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Book Review
Technicals
Technicals - Non-Standard Tactical Vehicles from the Great Toyota War to modern Special Forces
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by: Randy Harvey [ HARV ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

INTRODUCTION
This is a review of the Osprey Publishing LTD book Technicals - Non-Standard Tactical Vehicles from the Great Toyota War to modern Special Forces by author Leigh Neville and illustrator Peter Dennis.

BODY OF THE TEXT
HISTORY:

** The cavalry of the modern asymmetric battlefield, the ‘technical’ or armed pick-up truck has become arguably the most ubiquitous and versatile military land vehicle of modern warfare.

Harking back to the armed Jeeps and Chevrolet tracks of the SAS and Long Range Desert Group in North Africa in World War II, the world’s first insurgent technical were those of the Sahrawi People’s Liberation Army in Algeria in the late 1970s, followed by Chad’s famous, victorious use of missile-bearing technical against Libyan tanks in the so-called Great Toyota War. Since then, the technical has become the key combat vehicle on many battlefields in Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, as well as being used by Western and Russian Special Forces. Fully illustrated with specially commissioned artwork and providing rigorous analysis, this is the first history of how this deceptively simple fighting vehicle has been used and developed in conflicts worldwide. **


** Quoted from the back cover of the book.

THE BOOK
Osprey Publications Ltd has released Technicals - Non-Standard Tactical Vehicles from the Great Toyota War to modern Special Forces as Number 257 in their New Vanguard series. It is a softcover book with 48 pages. Included with the text are black and white and color photographs, color illustrations, and detailed captions. It has a 2018 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-4728-2251-2. As the title states, the book details the use of various non-standard tactical vehicles from the Great Toyota War and use by modern Special Forces.

THE CONTENTS
    - Introduction
    - Technical Mounted-Weapons Overview
    - Medium Machine Gun (MMG) and General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG)
    - Heavy Machine Gun (HMG)
    - Anti-Aircraft Gun (AA)
    - Recoilless Rifle (RCL)
    - Anti-Aircraft Guided Missile (ATGM)
    - Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS)
    - Beirut
    - Africa
    - The Great Toyota War
    - Somalia
    - Chechnya And The Balkans
    - Afghanistan
    - Iraq
    - Libya
    - Syria
    - Non-Standard Tactical Vehicles
    - Bibliography
    - Index
THE TEXT
The text in the book is nicely written and well detailed. Author Leigh Neville details various non-standard tactical vehicles from the Great Toyota War and use by modern Special Forces. As one can guess by the title of the book the main focus is on various non-standard tactical vehicles from the Great Toyota War and use by modern Special Forces. Discussed are many of the various non-standard military vehicles pressed into combat service, the factions that put them into use, the weapons systems employed, the roles that they played as well as specific encounters such as the Battle of Wadi Doum in Chad, As well as historical and technical data being provided about the various vehicles, Leigh Neville provides in depth details for a multitude of non-standard vehicles which makes this an excellent reference and technical data title. The text is written in an easy to follow and informative manner which makes it interesting to read and does not become dry or too technical for the reader. As I read through the text I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors. Grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings. I feel that if the text is well written then it shows that the author has taken the time to be a professional with their writing. Anyone wanting to add an excellent reference and history book on various non-standard tactical vehicles from the Great Toyota War and use by modern Special Forces to their personal library will be pleased with this very informative and interesting book.

Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the text for yourself.

THE PHOTOGRAPHS
There are a total of 39 color photographs and 1 black and white photograph. The photographs range from wide angle photographs to close-up detailed photographs. I would say that the photographs that were chosen for this book are for the most part lesser known photographs of the subject matter. The majority of the photographs are clear and easily viewable. Author Leigh Neville stuck to the title of the book and chose subject specific photographs and did not include photographs that strayed from the main subject of the book. The majority, if not all, of the photographs will prove to be a wealth of information to the military armored car enthusiast due to the details they contain.

