bookRoyal Armoured Engineers

by Daniel Nowak, Simon Copley-Smith, Tim Matzold

Tankograd British Special No 9002.
Soft cover, A4 size, 64 pages

Review by Peter Brown

Engineers have been part of armies for as long as there have been armies, and have evolved to keep ahead of military developments. Their roles are many and varied from general construction to demolition and bomb disposal, but to support armoured operations they need their own armoured vehicles and specialised equipment.

Today's British Army includes three Close Support Engineer Regiments which are tasked to operate with Armoured Brigades. This book covers one of them, 32 Engineer Regiment. It briefly describes their history then gives organisation details and what equipment its component parts use, before launching into a photo-study of that equipment which takes up most of the book. Text and captions are dual German and English with the captions long and containing a lot of useful details.

This comprises 144 colour photos showing just about everything they have, ranging from the small Spartan and Scimitar through old FV430-somethings in various forms to the Shielder mine layer, commander's Warrior, Combat Engineer Tractor, Chieftain AVRE and bridgelayers with plain and uparmoured ones shown as well as supporting Chieftain and Challenger ARRVs and VIPER rocket-launched mine clearers. These are shown mostly in the field, in a wide range of colour schemes from the usual European green/black to desert sand - including an AVLB in Iraq and an AVRE still in sand paint in German snow! - plus several variations in-between and as usual on exercise with lots of mud.

This in itself is a lot of vehicles, but in addition to the armour are the range of non-armoured vehicles from Harley-Davidson motorcycle, a very nice Vectra for the boss to use when not being tactical, various Land-Rovers, assorted Bedford trucks, Leyland DROPS, heavy cranes and recovery vehicles, bridge carriers and the ABLE wheeled bridge launcher, several load handling and digger vehicles in green and not their more widely-seen Civilian Building Site Yellow. There is even a look into the future with glimpses of the next generation of armoured and softskin vehicles about to enter service.

Photos are all very good, several are full-page allowing lots of detail and even the smaller ones are clearly printed. The range of equipment, colour schemes and finishes is very wide, giving lots of reference material and ideas for straight models and dioramas. Highly recommended even with its not-quite English as spoke she is title!

Review copy came from UK distributor Bookworld Wholesale, Unit 10 Hodfar Road, Sandy Lane Industrial Estate, Stourport-On-Severn, Worcestershire, DY13 9QB email
Elsewhere, contact publisher, Tankograd Publishing, Verlag Jochen Vollert, Wilhelmstr. 2 B, 91052 Erlangen, Germany email

Page created March 11, 2006

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