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Book Review of

“M151 Mutt In Action"

Review By Patrick Keenan - Editor

Basic Item Information

Title

M151 Mutt In Action (#12051)

Author, Editor and/or Illustrator

By David Doyle

Illustrations by Don Greer

Publisher

Squadron/Signal Publications

ISBN Number

Soft Cover  978-0-89747-692-8

Hard Cover 978-0-89747-691-1 

Subject

Viet Nam War Era US Utility Vehicle

Media

Soft Cover Book (Also Available in Hard Cover)

Number of Pages

80

Number/Type of Photos and/or Illustrations

(150) Color Photographs, (70) Black/White Photos (2) Color Illustrations (Front & Back Covers) and (10) Black/White Illustrations.

Text Language

English

Retail Price

Soft Cover = $18.95 USD

Hard Cover + $28.95 USD

Reviewer

Patrick Keenan

Review Date

September 13, 2012

Review Summary*

Review Type

Full Read

Basic Positive Features

Large number of very high quality photos covering the entire 40 year service life of the M151 series; from prototypes to final variants.  An exceptional value for the price.

Basic Negative Features

None Noted.

Recommendation

A "Must Have"

* For information regarding the review terms, grading scale, etc. please go to the WarWheels Review FAQ/Key

Photos

           

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Detailed Review

Book Content

This review is of one of the latest reference offerings by Squadron/Signal Productions in their “In Action” Series.  Not surprisingly, it is called “M151 Mutt In Action” and it is written by noted military vehicle author David Doyle.  If you’re not familiar with the “In Action” Series of books, these books focus on providing photos of specific/types of vehicles in their natural element (in use and on the move) and are of interest or useful to modelers and military vehicle enthusiasts.  Please note: To be up front with our readers, David Haugh and I assisted Mr. Doyle by providing input and reference material while he authored this book. 

Anyway….Although the book’s title indicates it covers the M151 Mutt (officially only one version of the series), it actually covers all of the main versions and variants of the Mutt while in US Military Service.  Mr. Doyle’s comprehensive coverage includes, but is not limited to the:

  • XM-151 Mutt Prototypes

  • M151, M151A1 and M151A2 Utility Vehicle

  • Viet Nam era Armored Mutt

  • M151A1C and M825 106mm Recoilless Rifle armed vehicles

  • M151A2 TOW armed vehicle

  • M718 and M718A1 ambulances

  • M151A2 Fast Attack Vehicle

Accuracy of Information

The accuracy of the information provided by the author is excellent.  When compared to my personal references on all the Mutt versions/variants, Mr. Doyle’s book is very accurate.  I did not identify any wrong or misleading information contained in this book.  The main resources I used to check the accuracy of the book are the multiple Mutt vehicle indices here on WarWheels.Net.

Editing of Information/ Text Flow

The text flow (e.g. the writing ability of the author) and editing of the information provided is very good..  I also found the book easy to read and informative. Lastly, it provides enough information so that we can easily identify and differentiate between the different versions and variants of the M151 Mutt Utility Vehicles.

Photograph and/or Illustration Quality and Selection

Squadron/Signal is known in the modeling hobby for the quality and quantity of photographs they provide in their books, specifically in their “In Action” series.  This latest selection is no exception.  Squadron and Mr. Doyle provide 220 photos and 12 illustrations on 80 pages; 152 of those images are in color.  Although there are a few photos highlighting specific details of the Mutt, most of the photos provided are of vehicles in service with the US Military.

The photographs Mr. Doyle provides in this book are consistent with the normally high quality of pictures contained in most other Squadron “In Action” series books.  The images are of high quality, clear and in vibrant color.  In fact, in my opinion the quality of the photos contained in this book is even better than most other Squadron “In Action” titles.  In many cases, “in action” books need to rely upon photographs provided by amateur photographers.  However, with this book Mr. Doyle is able to source photos from a number of official US Government and Military Services including the US Archives, US Transportation Museum and TACOM LCMC History Office (among others). Fortunately for us these groups were mostly staffed by professional photographers.  

Also, the selection of photographs provided by Mr. Doyle is exceptional in quantity and variation.  His book covers the entire 40+ year service life of the Mutt starting with very first XM-151 prototypes (early 1950’s), through the M151, A1 and A2 utility vehicles, on to the armed/armored Mutts and finishes with the last Mutt version, the Fast Attack Vehicle (retired in the 1990’s).

In addition, two (2) color illustrations by Don Greer are located on the front and back covers of the book. They are quite interesting and attractive and show the Mutts doing what they do best, deftly negotiating the battlefield.

Finally, Mr. Doyle provides ten (10) VERY USEFUL black/white illustrations which appear to come from official US Military publications.  Five (5) of the illustrations diagram prominent aspects of the M151A1 and A2 suspension systems and the remaining five (5) cover the 1970-1990’s era US Mobility Equipment Research & Design Command (MERDC) camouflage color distribution specifications.

Use as Reference

I can say without hesitation that this book is an exceptional reference for modelers and vehicle enthusiasts as well.  In fact, it could be one of the best vehicle reference “values” I've seen when you compare what you get for the relatively low retail price of around $19 USD. Not only does it contain a large number of high quality black/white and color photographs, but it contains a surprisingly large amount of information when compared to most similarly focused books (e.g. photographic coverage of a specific vehicle).  In my opinion, this book could be one of Mr. Doyle’s finest efforts when considering the quality/quantify/selection of photographs and amount of information provided in such a small book.  With all of the information and photos you get, it seems like this book should be bigger and thicker… And, please note that my opinion has nothing to do with our WarWheels.net involvement; my thoughts would be the same regardless.

Quality of Print Medium

This soft cover book is “typical” of Squadron/Signal Publication’s format.  If you’ve seen one Squadron book, you’ve seen them all.  Assuming you haven’t ever seen a Squadron book, they come in an 8 ½”x 11” landscape format and the soft cover media is of a decent quality.  The construction of the book facilitates fairly frequent use/reading of the book, but not overt abuse.  Obviously, all soft cover books suffer from the fact that they don’t hold up as well as hard cover books.

Conclusion

Once again, Squadron/Signal and David Doyle have teamed up to produce an outstanding reference book.  They definitely score a touchdown with this latest offering on the M151 Mutt Series.  In fact, it could be one of their best efforts to date.  The large numbers of comprehensive photos provided in the book are of the usual high quality we’ve come to expect from both the publisher and Mr. Doyle.  Throw in the fact that there is a surprisingly large amount of information contained in a book of this size, scope of coverage and the relatively low retail price, you get an exceptional value for your hard earned Dollar, Pound, Euro or Yen.

 

Recommendation:  “A Must Have”

Thanks to David Doyle for the Review Sample.

 

Copyright: Patrick Keenan - September 13, 2012