by: Mario Krajinovic [ ]
If you're going to war you need heavy weapons like tanks to spearhead your front. But getting to the battle is a logistical, and transport, challenge to say the least. When tanks need hauling, there’s no better option than the tank transporter. The benefits are reduced track wear of the tank, minimum road damage, higher transport speed and fuel efficiency to name a few. Tankograd Publishing British Special No 9016 by Carl Schulze gives us an overview of modern British army tank transporters.
Tankograd’s modern British army tank transporters book comes as a soft-cover edition, spreading over 64 pages of dual language (German as well as English) text. This manner is a common thing in Tankograd’s format and in no way obstructs reading. The 18 black and white and 122 color pictures featured in the book are very clear and well sized. The paper is quite thick and glossy and will probably endure having it as a reference book on a modeler’s workbench.
The first chapter titled “British army tank transporters – 1950 to the present” gives a brief historical overview of the post WW2 era and the story of the Logistic Corps with appropriate photos on then-and-now.
First on the list is the Thornycroft FV12000 Antar transporter. The mighty Antar was a tank transporter used by the British army from the early 50’s to the 1980’s. The tractor is described through versions Mk.1-3 as well as the trailers used to haul tanks. There are 33 pictures to accompany the 18 pages in this chapter.
Following is the Scammell Commander, a tank transporter introduced in 1983. as replacement for the Antar. A total of 125 units were delivered to the Army which transported heavy military equipment through Germany’s tank proving grounds, during Operation Granby in the 1990-91, as well as IFOR/SFOR/KFOR missions in the Balkans all the way to Operation Telic in 2003. Text describes the tractor as well as the trailers in 31 pictures and 16 pages of this chapter.
Oshkosh HET (Heavy Equipment Tractor) is the latest in the line of tractors for the British Army. By retiring the Scammell Commander, the MoD issued a requirement for 120 vehicles. The contract was won by the HET 1070F tractor truck and the GTS100/7 heavy duty semi-trailer. The transporter was deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. This chapter is the largest with 24 pages and 64 photos with a small walk-around provided. There are also 3 large pictures of the HET Tru-hitch recovery unit version provided.
The great thing about this book is the amount of info crammed in such a small space. There are a lot of technical specifications about the tractor/trailer combinations, load operations and capabilities, history and development as well as the text under the photos which provides a lot of small details that would otherwise go un-noted. It’s a great reference book to have especially if you’re modeling the HET (there’s an In-detail chapter with a small but detailed walk-around provided). If you are interested in the subject I recommend this book as a good reference source.