Book Review
Nuclear Winter FTX
US Army Vehicles during the Cold War Exercises WINTER SHIELD I and II in 1960-61
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]

Nuclear Winter FTX
US Army Vehicles during the Cold War Exercises WINTER SHIELD I and II in 1960-61

In the early 1960s Germany was the centre of the Cold War and a nuclear clash of the superpowers on German soil was a realistic yet in the same way horrific scenario. The exercises Winter Shield I and Winter Shield II were conducted in February 1960 and 1961 and showed how a real nuclear winter-war would have been fought. Each exercise saw the participation of some 60,000 troops and about 15,000 vehicles. The use of nuclear weapons was given a decisive role in Winter Shield I, they were aimed at deterrence as the military forces in the East were getting stronger and stronger. Both exercises were conducted under the motto: "Train as you fight". Commanding officers were veterans of recently fought wars - US officers had seen action during the Korean War, many German commanders had gained their experience on the Eastern Front during World War Two. This publication describes the events and illustrates the motor pool of the US Army, ranging from World War 2 veterans to then most modern equipment such as the M103 Heavy Tank.


As with most of Tankogradís books the text is supplied in German and English, and while the text content of this book is minimal there is enough to give you a fair insight. The text in this offering starts with a general introduction. The Winter Shield I 1960 is covered in six pages under the headers;
  • Goals of the exercise
  • Exercise timeframe and area
  • Exercise troops and structure
  • Preparation and deployment
  • Chronology of events
  • Nuclear assets
  • The human side
  • Summary

There are then 52 pictures which are primarily in black and white covering a broad number of vehicles.

The next section of the book starts on Page 32 and covers Winter Shield II 1961. This text section of the book is covered in 5 pages. The text is broken down into;
  • Aims of the exercise
  • Timeline and exercise area
  • Participating forces and structure
  • Preparations and deployment
  • Chronology of events
  • Nuclear assets
  • Summary

This section of the book is supported with 59 images, which are again in black and white for the most part.

The pictures despite being black and white are quite clear and donít have the fuzzy look about them, which seems to be common to pictures of the period. The pictures cover soft skinned vehicles in the form of trucks and jeeps, artillery in the form of Self-propelled, rocket, and towed. There are also a large number of M113ís in a number of guises, and lastly there are is the armour in the form of the M47, M48A1, AMX 13, and M103. Also in the mix in a few pictures are some recovery vehicles and a real oddity in the form of the French Gillois amphibious ferry and bridging vehicles. Something the modeller may find particularly appealing about this book is the number of vehicles pictured after accidents, which according to the book were caused by a particularly cold winter in 1960.


I found this book an enjoyable read and a great reference on vehicles of the period. I particularly liked the images of the crew applied winter camouflage that looks for the most part as if it was applied with a mop and bucket. The pictures are nicely selected with a good balance of vehicle types and situations; the addition of the oddities is a nice touch which just adds icing to the cake. All in all a great affordable book covering two exercises held at a very uncertain time. Well worth dipping your hand in your wallet for this one.

Highs: A great selection of pictures covering a broad spectrum of interests.
Lows: Not really a low but I would have liked the book split in 2 covering the 1960 and 1961 exercises in separate volumes in order that we had more pictures.
Verdict: I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the military of the early 1960ís.
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: Nr. 3020
  Suggested Retail: Ä14.95
  PUBLISHED: Jun 21, 2013
  NATIONALITY: United States

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 Darren Baker (CMOT)

I have been building model kits since the early 70ís starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2021 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.


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