by: Randy L Harvey [ ]
US Army Jeep at War #7058 is a 72 page book from Steven J. Zaloga and published by the Concord Publications Company. This soft cover book is one of the latest releases in the Concord Armor at War Series, and contains 167 black and white photographs along with 16 color prints. The U.S. jeep and some of its variants are the focus of the book. Even though the title of the book states "US Army", the US Marine Corps, US Navy and US Air Force are mentioned or shown as well.
between the covers
The book begins with a nicely written 2 page history which discusses the need and development of a light vehicle by the U.S. Military. It starts with the original design and ends by mentioning the modern U.S. Humvee. The history discusses the different prototypes presented by the various manufacturers and how the U.S. Government combined some of the different ideas from the prototypes into the final jeep version that is now widely known. The total number of jeeps manufactured and the plants that produced them is discussed. There is a section that discusses where the name "Jeep" came from. Another section mentions some of the modifications that were used, and how some of the ideas became a standard manufactured item. The remainder of the book is dedicated to a wide array of photographs and the color prints.
Jeep manufacturers discussed in the book are:
There are several jeep variations shown and discussed throughout the book that were produced for a specific purpose. The book also delves into several field modifications. Field modifications are a subject that I enjoy studying so I was pleased to see that area covered. After looking through the pictures it is easy to see why the jeep was such a versatile vehicle.
Some of the specific versions and field modifications shown are:
▪ British S.A.S. airborne jeep
▪ Rail version (there are a few different versions shown)
▪ Amphibious jeep
▪ Jeep ambulance
▪ Extended version used to carry additional troops
▪ Radio jeep
▪ Armored version with a .50 caliber machine gun
▪ Armored version with twin bazookas
▪ Armed with aircraft M14 launch tubes which fired 4.5 inch rockets
▪ Jeeps with deep wading snorkels
▪ Messenger (carrier) pigeon carrier
▪ Amphibious jeep equipped with a malaria control device
▪ Uparmored versions
▪ Improvised armaments such as added multiple bazookas
▪ Extended rear storage racks
▪ Front bumper mounted wire cutters
▪ Additional weapon mounts and rifle racks
▪ One fitted with a snow plow
▪ Improvised door covers and mud guards
One of my long time favorite military subjects is captured/commandeered vehicles, equipment, and weapons so I was very pleased to see that captured/commandeered items are covered in this book.
Discussed are the:
▪ German Kubelwagen (being used by U.S. troops)
▪ U.S. jeep
▪ U.S howitzer (it appears to be a 105mm)
▪ U.S. cargo trailer
▪ U.S. M3 halftrack
* The captured U.S. vehicles and equipment are shown in the possession of German troops in a picture taken at the beginning of the Ardennes Offensive.
There is a variety of other vehicles, armor and equipment seen and discussed throughout the book. These include:
▪ U.S. M8 armored car
▪ British Universal Carrier
▪ Dummy (mock) German JU-88 bombers
▪ Staff cars
▪ Italian civilian buses
▪ Airspeed AS-51 Horsa glider
▪ CG-4A glider
▪ Various U.S. ¼ ton light trailers
▪ U.S. ¾ ton Dodge
▪ German Tiger tank
▪ U.S. M3 scout car
▪ British 6 pounder Mark III anti-tank gun
▪ U.S. M5A1 light tank
▪ U.S. M3A3 light tank
▪ U.S Sherman tank
▪ U.S Sherman tank fitted with deep wading snorkel
▪ U.S howitzer (it appears to be a 105mm)
▪ U.S. LVT-4 Amtrac
▪ U.S. M3A1 scout car
▪ U.S. M3 halftrack
▪ U.S. M29 carrier (Weasel)
▪ U.S. LCT (landing craft tank)
▪ U.S. LST (landing ship tank)
▪ U.S. 37mm anti-tank gun
▪ U.S. P-47D Thunderbolt
▪ U.S. Dodge WC-54 ambulance
▪ German Sd.Kfz 251 halftrack
▪ A U.S. M7 Priest (or possibly a Kangaroo, only part of the vehicle is shown)
▪ A heavy German halftrack (only part of the vehicle is shown so I am not sure of the model)
Some of the different campaigns and operations mentioned throughout the book are:
▪ Operation Torch
▪ Operation Husky
▪ Operation Cobra
▪ Operation Dragoon
There is a section titled Generals' Jeeps that show some very interesting jeeps that have been modified for them.
The Generals shown and mentioned are:
▪ Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall
▪ General George S. Patton
▪ General Dwight "Ike" Eisenhower
▪ General Omar Bradley
▪ Major General Walton "Bulldog" Walker
▪ General Sir Harold Alexander
▪ Lieutenant General Walter Kreuger
▪ Lieutenant General Mark Clark
▪ Lieutenant General Lawton "Lightning Joe" Collins
▪ Major General Lanham Barton
▪ Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt
▪ Brigadier General William Collier
▪ Major General Maurice Rose
▪ Major General Robert Grow
▪ General Cheves Driver
▪ Major General Charles Ryder
▪ Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe
▪ Major General Edmond Almond
▪ General Manton Eddy
Some of the modifications made to the generals' jeeps are:
▪ Sirens and loud speakers added to the front fenders
▪ Flashing lights
▪ Mud flaps and guards
▪ Modified doors and windshields
▪ Customized fender flairs
▪ A hard top version
I was going to list the different military units listed throughout the book however almost every picture mentions a different unit in the caption. As there are so many different units mentioned I decided to just to list a few. Mentioned are several U.S. units such as the 101st Airborne and the 442nd Infantry (Japanese-American unit) as well as the British S.A.S. and the French 2nd Armored Division and the French 1st Army.
There is a wide array of photographs focusing on the jeep and some of its variants. The photographs start with North Africa and end in Europe, and cover various wartime locations, terrain and different seasons ranging from action scenes to more casual ones. As I looked through the book I was pleased to discover that a majority of the photographs were new to me and I found this to be very appealing. It is apparent that the author took the time to locate photographs that have not been used time and time again in other publications.
One photograph that I found particularly interesting shows a Luftwaffe fighter pilot that has been shot down and captured and is being made to ride on the hood of a jeep on his way to being interrogated. The picture shows the pilots uniform quite well. The majority of the photographs are from the European Theater, however there are two pages that deal with jeeps in the Pacific Theater. The majority of the photographs are nice and clear. There are a few that have a kind of blurry/fuzzy look to them, however that does not take away from the quality of the book and they are of no fault of the author.
The Color Prints:
Artist Steven J. Zaloga has provided sixteen color prints. The color art work prints are done very well. There are also some that are done as orthographic (2D) and 3D views and they are done very well. All of the prints show nice representations of the jeep and some of its variations. They also show different markings and include detailed captions describing the represented vehicle and the unit to which it is assigned.
The captions that accompany the photographs are well written and are very detailed. As with the color prints, they include information about the jeep shown as well as the unit to which it is assigned and the area/theater/campaign in which it is shown. Also pointed out are things such as modifications and additional armor that has been added to the jeeps. The captions cover everything from general information about the vehicle down to such minor things such as windshield covers and rifle rack placement. I am impressed with how detailed and informative the captions are.
All in all I am very impressed with the book. The variety of subjects covered will appeal to the jeep and military vehicle enthusiasts as well as the military vehicle and diorama modelers. I believe that it would be a welcome addition to anyone’s personal reference library. This is the third Concord Publications Company book that I have reviewed and I would have no hesitations to add other Concord titles to my personal library or to recommend this book to others.
Note: The pictures that I have provided look blurry and the captions are hard to read, which is due to my scanner and is not how they appear in the book.