AFVs IN IRISH SERVICE SINCE 1922
From the National Army to the Irish Defence Forces
Military in Scale June 2011 2012-12-26
Scale Views 02/2011 2012-12-26
MMI Vol 15 no. 9, July 2011 2012-12-26
Amazon.co.uk customer review (2) 2012-12-26
Good book to read., 2 Aug 2011
By mo100 - See all my reviews
Very good book to read if you are interested in Military abilities of smaller nations. The pictures and details worth reading.
IPMS UK Magazine 4/2011 2012-12-26
by Ray Mehlberger
Date of Review February 2011
Mushroom Model Publications is based in the UK. They are in partnership with Stratus Publications based in Sandomierz, Poland. Stratus prints Mushroom Model Publications books for them in English as well as doing their own books in Polish. This book was sent to me by Stratus, very heavily sheaved in cardboard to protect it along with another book.
The book is soft-cover 8 ½” x 11” page format and is 224 pages in length.
The book tells the story of the tanks and other armored vehicles used by the armed forces of Ireland (Eire), from independence to the present day, is recounted in this new book.
Although the Irish have never used large numbers of armored vehicles, they have employed a wide and eclectic variety of tanks and armored cars, from British WWI vehicles through to the Swedish armored cars currently in service. This book describes the acquisition and operational use of all such AFVs by the Irish.
From Rolls-Royce armored cars to a wide variety of British, Italian and Swedish vehicles, plus Irish designed and built Ford armored cars, the author describes in detail the use of this varied collection of AFVs in Irish service. Their role in the civil war, which followed independence, through to UN peace-keeping duties in recent years, is all covered.
The book contains 83 black and white photos and 102 color ones. There are 98 photos of restored vehicles, 37 black and white line drawing profiles, 23 color illustrations of Irish Cavalry Corps unit insignias and 31 data charts. Many of the rare older black and white photos have never appeared before in other books.
Technical details of all the vehicles are included.
By Chris Banyai-Riepl
When one thinks of armored fighting vehicles, the focus generally shifts to a handful of nations such as the United States, Germany, or Russia. Quite a few other nations have a long history with AFVs, though, and this latest title from Mushroom Model Publications examines the history of AFVs in Irish service. While the Irish armed forces have never been a large force, they have used an interesting conglomeration of tanks and armored cars over the years from 1922 to present day.
The book begins with a short section on the origins of armor in Ireland and the use of armor during the Civil War in 1922. Following this is a very detailed list of Irish armored units, split into three sections: cavalry organization, World War II organization, and post-WW2 organization. Each of these sections has separate sections for each of the individual units, with a separate section on Irish peacekeeping contingents.
The majority of the book, though, focuses on the individual vehicles. Given the wide variety of vehicles operated by Irish forces over the years, this section is quite large. Subjects range from Rolls Royce armored cars to Churchill tanks and everything in between. In addition to the descriptive text, there are plenty of photos documenting the camouflage and markings of Irish AFVs. There are also a handful of side view drawings of some of the more common subjects.
This review is of the new book “AFV’s in Irish Service Since 1922: From the National Army to the Irish Defence Forces” by author Ralph Riccio.
This book provides comprehensive coverage of what looks to be ALL Irish Armored Fighting vehicles from the creation of “the Free State” in 1922 to present (2010); both tracked and wheeled. It is very similar in content and layout to the well known references “British and American Tanks of WWII” by Chamberlin & Ellis and “Encyclopedia of German Tanks of WWII” by Chamberlin, Doyle and Jentz. Although I will review the book in its entirety, I will focus on the large amount of wheeled vehicle content as this review IS for WarWheels.Net.
Please note that Mr. Riccio’s focus in only on machines that were considered AFV’s and it does not cover other Irish military vehicles, such as motorcycles, softskins, etc.
The book is divided into the following main sections:
Origins of Armour in Ireland 1922: Armour During the Civil War
Organization of Irish Armoured Units
Armour in Support of Irish Peacekeeping Contingents Abroad
Armoured Vehicles in Irish Service 1922-2010
Appendix 1: Colour Equivalents for Modelers
Appendix 2: Irish Cavalry Corps Unit Designations
Appendix 3: Cavalry Corps Unit Insignia
Appendix 4: Markings and Colours
Appendix 5: Vehicle Resignation Numbers
Appendix 6: Vehicle Service Dates
Appendix 7: Weapon Characteristics
Appendix 8: Preserved Vehicles.
