Reviewed by Brett Green
"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
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
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
This book will find a useful place on the bookshelves of Vietnam history
buffs and modellers alike.
Osprey Publishing for the review
|Vietnam Tracks (revised
Author: Simon Dunstan
US Price: $26.95
UK Price: £14.99
Publish Date: January 25, 2004
Details: 200 pages; ISBN: 1-84176-833-2
Review Copyright © 2004 by
Page Created 01 March, 2004
Last updated 01 March, 2004
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