Book Review
British Airborne Jeeps 42-45
British Airborne Jeeps 1942 1945 Modifications and Markings
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by: Alan McNeilly [ ALANL ]


When I first became interested in building some Airborne Jeeps I looked around for a good reference source. On the front of the Resicast conversion instructions was recommended reading British Airborne Jeeps 1942 to 1945 by Rob van Meel.

This reference first became available in March 1997 and the edition of the book I have is the seventh edition which came out in 2002.

The publication does not pretend to be a complete history of the development of jeeps in the British Army, but concentrates on the modification and developments of those jeeps used by the Airborne Forces.

The publication is a soft back type affair consisting of 60 pages of text and drawings, along with 18 pages of black and white reference photographs.


Pages 1 and 2 contain the publishers details along with the number of editions published.

Page 3 opens with a short introduction and a listing of the content. There then follows a brief history of the jeep development. Pages 4 and 5 contain a listing of British Jeep Contracts and Census Numbers. The following two pages are given over to a detailed table listing the 28 different alterations that were made to the airborne vehicles, and on which type of vehicle they were applied to, such as signals jeep, RA jeep, etc. Further details of these modifications are covered on pages 8, 9 and 10.

Pages 11 through 37 give detail drawings of the vehicles and various fitting types. Moving on to page 38 we get a brief but informative text on the Loading of Vehicles in Gliders, whilst pages 39 through 44 give loading diagrams for the different types of jeep loads on the gliders.

On page 45 we have some interesting text about vehicle paper work whilst pages 46 to 50 go into some detail about Airborne Vehicle Markings.

Switching slightly, the focus moves on to detailed information and drawing of the 10cwt Lightweight Airborne trailer. You get Census Numbers and Manufacturers data, detailed diagrams and reference pictures for a variety of styles of trailer.

Finally to round up on page 60 you get a list of sources used in the gathering of the information and a neat cartoon of two Brits saying Im buggered if I know where we are!

As mentioned above, the last 18 pages are given over to reference pictures. These are in black and white and cover the vehicle both in and out of action. The first 10 pages of pictures relate more to the conversion parts, whilst the remaining pages are given over to actual wartime photographs. Most of these relate to the Arnhem Campaign, many of which I have seen before. There are 3 decent sized photographs per page.


This is an excellent reference for those interested in this particular vehicle and its various airborne variants. The standard of publication is compliant with what you would have got in the 1990s, so therefore not what we have become used to today. That said, the information is well documented, and the addition of the Glider Load Tables, Vehicle Markings and 10cwt trailer information is very useful indeed.

The book cost me 16.99 and was well worth the money. It cleared up a lot of unknowns and is an easy read with some very useful information and plenty of diagrams, pictures and charts. The style is a bit dated but for me thats of no real consequence as it is the information it contained that I was interested in, and although I had gathered up a fair bit this books just confirmed and then expanded on what I had managed to learn from other sources.

Groucho Publishing do a fair range of Military Vehicle Manuals which you can find listed here, Groucho.

You can also visit Robs site here, which is a very useful source of publications Rob van Meel.
My thanks to Rob van Meel for his kind permission to reproduce some of the text and images for this review.
Highs: As far as I can tell this publication has all youd need to know about British Airborne Jeeps, plus a lot more useful information.
Lows: The old style of presentation is a bit disappointing, but balanced against the cost and the excellent data the book contains this is of little consequence.
Verdict: For the Airborne enthusiast, a seriously good reference source Highly Recommended.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 90-76221-01-4
  Suggested Retail: 16.99
  PUBLISHED: Nov 16, 2009
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

About Alan McNeilly (AlanL)

Greying slightly, but young at heart. I've been teaching adults off and on for most of my life. Left the services in 85 and first started modelling in about 87 for a few years. Then I had a long spell when I didn't build anything (too busy) and really just got started again during the summer of ...

Copyright 2021 text by Alan McNeilly [ ALANL ]. All rights reserved.


Rob certainly knows his stuff. Matt
NOV 16, 2009 - 10:16 AM
Hey Al, A good review as usual !! Looks like a book worth picking up !!! Cheers jjumbo
NOV 16, 2009 - 01:27 PM
Yeah, thanks Al! I had a look around the websites while gathering the vendor info and it looks like some interesting publications there. And, hey, gotta love the logo
NOV 16, 2009 - 01:39 PM
Hi Guys, Thanks. Yes, a very handy reference book and both sites are a good source of reference material. Al
NOV 17, 2009 - 05:16 AM
Hi, I appreciate your refrence and comments We'll ( me and my son ) at the War & peace Revival show this weekend in Folkestone (England) We'll be stalling out at stall EE17 If you happen to pop in we can show you the tenth Edition of the Airborne Jeep book
JUL 15, 2013 - 09:36 AM
BR Rob
JUL 15, 2013 - 09:36 AM
Personally I would be a bit dissapointed with the quality of the paper used .... I hate it when text, graphs and images from the next page cause shadows on the page you are looking at. At 16.99 (same price as the Panzerwrecks books) I would expect more/ a bit better quality paper. I dont mind investing in books and this looks very interesting, but would expect it to be priced accordingly. No offence Rob or Allen ... just stating my opinion.
JUL 16, 2013 - 10:07 AM

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