The “meat and potatoes” of the book is the coverage of the specific AFV’s used by the Irish Free State. Therefore, I am listing the individual vehicles covered in the section titled “Armoured Vehicles in Irish Service 1922-2010”. The vehicles covered are:
Rolls Royce 1920 Pattern Armoured Car
Peerless Armoured Car (1919 Pattern)
Lancia Armoured Troop Carrier
Fiat Armoured Car
Partially Armoured Vehicles
Leyland Armoured Car
Landsverk L180 Armoured Car
GSR Morris & GSR Ford Mark IV Armoured Cars
Ford Mark V Armoured Car
Ford Mark VI Armoured Car
Dodge Mark VII & Dodge Mark VIII Armoured Cars
Beaverette Light Armoured Scout Car
Ferret Mark II Armoured Car
Scania SKPF m/42 APC
Humber Mk I “Pig” APC
Panhard AML 245 Armoured Cars (H60 & H90 Series)
Landsverk Unimog Scout Car
Panhard M3 VTT APC
Timoney Mark I APC
Timoney Mark II APC
Timoney Mark III APC
Timoney Mark IV APC
Timoney Mark VI APC
SISU XA-180 APC
RG-31 Mark 3 Nyala
MOWAG Piranha IIIH APC/AIFV
RG-32M Light Tactical Vehicle
Vickers Mk D Tank
Landsverk L60 Light Tank
Universal (Bren Gun) Carrier
Churchill Mark VI Tank
Comet A34 Tank
Alvis Scorpion CVR(T)
Accuracy of Information
The accuracy of the information provided by the author is excellent. When compared to my personal references Mr. Riccio’s book is very accurate. I did not identify any wrong or misleading information contained in this book.
The primary sources I used to check the accuracy of the book are:
"A Photo History of Armoured Cars in Two World Wars" by Forty
“British and American Tanks of WWII” by Chamberlin & Ellis
"Encyclopedia of Armoured Cars" by Crow & Icks
"Irish Army Vehicles: Transport & Armour Since 1922" by Karl Martin
In addition, I've compared the information Mr. Riccio provides about the Wheeled Fighting Vehicles with photographs in my personal collection as well as with the information we have available here on Warwheels.Net.
Photograph and Illustration Quality and Selection
Mr. Riccio provides a staggering 228 Color Photographs, 105 Black/White Photographs and 41 Black/White Vehicle Line Drawings in this book. The quality level of the vast majority of photographs is from very good to excellent. The small number of photos that could be considered fair to good in quality are only the earliest photographs taken; around 1922. In my opinion that should obviously be excused as the mere presence of these photos in the book IS the most important point to remember.
As for the selection of photos contained in this book, that is the true strength of the book. Mr. Riccio provides photos of preserved museum pieces as well as contemporary “in action” pictures, even from the earliest period covered by the book. It’s obvious to me that this book is “a labor of love” for the author due to the care and detail he put into it. For example, (when possible) Mr. Riccio makes the extra effort to provide photos of the covered vehicles when they’re actually in Irish Service, rather than only providing generic/representative photos of the vehicles.
Also, the photos come from a myriad of sources such as the vehicle manufacturers, government archives, and personal individuals’ collections. Although, a few detail photos are included to help identify specific vehicles, there are not many provided in this book. However, considering the purpose of this book is to provide encyclopedic coverage of Irish AFV’s, a large selection of detail photos shouldn’t be expected.
Finally, the 41 black/white line drawings by Rodolfo Ciuffoletti are also a very welcome addition. Most of these highly detailed illustrations provided are 1/35 scale side views of the different AFV’s used/in use with the Irish military. In fact, every vehicle that has a section dedicated to it (see above) also has a representative line drawing provided.
However, with that being said, a couple of the drawings looked a bit small in size to me. So, I checked what scale drawings I could against my references; specifically the book "World War II AFV Plans: British Armoured Fighting Vehicles" by George Bradford, as well as a few other of Mr. Bradford's plans. I did find two drawings a bit small in my opinion; The Beaverette Scout Car and the Universal "Bren Gun" Carrier. On the flipside though, I found the drawings accurate in size for the Rolls Royce 1920 Pattern, Ferret Mark II Armored Car and the Panhard AML Series of Armored Cars.
I contacted Mr. Riccio about this matter and he stated that some of the drawings look a bit small to him as well. He believes that during editing of the book the publisher may have arbitrarily adjusted some of the drawings' sizes while creating the some of the page layouts. Therefore, a reader should not rely on these drawings alone, specifically they should check the dimensions given in the vehicle specifications sheets also provided in the book.
