Vehicle References
Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII


Standard Guide to U.S. World War II Tanks & Artillery, by Konrad F. Schreier, Jr., Krause Publications, 1994, ISBN 0-87341-297-4 ($25).

This is an decent overview that spans all AFVs from the light tanks to armored bulldozers, as well as artillery and mortars. While not going into any great depth, the book has informative explanations of the development of these weapons. Images include in-action photos, prototypes, diagrams and technical manuals. This is an excellent resource for the times you want to build some field guns like the Italeri 105mm howitzer or 57mm M1 antitank gun. There are even explanations and diagrams of artillery trajectory and placement and cutaways of ordnance. There is a similar, better-known book by Peter Chamberlain and Christopher Ellis which covers British AFVs as well.

The American Arsenal: The World War II Official Standard Ordnance Catalog of Small Arms, Tanks, Armored Cars, Artillery, Antiaircraft Guns, Ammunition, Grenades, Mines, etcetera, introduction by Ian V. Hogg, Greenhill Books, 2001, ISBN 1-85367-470-2. ($30)

Well, the title says it all here. As eminent historian Hogg explains, this is the U.S. military's complete, official catalogue of arms produced during the war and used to educate staff officers on the range of available equipment. It includes over 900 photos and drawings of everything from machine gun tripods to coastal defense guns. While it's strong on "principal characteristics," it also contains catalogue numbers for technical and field manuals, for those who really want to get to know their armament. The book is, for the most part, a reprint of the actual catalogue. Apparently some pages were damaged beyond repair and have been recreated; in some instances these refer to the weapons in the past tense, rather than the present tense used by the original book. The only downside is that some vehicles, like the M3A2 halftrack, never went beyond the development phase, though their fate had not yet been decided when the final versions of the catalogue were published in 1945. Consequently, one might be led to believe these items were actually produced and used.

1939-45 Portfolio: American Armor, by Simon Forty, Stackpole Books, 1981, ISBN 0-8117-2084-5 ($15).

This is a good visual introduction to essential U.S. armor, and an inspiration for diorama builders. The main strength of this book are the in-service photos from the Imperial War Museum, many of which haven't appeared in U.S. publications. It also has data on typical vehicle distributions in armored divisions as well as technical info (crew, vehicle dimensions and weight, armament, etc.).

Standard Catalogue of U.S. Military Vehicles, by Thomas Berndt, Krause Publications, 1993, ISBN 0-87341-223-0.

The primarily feature of this book are photos of AFVs currently in the hands of collectors or museums. It offers factual summaries of the vehicles and their variants.

U.S. Army Vehicles of World War II, by J.M. Boniface and J.G. Jeudy, Haynes Publishing Group, 1991, ISBN 0-85429-811-8.

Another good overview, with useful information about markings and registration numbers. This is a difficult book to track down (I borrowed one through interlibrary loan).

American Tanks of WWII, by Thomas Berndt, Motorbooks International, 1994, ISBN 0-87938-930-3 ($13).

This provides a good color overview of scout cars, half-tracks and tanks, using preserved vehicles in private hands, most notably the infamous Jacques Littlefield collection in California. With the exception of some remarkable interior photos of a White M3A1 Scout Car, a couple of half-tracks and an M4A1E8, all the pictures are exterior shots.

Inside the Great Tanks, by Hans Halberstadt, Crowood Press, Ltd, 1998, ISBN 1-861262-70-1 ($36).

This is an excellent color reference for the M3 half-track, Stuart and Sherman tanks, as well as a few German vehicles and moderns AFVs.

D-Day Tank Warfare, Armored Combat in the Normandy Campaign June - August 1944, by Steven J. Zaloga, Concord Publications, 1994, ISBN 962-361-604-X ($15).

U.S. Tank Battles in North Africa and Italy 1943-45, by Steven J. Zaloga, Concord Publications Company, 2004, ISBN 962-361-084-X ($16).

U.S. Tank Battles in France 1944-45, by Steven Zaloga, Concord Publications Company, 2003, ISBN 962-361-081-5 ($16).

U.S. Tank Battles in Germany 1944-45, by Steven J. Zaloga, Concord Publications Company, 2002, ISBN 962-361-075-0 ($16).

Battle of the Bulge, by Steven Zaloga, Concord Publications Company, 2001, ISBN 962-361-689-9 ($16).

These books from Concord Publications tend to run about 72 pages, with between 175 to 189 black and white photos, most of which have not appeared in previous publications. The 16 color plates in each volume are often Zaloga's exquisitely constructed models, sometimes digitally merged over scenic photos. There's an unfortunate inclusion of a satellite television dish on the side of a building in one of the Bulge concoctions, but most are fairly successful in conveying a "living color" sense to what is still predominantly a black-and-white war. It's easy to be absorbed by the military machinery, but I'm also drawn to the faces of these tank jockeys and ground pounders. Each one tells a story. And like any good historical modeling junkie, I can't wait until Mr. Zaloga provides me with my next fix.

Patton's Tank Drive, D-Day to Victory, by Michael Green, Motorbooks International, 1995, ISBN 0-7603-0163-8, ($20).

This is another great picture book from Green, showing the diversity of Patton's armor during his drive to Germany. Of particular note are several photos of the general's Dodge command car and a communications half-track that likely inspired Verlinden's "M3 Halftrack / Command" conversion.

Patton's Third Army at War, by George Forty, Arms and Armour Press, 1993, ISBN 1-85409-103-4 ($15).

This has a stronger veteran's narrative than Green's book. There's an excellent chapter on "continental living" and the trying conditions soldiers found themselves in even when they weren't in combat. Another good source of diorama material!

Battle of the Bulge, by Steven J. Zaloga, Arms and Armour Press, 1983, ISBN 0-85368-581-9.

This is an early entry of the old Tanks Illustrated series, and has since been updated by Zaloga for Concord Publications. Many of the photos are the same and much clearer in the new book (which also features color plates).



Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII © 2002—2007 Timothy S. Streeter