Book Review
British Trucks of World War 2
British Military Trucks of World War Two - Manufacturers, Types, Variants and Service of Trucks in British Army and Royal Air Force Service 1939 - 45
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by: Randy L Harvey [ HARV ]

Unfortunately the subject of British trucks in World War Two is one that has been much neglected. The best publications to date are almost 40 years old, and even then they highlighted only certain aspects of this fascinating topic.

This book changes all that! For the very first time, an overview of manufacturers' designs, major truck types and their variants is now at hand. Based on factory and World War Two in-service photographs, this volume provides an in-depth and comprehensive examination of a subject that has hitherto been weakly documented. Finally a major gap remaining in the history of 20th-century military vehicles can be closed.

(Author’s words quoted from the back cover of the book.)

Tankograd Publications has released British Military Trucks of World War Two - Manufacturers, Types, Variants and Service of Trucks in British Army and Royal Air Force Service 1939-45 with a 2012 copyright. As the title states the book details the British military trucks used in World War Two. The book is a 256-page hardcover book with a paper dust jacket and contains 677 black and white photographs, seven military manual illustrations, three line drawings, and English text. The ISBN for this volume is 978-3-936519-29-7. The book provides a written history and technical data for each of the vehicles shown as well as photographs of each.


British Military Trucks of World War Two alphabetical by manufacturer
- Albion
- Austin
- Bedford
- Commer
- Crossley
- Dennis
- Dodge UK
- Foden
- Ford
- Garner
- Guy
- Hillman
- Humber
- Karrier
- Leyland
- Maudsley
- Morris
- Scammell
- Standard
- Thornycroft
Lend-Lease Trucks
Canadian Contributions

Shown throughout the book is a wide variety of photographs of trucks and trailers by the various manufacturers and their variations as well as pictures of various armor, aircraft, landing craft, etc. For each manufacturer listed in the contents, there are sub-chapters containing photographs for each of the various models they produced for the war effort. The photographs range from action scenes to casual scenes to scenes that were staged for the photographer. The photographs are arranged in alphabetical order by manufacturer, and were taken during various times of the year such as summer and winter and in different types of terrain such as snow, mud, sand, rocky ground, improvised and finished roadways and debris-filled areas. Due to the fact that several of the photographs are profile-type photographs, interior views and photographs of the vehicle’s frame-work without the vehicle’s body they will prove to be a valuable resource for the detail oriented modeler due to the large amount of information they provide. As well as the military modeler, the military truck enthusiasts will appreciate the photographic information found within the pages of this fine volume. Most of the photographs are nice and clear, however there are some that have an out of focus look to them and some appear too dark where as some appear too light. I have seen several military photographs that have this look to them so that is just typical. I do know that several military photographs are actually stills taken from video so that could be one reason. With that said the quality of the photographs is of no fault of the author and it needs to be taken into consideration that some of the photographs are over 70 years old. I haven’t seen a majority of the featured photographs before, if not all of them, and I was pleased with this. I definitely consider that a bonus as it is nice to have a reference book that contains several lesser known photographs as opposed to the same old overused photographs that many books tend to contain.

The text is well written and extremely detailed. The book starts with a seven-page written history of the British military and its transportation use from the days of horse and wagon, to the use of steam, up through British truck use in the post-war years of 1945 to the 1970s. Each and every vehicle that is featured in this volume has text written specifically for it which details its origin, intended and actual use, shortcomings, modifications and improvements, and other such specific details. Anyone interested in British military trucks of World War Two will find the narrative of each vehicle, as well as the written text as a whole, very informative and interesting. 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 professional with their writing.

All of the photographs are accompanied by captions that are in English text. They are well written and go into great detail with regards to the vehicle shown. It is obvious that Les Freathy has taken the time to study the photographs and research them so that they are well detailed and point out several items of interest. The captions are also free of spelling and grammatical mistakes.

The majority of the vehicles shown and profiled come with different charts which detail data such as variants of the vehicle as well as technical data. The technical data charts provide information about the featured vehicle such as:

- Engine
- Gearbox
- Suspension
- Axles
- Brakes
- Tyres
- Turning circle
- Fuel capacity
- Dimensions
- Weight

There is also a British/American weight conversion chart provided on the contents page.

