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       US Specialized Armoured Vehicles WWII
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US Armored Funnies: US Specialized Armored Vehicles in the European Theater of Operations in World War II
By Steven J. Zaloga
From Concord Publications
72 pages, 192 photos, 16 color plates


Any buff of WWII armored vehicles will be well aware of the "Funnies" designed by the British, particularly those employed by the 79th Armoured Division from D-Day onwards. Yet the USA was a prodigious designer and user of specialized armored vehicles as well. This was especially true in the areas of tank recovery vehicles and armored engineer vehicles.

Steve Zaloga, a prolific writer with an unsurpassed knowledge of American military vehicles, has put together a collection of photos of these U.S. "Funnies". The focus is on the European Theater of Operations (ETO), which includes Italy and Northwest Europe. The USA tended to sprinkle its specialist tanks throughout regular tank battalions, rather than create specialized divisions. The fascinating array of black and white photos offer a detailed look at a whole host of vehicle types, and insightful captions explain the subject matter. The book also includes sixteen high quality computer generated color plates that have also been produced by the author.

This volume begins with the following vehicles: M31 and M32 tank recovery vehicles; M33 and M35 prime movers; Shermans fitted with dozer blades; DD amphibious tanks, as well as Shermans fitted with wading stacks. The book continues on with bridgelayers and treadway layers in action, then mine clearing tanks. As the book progresses towards the end, there are detailed sections on flamethrower and rocket launcher tanks. Last but not least are the top secret "Leaflet" and "Sonic" tanks. Each type of vehicle receives a detailed yet concise summary of its history, development and use in the introductory text.

This is an engrossing book, and it covers a category of vehicles that have not been well represented in print before. When combined with the penmanship of one of the leading military history and modeling exponents in the world.
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