Book Review
Italian Armoured & Recon Cars
Italian Armoured & Reconnaissance Cars 191145
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Italian Armoured & Reconnaissance Cars 191145 is a new book (released July, 2018) from Osprey Publishing LTD. It is the 261st title in their series New Vanguard. Authored by Filippo Cappellano and Pier Paolo Battistelli, and illustrated by Henry Morshead, the book is 48 pages in length and bears the Osprey Short code NVG 261. It is also catalogued as ISBN 9781472824332 in paperback, and is also available in ePub and PDF formats.

This interesting book should be popular with modelers of the 20th century Regio Esercito Divisioni Corazzata (Italian Royal Army armored divisions). Osprey tells us;
    The first Italian armoured cars were used in the war in Libya in 1911-12 against the Ottoman Empire. With few tanks being developed, the Italians relied instead on the development of more mobile armoured cars like the Ansaldo Lancia 1 Z, during World War I, but post-war the army, focusing on the Alpine battlegrounds of Italy's northern borders, did not consider armoured cars suitable for reconnaissance duties.

    The experience of the Spanish Civil War would provide the much needed last push for the Italians to develop modern armoured cars. The result were the famous AB 41-43 models, which fought against the British in North Africa and Marshall Tito's forces in Yugoslavia, along with other vehicles such as the AS 36 light armoured car.

    Using detailed colour plates and contemporary photographs, this book examines the development of the Italian armoured car in the two world wars and the inter-war years, from the deserts of North Africa to the slopes of the Alps.

Already I like the book - I didn't know the Ottoman Empire stretched to Libya nor that Italy and they fought before The Great War. Now we'll see what else is in the pages.

Italian Armoured & Reconnaissance Cars 191145 is presented through 48 pages of six chapters and supporting sections;
    Historical Background
    * Early armoured cars, 1911-35

    Interwar design and development
    * Fiat 611 and AB 40

    World War II
    * The AB 41 armoured car
    * AB 41 developments: the AB 43
    * AB 41-43 developments: the 'Sahariana'
    * Reconnaissance and armoured personnel carriers

    Post-Surrender Use

    Camouflage and Markings

    Surviving Vehicles




Messrs Cappellano and Battistelli present the history of Italy's armored cars in a well organized manner. Technical information is presented, i.e., armor, weapons (ammo loads) and configurations, engines and suspensions, dimensions and weights. Tire types are even mentioned. The authors even present translations: 'Autocarro Dovunque 35' is 'everywhere' truck, model 35.

Italy's procurement, development, and deployment of the vehicles is discussed. The popular modeling subject, the 'Sahariana', is described and its successes recounted.

Two pages cover the colors used to camouflage the various machines, including national insignias, some of which were very elaborate.

There are some interesting stories. In Surviving Vehicles we learn that the Ansaldo-Lincia 1 ZM in Dresden was a gift to the king of Afghanistan, recovered as a wreck by International Security Assistance Force after Operation Enduring Freedom.

Photographs, Illustrations, Graphics
Osprey populated this book with a gallery of clear photographs. While most are black-and-white, 11 are in color, including an interior shot of the rear compartment of an AB 41. Discounting possible flaws in the printing process, those photos make this is an excellent resource for modelers of the Italian military.

Specifications of five vehicles:
    AB 40-41
    AB 43
    Autoprotetto SPA S 37
...by 13 characteristics:
    Ground Clearance
    Wading Depth
    Trench Crossing
    Vertical obstacle
    Climbing ability


Artist Henry Morshead created several color illustrations.

A.1: Ansaldo-Lancia 1 ZM Armored Car, Italian Front, Summer 1918.

A.2: Fiat Terni-Tripoli, Libya 1920s,
    a. Symbol of armored car squadrons.
    b. Three-gun turret of Ansaldo-Lancia 1 ZM.
    c. Cloth badge of armored car gunners.

B. Ansaldo AB 41 Armored Car, Libya 1942: 4-view, with narrative including unit insignia.

C. AB 41, North Africa: cut-away keyed to 32 components.

D. Combat scene AB 41 In North Africa, 1942.

E. AB 42 'Sahariana', North Africa 1942: 4-view.

F.1: AB 41 Armored Car, Balkans 1942.

F.2: AB 42 'Sahariana' Scout Car, Sahara 1942.

F.3: Autoprotetto SPA S 37, Balkans.

G. AB 43, Slovenia, 1944: an AB 43 in German use escorting and anti-partisan patrol.

This visual component fully supports the detailed text.

Italian Armoured & Reconnaissance Cars 191145 is another impressive resource for modelers of the 20th century Regio Esercito Divisioni Corazzata, and armored cars. The excellent text is supported with an excellent gallery of photos, including 11 color images.

I have nothing meaningful to criticize. I think this book will be popular with modelers of the Italian army and their armored cars. Recommended.
Highs: Excellent visual support fully supports the detailed text. Excellent gallery of photos, including 11 color images.
Lows: De minimis.
Verdict: This book should be popular with modelers of the 20th century Regio Esercito Divisioni Corazzata, and armored cars.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: 9781472824332
  PUBLISHED: Sep 09, 2018

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 Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright 2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. All rights reserved.


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