Use as Reference
This book is an exceptional reference for modelers and vehicle enthusiasts as well. It provides comprehensive informational and photographic coverage of all AFV’s used by the Irish Free State from its beginning in 1922 to present day (2010). He covers both the Irish indigenous vehicles designs as well as foreign designed vehicles. You want to get some information or see a photo of a specific Irish AFV? Well, in my opinion you won’t find a better book to use. Period.
Besides the “normal” information seen in books of this type, Mr. Riccio also provides information targeted specifically to us modelers. This focus comes in the form of markings/coloring information of the real vehicles, a section dedicated to modeling paint colors, as well as a section showing the location/condition of preserved vehicles.
Editing of Information/ Text Flow
The text flow (e.g. the writing ability of the author) and editing of the information provided is excellent. I also found the book easy to read, informative and it more than sufficiently described and explained the photos in the book. Also, the information is provided in a logical and organized way and wasn’t confusing. I did find two photos which had their caption’s switched (the two bottom pictures on page 207), but that is the only thing I identified that “needed fixin’ ”. With that being said, the other 350+ other photo/scale drawing captions looked good.
Quality of Print Medium
This book is in a 8 ½”x 11” size format and the soft cover media is of a decent quality. The construction of the book facilitates fairly frequent use/reading of the book, but probably won’t hold up extraordinarily well with constant use. Obviously, all soft cover books suffer from the fact that they don’t hold up as well as hard cover books.
Once again, Mr. Riccio has a authored a great comprehensive reference for us vehicle enthusiasts and modelers. The impressive amount of information and number of photos provided in this book of long neglected subject is an incredible boon to those interested in Irish AFV’s. The only fault I found with the book is that some of the scale drawings look to be a bit too small than the scale listed. Even with that issue, it is my opinion that you won’t find a better reference dedicated to Irish AFV’s. Period.
Recommendation: “A Must Have” for those interested in armored cars in and/or Irish AFV's.
Thanks to Ralph Riccio for the Review Sample.
Copyright: Patrick Keenan - March 7, 2011
Amazon.com customer review 2012-12-26
Average Customer Review
5.0 out of 5 stars (1 customer review)
By John Matlock "Gunny" (Winnemucca, NV)
Although the Irish Army is not very large by world standards, it has been well equipped for its role as primarily a peace keeper. Down through the years it has fielded an amazing array of armored vehicles in the years since its formation in 1922. In this book Mr. Riccio has collecting an amazing number of photographs covering vehicles from home made armored cars down to the modern vehicles in use today. These pictures are accompanied by line drawings and some history of the actions in which they were used. It is interesting to see that even a small army needs to have approximately the same range of equipment that the bigger countries have. Obviously they do not construct their own equipment as their volumes are too low.
The book itself is up to the usual high quality of the MMP books with excellent printing and binding.
Military Machines Int. April 2011 2012-12-26
Amazon.co.uk customer review (3) 2012-12-26
A great addition to any military vehicle collection. 24 Dec 2012
By P. O'Connell
Books on Irish armour are few and far between and this fills that gap nicely. It covers the period of the inception of the Irish army to the present day. A must for anybody modelling or the historian who is interested in Irish ( or British ) armour of the period.
Any book that tries to cover a particular type of weapon used from its inception to modern times in one identified country is a real challenge to write. My experience of reading such books is that they are usually well presented if they are of a naval subject, but invariably of a lower quality if military or aviation subjects are covered. Why this should be has always been a bit of a mystery. Therefore, when this latest volume from Mushroom was announced, my initial delight at the choice of subject quickly became tempered with the realisation that the book would, in all probability, not meet my high expectations.
So why the interest in Irish armour, you may well ask? Well, it can be traced back to one of my Father's uncles who served with the British Army in Ireland in the period 1916-19 and who was a driver in the squadron of the first AFVs to ever be stationed in that country, namely seven Rolls Royce Admiralty Pattern armoured cars. Sent there after the Easter Rising of 1916, I have often wondered how the arrival of such vehicles impacted socially, as well as militarily, on a civilised nation to whom the armoured vehicle was basically unknown.
With the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty at the end of 1921, the civil war commencing in 1922 and the withdrawal of the British at the end of 1922, the first proper Irish armoured corps was formed soon afterwards. In various forms, this formation has grown and developed and still exists today within the Irish Defence Forces.
This is the historical basis of the subject matter tackled by Ralph Riccio within this book. The book, strangely for one of this nature, does not contain colour profiles, but lots and lots of photographs, both in colour and black and white. There are some very clear and detailed 1/35 scale side views of many vehicles and the rest of the book is well written, involving text that draws the reader on, a bit like a good novel.