Some of the various non-standard tactical vehicles shown and discussed are:
    - Homemade Islamic State armored technical designed as suicide vehicle-borne IEDs (SVBIEDs)
    - Médecins Sans Frontières Land Crusier with a mounted 14.5mm ZPU-2 cannon (See attached scan)
    - Ford pick-up with a mounted 122mm Grad unguided rocket launcher
    - Dodge pick-up with a mounted 107mm Chinese Type63 MLRS
    - Toyota Land Cruiser with a mounted 106mm M40 recoilless rifle
    - Unimog with a mounted four-barreled 14.5mm ZPU-4
    - Flat-bed truck with a mounted 23mm ZU-32-2 in a custom made armoured turret (See attached scan)
    - Toyota Land Cruiser with a mounted 23mm ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft cannon
    - Kia light truck with a mounted twin-barrel 14.5mm ZPU-2 cannon

Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the photographs for yourself.

THE ILLUSTRATIONS
There are a total of 13 color illustrations by illustrator Peter Dennis. The illustrations are of:

A. See attached scan

- Libyan technical built from a cut-down Land Cruiser with a mounted 106mm M40A1 (or Chinese Type 75) recoilless rifle.

- Libyan technical based on a Toyota Hilux with mounted 107mm Type 63 multiple launch rocket system and a 16-barrel 57mm UB-16-57 with Russian S-5 rocket.


B.

- Battle of Wadi Doum. A two-page illustration showing a representative scene from the Great Toyota War set at the defining battle of Wadi Doum (or Quadi Doum) that ended Libyan military ambitions in Chad.


C.

- Somali technical based on the Toyota Land Cruiser with a mounted spade-gripped 7.62x54mm PKB medium machine gun.

- A 1964 J40 Land Cruiser with a mounted twin-barreled 14.5mm ZPU-2 anti-aircraft cannon in use by an unidentified Druze militia in Beirut in the late 1970s.


D. See attached scan

- A Nissan 2400 pick-up technical with a 7.62x54mm PKM medium machine gun mounted on a pedestal in use by the Iraqi paramilitary Fedayeen Saddam in 2003.

- A Ford F-350 Super Duty dual cab truck with armored metal plates with a four-barreled 14.5mm ZPU-4 anti-aircraft cannon in use by the terrorists of Islamic State in 2015.


E.

- Toyota Land Cruiser HZJ79 fitted with a 20mm M61 Vulcan/M176 VADS (Vulcan Air Defense System) being used by Houthi insurgents in Northern Yemen in 2016.

- Toyota Hilux fitted with a 12.7mm DShiK heavy machine gun being used by the Syrian militia from the Free Syrian Army (FSA).


F.

- Toyota Land Cruiser fitted with a 106mm M40 recoilless rifle being used by Operational Detachment Alphas (ODAs) from the US Green Berets 5th Special Forces Group during Operation Deseret Storm in 1991.

- Commercially acquired Toyota Land Rover fitted with a pedestal mounted 40mm Mk 19 automatic grenade launcher being used by the US Army’s 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Northern Iraq in April 2003.


G.

- Toyota dual-cab Hilux with a custom WMIK- style cage in the rear fitted with a Quick Change Barrel (QCB) variant of the venerable .50 M2 heavy machine gun with a Trijicon ACOG optics being used by unidentified Western SOF in Libya in 2016 and 2016.

- Toyota dual-cab Hilux fitted with a 7.62x51mm M240L with ELCAN Specter variable optic and infrared illuminator being used by US Army Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) in Northern Syria in 2016 operating alongside Kurdish YPG militia.


Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the illustrations for yourself.

THE CAPTIONS
The captions are well written and explain the accompanying photographs and illustrations in great detail eliminating any doubt as to what is shown. The captions go into very specific detail as to each of the non-standard tactical vehicles shown and their variations, modifications, dates, weapons being used, factions using them, locations and other such pertinent information. I was very impressed by Leigh Neville’s captions as they are very helpful to the reader due to their detailed content as opposed to other captions I have seen that are very brief and lack detail.

Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the captions for yourself.


This book was provided by Osprey Publishing Ltd. Please be sure to mention that you saw the book reviewed here when you make your purchase.

CONCLUSION
As with the other Osprey Publishing New Vanguard series titles I was impressed with this volume. This is a very nice reference book that contains many close-up detailed subject specific photographs and illustrations and well detailed captions. As the title states, the book details various non-standard tactical vehicles from the Great Toyota War and use by modern Special Forces. I would have no hesitation to add other Osprey Publishing titles to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others as it will be a welcome addition to one’s personal military reference library.


