamese armour.

The text is interesting and readable, with a good mix of historical and operational context to support the main subject.

The highlight of the book, however, is more than 200 nicely presented photographs. These are well captioned and represent a narrative in their own right. The 14 full-colour photos are absolutely fabulous. These depict tanks, gun trucks, carriers and some "funnies". As an Australian myself, I was also delighted to see some great colour photos of Australian Army Centurions, M113s and a Fire Support Vehicle - a unique improvised Aussie mating of an M113 with the 76mm gun turret of a Saladin armoured car

Additional resources between the covers include organisational charts, tables and four full-page maps.





Osprey's "Vietnam Tracks" is an interesting and informative text with terrific photographic support on the subject of armour in Vietnam from 1945 to 1975.

This book will find a useful place on the bookshelves of Vietnam history buffs and modellers alike.


Thanks to Osprey Publishing for the review copy

Vietnam Tracks (revised edition)
Author: Simon Dunstan
US Price: $26.95
UK Price: 14.99
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publish Date: January 25, 2004
Details: 200 pages; ISBN: 1-84176-833-2
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Review Copyright 2004 by Brett Green
Page Created 01 March, 2004
Last updated 01 March, 2004

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