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Book Review of

 

"World War II Jeep In Action" (2nd Edition)

 

By Andrew Renshaw

 

Basic Item Information

Title

World War II Jeep In Action

Author

David Doyle

Publisher

Squadron Signal Publications

ISBN

978-0-89747-812-0

Product Code SS12042

Subject

Jeep Utility Vehicle

Media

Soft Cover Book 

Number of Pages

80 

Text Language

English

Retail Price

$19.95 USD 

Reviewer

Andrew Renshaw 

Review Date

December 15, 2016 

Photos

                                  

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Detailed Review

If asked what would be the most iconic vehicle to come out of World War Two, there is no doubt that the Jeep would be at the top of the list.  Not only did it serve in all climes and provide reliable transport for the Allies across the globe, but it spurred innovation postwar that can be attributed to the development of the modern SUV and military Humvee.   Many also attribute the rebirth of the Japanese auto industry during postwar construction to the rugged simplicity of the Jeep design.  So it is only fitting that Squadron has a “in action” title covering this important vehicle.  Personally, I am surprised that it took them so long to even add the title to their lineup, with the first edition being published in 2011.  Author David Doyle has now revisited the first edition for a second print with some expanded and slightly revised content.

Having both editions in hand, the additional pages add some noticeable thickness to this new printing.  With an additional 28 pages,  many new photos have been added and some of the smaller photos in the first edition are now slightly larger.  The added thickness also brings a new spine, with text, so that the book is easily found on the shelf.  Like the previous issue, the book takes the reader through concept and development and on into wartime service.  All marks are covered, including the  Bantam Quad, BRC-40, Ford GP, Willys MA, and of course the MB and GPW. 

As to be expected, images are clear and most are of interest to the modeler and enthusiast alike.  Many are taken from the U.S. National Archives, so we have seen them before. However there are a good number of new photos that the author has dug out from lesser known sources.  Even with my fairly vast library of jeep images in print and digital media, there are a good amount of images that I have not seen before.   Many are in full color, so are extremely useful when it comes to scale modeling, both for painting and weathering. 

Comparing the previous edition with the latest one, I could not find any previous content that was not carried over.  However some previously larger photos have been downsized and many of the page layouts are identical, including captions.  The color profile art, which was quite well done, is now scattered throughout the pages and enlarged.  Usually the profile art was near the reference photo the art was drawn from, so that is a plus.  As mentioned, the title provides decent photo coverage of the models leading up to the standardized jeep, including the Bantam, Willy’s, and Ford designs.  The GPA, the amphibious version, is mentioned with two photos.  However, greater coverage of the GPA is in the Squadron Signal Walkaround.  Beyond the standard jeep, some minor conversions are captured, such as rail use, and the Holden ambulance used by the US Marines.  Some photos are also provided of various expedient and Depot built hardtops, as well as radio modifications and a few “one offs”. 

One feature that I wish would have been included in this book are the traditional explanatory drawings found in the classic “in action” series.  Though not to scale, these drawings help illustrate various marks, upgrades, and definitive characteristics that are mentioned in the photo captions.  I feel it would be helpful for the modeler and enthusiast alike to provide some drawings illustrating the differences between a Willy’s and Ford production model, as well as some other detail items.  However, there is the understanding that inclusion of such would mean fewer photos as there is only so much space on the page. 

Overall, for a brief photo journal of the wartime Jeep, the book does a good job giving a general overview.  If you have the previous edition, this current printing is worth picking up for the new content and greater page count.  I really enjoyed the profile art and unique photos provided within, so I would recommend this book to any modeler or aficionado interested in the WWII jeep.

 

Thanks to David Doyle for the Review Sample.
 
Copyright: Andrew Renshaw - December 16, 2016