Vietnam Gun Trucks

Published: November 28th, 2011     
Cover
Cover
Author: Gordon L. Rottman
Reviewed by: Jeff Leiby - IPMS# 30429
ISBN #: 978-1-84908-355-3
Other Publication Information: Paperback, 48 Pages, b&w and color photos, profiles, published 2011
Price: $17.95
Product / Stock #: NV 184
Product provided by: Osprey Publishing

Military Police units have the mission, among many others, to provide armed escort to supply convoys in a combat zone. During the Vietnam War there were never enough military police combat support units to accomplish this mission. Commanders of truck companies in the 8th Transportation Group began to arm and armor 2-1/2 ton and 5 ton cargo trucks to provide convoy security. The 8th Trans Group became the major user of gun trucks during the war.

This book, number 184 in the New Vanguard series published by Osprey Publishing, describes the development and employment of gun trucks during the last half of the Vietnam War. The first half of the volume describes the U.S. Army motor transport units deployed in South Vietnam, the Army convoy system itself, and the threat the convoys faced. The second half provides a good description of gun truck design and development and gun truck tactics.

The numerous period photographs, about a third in color, include early designs based on "deuce-and-a-halves" and "5-tonners," plus an engineer dump truck. Also included are photos of other escort vehicles to include armed 1/4-tons and a truck mounted M113 chassis . The black and white photos are remarkably clear and provide numerous ideas for displaying completed models. The more than a dozen full color illustrations by Peter Bull show profiles of ten different gun trucks, including a 5-tonner with a stripped down M113 hull on board. Additionally, the illustrations include a cutaway view of the "Eve of Destruction," the sole surviving gun truck to see action in Vietnam, now on display at the U.S. Army's Transportation Corps Museum. Two tables are provided, listing common cargo trucks and trailers used to build convoys and also an extensive list of gun truck names.

This book is not an exhaustive study, but provides a good overview of an important innovation developed during the Vietnam War. I highly recommend it for both its narrative and for the large variety of the clear photographs and excellent illustrations. Thanks to Osprey for providing this book for review and to IPMS for allowing me to review it.

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