There are a total of 10 black and white illustrations featured in this volume, seven of which are from military manuals of the appropriate time frame. There are also three scale line drawings that should prove to be beneficial to the military modeler as well as anyone interested in seeing the plans of the illustrated vehicle.

I am very impressed with this book. The coverage of British military trucks of World War Two is very well done. With its wealth of detailed photographs and captions this book will appeal to the military vehicle modeler, detail modeler, scratch-builder and military vehicle enthusiast alike, and will be a welcome addition to one’s personal reference library. I would have no hesitation to recommend this book to others nor would I hesitate to add other Tankograd Publishing titles to my personal library.

British Army Transport 1939-45 Part 1: Tank Transporters – Recovery vehicles – Machinery Trucks
Bellona Handbook No. 3
Compiled by M.P. Conniford
Model & Allied Publications LTD

Bellona Military Vehicle Data Number Three
Compiled by M.P. Conniford
Model & Allied Publications LTD

Bellona Military Vehicle Data Number Four
Compiled by M.P. Conniford
Model & Allied Publications LTD

Self-Propelled Anti-Tank and Anti-Aircraft Guns
WW2 Fact Files
Peter Chamberlain and John Milsom
Arco Publishing Company, Inc.

Camouflage & Markings of the 6th South African Armored Division: North Africa & Italy 1943-45
Part 2: Wheeled Transport & Artillery
William Marshall
Model Centrum Progres

Tankograd – Wehrmacht Special No 4004
From Dunkirk to Moscow: British Trucks in Wehrmacht Service
Jochen Vollert
Tankograd Publishing

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Several unique photographs. Well written and researched text and captions.
Lows: Nothing to really note other than the quality of a few of the photographs (no fault of the author).
Verdict: This is an excellent reference book that contains many detailed and useful photographs, with well written text and detailed captions, of British military trucks of World War Two.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 978-3-936519-29-7
  Suggested Retail: 39.00 Euro
  PUBLISHED: Aug 09, 2012
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

Our Thanks to Tankograd 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 L Harvey (HARV)

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 ©2021 text by Randy L Harvey [ HARV ]. All rights reserved.


Thanks for getting this posted. I am curious about one thing. Why are there only 9 of the 29 scans I sent in being shown? Thank you, Randy
AUG 09, 2012 - 09:49 AM
Randy, many publishers do not want too many of their images posted, after all that is a big part of the book! Nine are more than sufficient, combined with your text, to give the readers an idea if this is something that would appeal to them. I meant to let you know about this but got awful busy for a while.
AUG 09, 2012 - 10:53 AM
No problem. I just thought maybe all of the scans didn't arrive or something. The reason I had so many scans was because I thought it would be nice to show one vehicle from each of the manufacturers featured in the book. Anyway no foul, I was just curious. Thanks, Randy
AUG 09, 2012 - 11:12 AM
Thanks for the review of this Randy; I saw reference to this the other day, and your review has, I think, confirmed that this looks like a very interesting book (for those that like this kind of thing...) in terms of the breadth and depth of coverage. Just from the pages shown I recognised a few vehicles that previously I had only seen in the Bart Vanderveen Observer book, but of course in that book the reproductions are closer to postage stamp size! Love that Matador / Valentine half track. I can see a kit just waiting to get out.
AUG 10, 2012 - 10:03 AM
Hi Randy, Sorry - I should have dropped you a note when I was posting the review, but got carrried away with getting it up. As James said, the number of pages has to be kept down on books because we don't want to give so many that the reader no longer needs to buy the book! I appreciate your desire to illustrate all the different makes - I have the same hard decisions when I write Tankograd reviews! The problem now is that you've made me want to buy a copy... Tom
AUG 10, 2012 - 10:57 PM
You're welcome Matthew. Thank you for the feedback, I do appreciate it. It is a very nice book with many interesting vehicles shown. It will be an excellent resource book for my future reviews. I really like that one too, it was one of my favorites from the book. It would make an excellent kit...or for someone ambitious enough...a fun scratch-build project!! Not a problem Tom. I really like the way you present my reviews. You do an excellent job with them. I would have liked to have had all of my scans shown..but I see the point. Sorry about that....but.......I guess that my review worked!! Thanks again everyone. I do appreciate everything. Randy
AUG 11, 2012 - 11:24 AM

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