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Book Review of

“Military Vehicles in Lebanon: 1975-1981"

Review By Patrick Keenan - Editor

Basic Item Information

Title

Military Vehicles in Lebanon: 1975-1981

Author

By Samer Kassis

Publisher

Trebia Publishing  – Lebanon

ISBN

978-9953-0-2372-4

Subject

1970-80’s Era Military Vehicles

Media

Soft Cover Book

Number of Pages

88

Number/Type of Photos and/or Illustrations

(267) Black/White and (15) Color Photographs

Text Language

Full text in English and French

Retail Price

$30 USD  (*Information at the end of the review about how to order a copy)

Reviewer

Patrick Keenan

Review Date

July 30, 2012

Review Summary*

Review Type

Full Read

Basic Positive Features

Contains a large number of high quality photographs of many vehicles not usually photographed and featured in other publications.

Basic Negative Features

Small number of color photographs; If you are seeking detailed information about the vehicles covered, this book was not designed for you. 

Recommendation

Highly Recommended

Photos

              

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Detailed Review

Book Content

The topic of this book is the large number and variety of vehicles (military and civilian) used by the many different groups/factions operating in Lebanon during the period 1975-1981.  This book provides unique pictorial/photographic coverage of an interesting collection of military vehicles consisting of (at the time) state-of-the-art weapons systems as well as vehicles first seen in World War II.  In fact, many vehicles not usually photographed and featured in other publications are captured here

The book is subdivided into ten (10) sections and mostly organized by military group or faction using the military vehicles highlighted.  The amount of coverage on each faction’s forces is different in each case depending on the access obtained by the author.  The ten sections are as follows:

  • Introduction

  • Lebanese Army

  • Palestinian Militias

  • National Movement

  • Lebanese Front

  • Arab Deterrence Forces

  • Israeli Army

  • Free Lebanese Army

  • UNIFIL

  • Acknowledgements

Photograph Quality and Selection

The photographs are the primary focus of this book and Mr. Kassis succeeds with that aspect as he provides us readers with a generous 260+ black/white and 15 color photos in 88 pages. Although it is unfortunate that more color photographs weren’t able to be included in the book, it is completely understandable as the photographs were taken more than 30 years ago.  At that time color photography wasn’t as prevalent as it is now, especially in war torn areas such as Lebanon. With that being said, the quality of the photos is top notch as the clarity of pictures is excellent and a vast majority is completely in focus.

Since this book is really an encyclopedia of military vehicles utilized in Lebanon during the period of 1975-81, you don’t get many detail photos specifically showing widget X on vehicle Y.  Most photos provided are of the type where they give overall views of the vehicles and camouflage/markings.  Most of the photos provided are in an easily viewable/useable size so as to be able to identify a specific vehicle, markings or camouflage. 

Finally, the selection of photographs provided by the author is exceptional in variation.  The photographs the author provides are from his personal collection, so they are not available anywhere else but in this book.  The book contains photos of many different vehicles in use by the different groups, a lot not normally photographed and featured in other publications.  Although the author provides photographs of dozens of different vehicles in this book, some are covered more extensively than others.  Here is a summary of military vehicles that are covered a bit more than others (in alphabetical order):

  • AMX-13 Light Tank

  • BTR-152 APC

  • Charioteer Tank Destroyer

  • Land Rover Utility Vehicle (Series II/III)

  • M38A1 Jeep

  • M50 Sherman Tank

  • M113 APC

  • M151 Mutt Utility Vehicle

  • Panhard AML 90 Armored Car

  • Panhard M3 APC

  • Saladin Armored Car

  • Staghound Armored Car (Mark 1 & AEC Turreted Versions)

  • “Technicals” (Chevrolet, Land Rover, Toyota, etc)

  • V100 Armored Car

Use as Reference

Although this book is not the “end all” resource on military vehicles used in Lebanon during the 1975-81 time period it is a great photographic reference to have in your collection if you are at all interested in military vehicles in general or the vehicles used during the Lebanese Crisis in particular.  The book is a photographic history of the vehicles seen in Lebanon at the time and the author provides many rare and/or unpublished photos for our viewing pleasure.  However, if you are seeking very detailed information about the battles, factions or vehicles seen in Lebanon, this book was not designed for you. 

Editing of Information/ Text Flow

There is not a huge amount of text information provided in this book.  Most of the text is provided to explain or describe the photographs.  After all, the photos are the primary focus of the book.  However, the full text is provided in both English and French.

The text flow (e.g. the writing ability of the author) and editing of the information that is provided is also very good. The information is also provided in a logical and organized way and wasn’t confusing.  The book structure makes sense too in that it the book is set up in a format based upon the parties and factions using the vehicles and is easy to use and very informative. 

Quality of Print Medium

This book is a very sturdy 8 ½”x 9 ¾” soft cover reference.  The book’s front/back cover and pages are printed on high quality glossy paper stock and are more thick and sturdy when compared to other books in the same quality/price range. The construction of the book facilitates frequent use/reading of the book and will probably hold up well to all but the most abusive treatment.

Conclusion

This book is an excellent reference for modelers and vehicle enthusiasts as well.  It contains a large number of high quality photographs (mostly black/white) of many vehicles not usually photographed and featured in other publications. Plus, you can’t get them anywhere else as they come from the author’s personal collection. 

However, if you are seeking very detailed information about the battles, factions or vehicles seen in Lebanon, this book was not designed for you.  The purpose of this book is to photographically document the vehicles covered, therefore the accompanying information is of a general in nature.

With that being said, if you’re at all interested in modern military vehicles in general or those used in the Lebanese Crisis in particular, then this book will most definitely appeal to you and will be a great addition to your reference library.

 

Recommendation:  “Highly Recommended”

Thanks to author Samer Kassis for the review sample.

*To order a copy of the book you can contact Mr. Kassis via e-mail at samerk6@gmail.com or you can visit his Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Samer-Kassis/231217350279972

 

Copyright: Patrick Keenan - July 30, 2012