PRICE:

UK £10.99 / US $18.00 / CAN $24.00


REFERENCES

Technicals - Non-Standard Tactical Vehicles from the Great Toyota War to modern Special Forces on the Osprey web site:

https://ospreypublishing.com/technicals


Technicals - Non-Standard Tactical Vehicles from the Great Toyota War to modern Special Forces on the Amazon web site:

https://www.amazon.com/Technicals-Non-Standard-Tactical-Vehicles-Vanguard/dp/147282251X/ref=pd_sim_14_41?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=147282251X&pd_rd_r=3DVKBP5HCJMHQ6REC0WY&pd_rd_w=E080v&pd_rd_wg=lSgVH&psc=1&refRID=3DVKBP5HCJMHQ6REC0WY



Technicals - Non-Standard Tactical Vehicles from the Great Toyota War to modern Special Forces is also available as a Kindle version on the Amazon web site:

https://www.amazon.com/Technicals-Non-Standard-Tactical-Vehicles-Vanguard-ebook/dp/B07B8GHD9B/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=
SUMMARY
Highs: Well written text and captions Subject specific photographs and illustrations
Lows: None
Verdict: Another excellent volume in Osprey Publishing’s New Vanguard series. Definitely beneficial to the non-standard tactical vehicles enthusiast.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: 978-1-4728-2251-2
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Apr 25, 2018
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 91.62%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 90.22%

Our Thanks to Osprey Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Randy Harvey (HARV)
FROM: WYOMING, UNITED STATES

I have been in the modeling hobby off and on since my youth. I build mostly 1/35 scale. However I work in other scales for aircraft, ships and the occasional civilian car kit. I also kit bash and scratch-build when the mood strikes. I mainly model WWI and WWII figures, armor, vehic...

Copyright ©2018 text by Randy Harvey [ HARV ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Very interesting! I always wondered what "Technicals" are. And what is with guy dressed as Darth Vader? Thanks Randy.
APR 25, 2018 - 05:32 AM
Very happy to see this book by good mate Leigh finally published. The Darth Vader helmet is "real", as it was made and used by the iraqi “Fedayeen” paramilitary forces uder Saddam's regime.
APR 25, 2018 - 11:23 AM
Thank you Fred. It is an interesting subject and I enjoyed the book. They remind me of something kind of like WWII partisans or something. Making weapon systems out of what they had available. Some of them are almost "Road Warriorish" in style. I should have added this to my review in regards to the Darth Vader style helmet. Here is the information on that. ___________________________________________________________ The Darth Vader style helmet is being worn by a member of the Iraqi paramilitary Fedayeen Saddam. Fedayeen Saddam was a paramilitary organization loyal to the Ba'athist (meaning resurrection" or "renaissance") government of Saddam Hussein. The name was chosen to mean "Saddam's Men of Sacrifice". The Fedayeen crew wore characteristic black fatigue uniforms and Darth Vader-style helmets reportedly designed by Uday Hussein, the eldest son of Saddam Hussein. The helmet had no ballistic protective qualities whatsoever and was obviously more decorative than functional. _______________________________________________________ Thank you again Fred. Randy
APR 25, 2018 - 11:23 AM
I enjoyed the book, great ideas in it for the various Meng pick ups. Dan
APR 29, 2018 - 01:52 AM
I haven't read it; just flipped through it. It's a comprehensive book and describes many pickups. The 1/35 pickup kits out there now are probably a bit dated to today's time, but this book gives good suggestions as to what to arm the Technicals with and how they were used. At the very least, it might give Aftermarket and plastic companies some visual and text insight on how to modify the existing 1/35 pickup kits to advance their versions closer to 2018, or create new 1/35 pickup kits and 1/35 crew figures.
APR 29, 2018 - 03:47 AM
Think there are some surprises in the works but may take time...
APR 29, 2018 - 05:32 AM
One thing the book seems to point out is that a lot of the Techical pickups used are the 4-door Extended Cab versions.
APR 30, 2018 - 02:13 AM
We broke our quick reply box. Working on it. Until fixed go to topic to reply.
Thanks.
   

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