Panhard is a French company that have produced a large number of wheeled armoured cars over the years. As a company their efforts in the field has produced some exceptional vehicles that have served well in not only French service but overseas as well, right up to the current day. Haynes has now released a book written by Simon Dunstan that concentrates on the Panhard Armoured Car 1961 onwards (AML 60, AML 90 and Eland). With the release of French armoured car models a while back and the recent release of French wheeled armoured cars in World of Tanks this book has been released at a very opportune time.
This offering from Haynes is in their hardback range of titles and of the same size as one of their car manuals. The book contains 188 pages of a nice semi gloss paper that displays the text and photographs well. I know from experience of previous releases that Haynes manuals hold up well to the roughest treatment and in the case of car manuals outlast the car they are for.
The contents of this release breakdown as follows:
Lieutenant-General Martin Klotze
AML: the Universal Armoured Car
Introduction - The role of reconnaissance
A century of Panhard
The interwar Panhards
The AMD 178
The post-war era: from AMD 178B to EBR
The AML in French service
The AML in French Army service
Anatomy of the AML and Eland
AML technical description
AML hull and turret
AML engine and chassis
Eland technical description
Restoration of Panhard AMLs in detail
The AML in foreign service
AML and Eland Morocco
AML and Eland Mali
AML Ivory Coast
AML and Eland Gabon
AML Lynx Niger
AML El Salvador
AML Beirut 1983
Eland in combat
The Battle of Luso
The Battle of Ebo
the Battle of Bridge 14
The scourge of mines
Troop 3, D Squadron, Task Force Zulu
Panhard AML specifications
Having read a good portion of this title I can say that for the most part the text is well written, but I did pick up a couple of spelling mistakes; none of these made the title unreadable it just tripped up my tongue as I was reading. The history as supplied on the Panhard Company is an interesting read that supplies some information that caught my attention. The photographs supplied in this section specifically offer some excellent visual reference on vehicles I was not aware of, but these blasts from the past deserve their place in history and do belong in this title.
The section looking at the AML in French service and the AML in foreign service did very little for me as it is an aspect in which I have no real interest. With that said what they provide is done well and of course your opinion on the value of the information may be different to mine. I will say that I found the photographs have been well chosen and did find a good number of them of interest.
Three sections of this title that I did find very appealing are the sections on:
Anatomy of the AML and Eland
I found these sections of great interest and I would have quite happily seen this title cover these aspects only. I really enjoyed the section on the AML restoration and would happily have seen an entire book purely on the restoration. The details that can be obtained in these areas of the title will meet the needs of modellers who are increasingly adding interior details to models that would otherwise take a long time to find reference on. The anatomy of the AML and Eland also do a very good job of guiding you to the details of the hidden areas of these vehicles.
Looking at this release from the mindset of someone interested purely in the vehicle I find myself having to recommend the title to them. It covers a very broad spectrum in a logical manner while at the same time concentrates on areas that will appeal to all. The photographs are appealing to me as a modeller due to providing ideas on the display of a model. The photographs are also well chosen providing clear images matched with good captions
This title should hold appeal for everyone to various degrees. The modeller obtains photographs that will help with many of the finishing options they may opt for and the areas showing interior details allows accurate representation of some or all of the interior. For the person who buys the book for information the text will meet the needs of most I feel. The text is well written and accompanied by visuals that help the text rather than just being there for the hell of it. This is another great title in the armour range from Haynes.
Darren Baker takes a look at the latest offering from Haynes Manuals covering armoured vehicles.
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About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70ís starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...