The book commences with sections on the early British involvement and the civil war; the history of Irish AFV use and organisation to the present day is then covered; armour in support of Irish Peacekeeping Forces abroad is examined;then comes the major portion of the book, with sections on each of the armoured vehicles used and, where appropriate, their operational deployment and history. The book finishes with various appendices on various topics including unit markings, colours for modellers, weapon characteristics and preserved vehicles.
Now, to give a flavour of the content, I have chosen a few pages to illustrate this (but there are dozens of vehicles I could have chosen from). Firstly, we have my favourite, the Rolls Royce armoured car (below);
The Ford Mk. VI armoured car (above); various Panhard vehicles (below);
the BAE RG 32M and the Vickers Mk. D tank (above). vI have to say this is a truly stunning book. Apart from a few colour profiles, I could not see how it could be bettered. The style is excellent, is well composed, easy to follow and, as I have said, actually involves the reader. The photographs are well chosen, nearly all unknown to me and well laid out. Riccio is gifted, not a term I use normally when describing reference book authors, but this man knows how to present a subject properly. vSo what do we think?
From nothing to the definitive text for many, many years to come on Irish AFVs in one simple move. Already the strong front-runner for my book of 2011. Wonderful!
Overall 9/10 Robin Jenkins
Reviewed By: Sean Dunnage
For many years the small armies of the world have basically been ignored by authors and modellers. Thankfully this trend is slowly coming to an end. In recent years books have been published on these armies in small numbers and now to add to this small but important group is one on the Irish National Army and the Irish Defence Forces of modern times. The book covers the struggling little nations foray into AFVs from the early 1920s to the present day.
The book reviewed here shows how the internal struggles of Ireland changed drastically with the advent of AFVs. Not only does the book cover the very first AFV’s to enter the internal conflict once rampant in Ireland but it goes on to present day usage of AFVs around the world in service with the Irish Defence Force in their role with the UN peacekeeping missions. I am not going to hash out the internal conflict of Ireland and why the AFVs were needed on home soil as I feel that politics need to stay out of a hobby enjoyed by many of us from around the world.
The Author Ralph A. Riccio is no stranger to those of us who love good reference books. He has written a couple of books on Italian AFVs as well as a recent release by Squadron Publications on Italian Truck Mounted Artillery. His latest foray into AFVs is definitely in my opinion his best work yet though I may be slightly prejudiced as my Mother was born in Dublin in 1922 so I have strong ties to that country which may colour my view.The author gives credit to numerous individuals around the world for the contents of this book. David Fletcher is probably the one name almost every modeller will recognise as he was the former librarian and current historian of the Bovington Tank Museum for many years and a very prolific author himself on AFVs from all over the world. Others include ex-servicemen and various other researches of Irish history to give us the best possible coverage of the subject at hand.
THE BOOK: vThe contents of the book are a very nice combination of photographic history and concise information regarding the development and usage of AFVs in Ireland. Starting with the appearance of converted “beer trucks” which had boiler plates from locomotive yards bolted in place to provide the occupants with protection from small arms during the Easter uprising in 1916 while the Great War was still in full progression. This uprising led to the dispatch of several Admiralty Rolls Royce Armoured cars not long after the uprising. After WW1 ended several tanks arrived to help in keeping the peace and fighting the Irish rebels. vAs time went on AFVs from around the world began to make appearances on Irish soil. In fact I was absolutely amazed at the variety of AFVs running around the small island at different times in the past and at present. While in the early days the majority of AFVs were of British origin and to some extent Italian as time went on armoured cars and tanks began to appear from all over the world. Countries like Sweden, Germany, USA, France, South Africa, and Finland provided them just to name a few. The book also covers the advent of the home grown AFV developed by Timoney based in Navan, County Meath, Ireland. vThe book is in chronological order on the appearance and development of both the AFVs and the units who operated them. Each vehicle is given in excellent photographic detail as well as a breakdown of who used it and when and where. There is plenty of coverage on the modern equipment of the Irish Defence Force in various actions overseas with the United Nations.
For the MODELLER:
For the modeller there are excellent line drawings included in 1/35 of almost every vehicle mentioned, from the Lancias and Rolls Royce’s to the Timoney and Panhards used over the last century giving modellers an excellent opportunity to start scratch-building some rare and unique models. Accompanying many of the line drawings are close up shots of various details for each piece discussed. Markings and paint schemes are also well illustrated so there will be no guesswork involved on your projects, except for possibly some of the earliest Armoured Cars to see service in Ireland, but even these are covered quite well in the text.
