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Thursday, July 5, 2018

Additional Israeli Halftrack References

I recently picked up a couple of books that covers Israeli halftracks from the founding of the modern Israeli state through the present in two volumes. Simply entitled Israeli Half-tracks, the set authored by Tom Gannon is packed with photographs of literally every halftrack and light armored car used by the Israeli Defense Force. Volume 1 covers the period from 1948 to 1959 with a heavy focus on the 1948 War of Independence.  Volume 2 covers from 1960 onward focusing on the 1967 Six Day War, the 1973 Yom-Kippur War, and the 1982 Lebanon War.

Volume 1 is separated into five chapters plus an introduction. The short 2-page introduction covers the Israeli Armored Corps Memorial and Museum at Latrun (which I've visited, and strongly recommend to anyone who gets the chance to go!). Chapter One is an introduction to half-tracks, specifically covering the variants of the M2/M3/M4. Chapter Two covers "Sandwich Trucks" - basically converted civilian vehicles and other light armored vehicles which formed the core of the Israeli Armored Forces during the War of Independence (some of which can still be seen on the road to Jerusalem). Chapter Three, which is almost entirely photographic (as are Chapters Four and Five) covers Armored Cars, 1948-1959. Chapters Four and Five cover general use and modified half-tracks from 1948-1959 respectively.

Volume 2 literally picks up where Volume 1 left off. The work starts with a new Introduction, but the page number is 175 indicating the two volumes are essentially one work. This introduction is, however, longer and more detailed covering most of the halftrack varieties pictured in the rest of the book (effectively performing a similar role as Chapter One in the first volume). Chapter Six is a short chapter covering the Scout Car and AML 90. Chapters Seven and Eight cover general use and modified half-tracks from 1960 to the present respectively - effectively mirroring Chapters Four and Five.

I picked my copies up from Amazon, but they are published by Barbarossa Books which has their own online presence for those of you in Britain or the EU. For anyone interested in Israeli armor, I highly recommend these books. The pictures alone are worth the price as they provide many vital details for painting, marking, and adding stowage to your IDF halftrack miniatures (and models for those of you who are ambitious!).

I've also used these books to update my 1967 vs. 1973 Israeli forces blog post from last month. I didn't have to change any "yes" answers to "no" because of what I learned in this book, but I was able to firm up the "yes" substantially for most of the M3 halftrack variants based on the book text.

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