All in all as a modeller I am extremely happy with this book. It gives me a great source for future projects which otherwise would never have come to my attention. I’m sure that anyone out there who loves to build unique models will absolutely find a few great projects lurking in the pages. The book is published by MMP who have a wide range of publications aimed at modellers of AFVs and Aircraft. They have been responsible for some of the best publications available to us over the past dozen years and will continue to do so for many many more if this title is any indication of their quality and commitment to the industry.
Very Highly Recommended
Model Military International 06/11 2012-12-26
Reviewed by: John Ratzenberger, IPMS# 40196
I am a Rolls Royce Armored Car mega-fan, so I pleaded for this book when it showed on the review list. Also, my real name is Sean O'Ratzenberger ….
The book covers wheeled and tracked armored fighting vehicles used by the armed forces of the Republic of Ireland from independence to the present day. It, of necessity, starts before then, in 1916, and works forward through the civil war as much of the armor was first used by the British and then acquired by the Free State (National Army) or captured by the Republican Army. This story is told in some detail. From there, the book covers the Irish forces during The Emergency (WW2, in which Ireland was neutral) through various UN peace-keeping operations.
Following the general and organizational history, there is a lengthy section which goes one-by-one through all vehicles used, having history, data, pictures, etc., for each. Some of this information duplicates that already told in the historical sections.
It is a great reference if you are a "War Wheels" modeler. Because my interests stop early in WW2, I got to look at a lot of modern stuff I wouldn't ordinarily see. If you are a modeler of things Irish, this book would be for you; however it is disappointing in that there are no color profiles and little on colors. Now some of that is because there is little on colors available, but still the effort seems lack-luster. There is some discussion in Appendix 4 and a model paint chart in Appendix 1 that is mostly blank space. Color photos of modern equipment in the book will be of use.
The book reads well despite a penchant for long paragraphs, some almost a whole page in length. The author has done a good job keeping the book moving, even when he dives into efforts to validate data from conflicting or non-existent sources. I like this approach because it presents his reasoning and validates the accuracy. The book concludes with an extensive reference list.
The section on WW2 organization was disappointing. Units are described, usually ending with their disbandment or conversion one or two decades later. Most pictures are of post-WW2 vehicles. The next section is on post-WW2 organization, so it's a bit confusing.
There are a few editing issues: a table on pg. 146 is not aligned and thus confusing, captions on the bottom two pictures on pg. 207 are reversed, the "Appendices" heading on pg. 191 is mis-spelled, and the previously mentioned separation of related appendices 1 and 4. Early armored cars all carried names -- it would have been helpful if they were italicized.
Personally, I'm disappointed -- it sheds little new information on the RRAC and does not show that which is available. Given the RRAC were in Ireland from 1916 until 1954, albeit in small numbers, it seems they ought to get a lot more space.
All that aside, Mushroom is to be complimented for producing an excellent book on a niche subject, and the author complimented for doing a good job with limited sources. If you are an RRAC-fan then this book may not add to your knowledge, but if you are into "War Wheels" or Irish service, then this book may be what you need and in that regard, I highly recommend it.
Amazon.co.uk customer review (1) 2012-12-26
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 5 May 2011
By Mulwharchar (Hereford, UK)
Although often overshadowed by the paramilitary pretenders to its role, the regular Irish Army has been quietly honing a reputation for professionalism for 90 years now. This exhaustive book covers every type of armoured vehicle used throughout the army's history, from the primitive armoured cars inherited from the British Army on independence, through the many weird & wonderful homegrown improvisations, right up to the thoroughly modern imported equipment used today. Armoured cars tend to predominate, partly on the grounds of economy but also because as a neutral country, Ireland's army is orientated towards homeland defence and its UN peacekeeping role, but it's interesting to see that they also operated a few Churchill and Comet tanks right into the 1970s (long after they'd been retired to museums elsewhere). The book is lavishly illustrated with both archive and contemporary colour photos (to its credit, the army has preserved many of its historic vehicles), and in a generous nod to its modelling audience, it contains 1:35 scale drawings of every vehicle (only side elevations, but they're a start). 'AFVs in Irish Service' is the very definition of a 'niche publication', and it's ironic that it has arrived from an American author with a Polish publisher, but it's a truly exemplary piece of research and will become the definitive work on the subject.
MiniReplika Nr 70 2011-05-23
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