A short while ago, I reviewed the first part of Quiron Ediciones book on the Spanish Armored Division, La Brunete. Now I am lucky enough to have the second part in front of me....
Introduction Quiron Ediciones, is a Spanish publishing company who concentrate entirely on titles relating to Spanish military and naval history. Number six in their series "Revista Española de Historia Militar" (Spanish Military History Magazine) is the second part of the operational history of the Spanish Armored Division 'La Brunete'. This volume brings their history up to date from 1981 up until the present day. The format of the book is similar to that of other publishers, particularly Concord. The book consists of 80+ pages, printed on very high-quality paper stock. The book is written by José María Manrique Garcia and Lucas Molina Franco. The numerous illustrations, which are of a superb standard throughout, were executed by Julio López Caeiro and Luis Fresno Crespo.
The Book As this is the second part of the Brunete story, the editor has continued the second volume beginning with chapter 6, this unfortunately means that to maintain the 'linear' nature of the division's history it is necessary to have the first volume as well, however if one's interests lie in modern armor, this really is no handicap whatsoever.
Part II consists of four chapters with an appendix.
CHAPTER VI Concerns itself with the 1980s and what in Spain was a period of renewal for the armed forces. In simple terms, although attractive as modelling subjects, the Spanish armed forces were finding their equipment increasingly obsolete. A process of restructuring was also taking place which along with Spain's entry into N.A.T.O required the acquisition of new vehicle types and replacements for some of the frankly worn-out vehicles in the inventory. In 1982, for example, 240 M41/M41a1s were still in front-line service. The chapter presents many photographs and illustrations of contemporary equipment including a sub-section dealing with the M60 bridgelayer.
CHAPTER VII Brings us into the 1990s and the introduction of new vehicles such as the M60 and the Leopard II (Leopold in Spanish service...). Many interesting illustrations are presented within this chapter such as the prototypes and production versions of the Pizarro ICV. There are also some mouth-watering photographs of M60s, several M113 variants (including M577) and the Spanish produced/designed 'VEC' (Light 6 x 6 Recce vehicle).
CHAPTER VIII Takes the story into the present day. Again the emphasis is on the visual with a profusion of superb quality photographs of the PIZARRO ICV (and variants), M548s in Spanish service and numerous engineer vehicles. The strangest of these is these is a conversion of the M60 with an excavator jib and bucket attached to the turret..... There are also (not surprisingly) a number of useful photographs of the Leopard 2 (A-6)...
The final section, covers the organisation and heraldry of the division. This gives a complete overview of the cloth patches worn by the division's components and the 'Guidons' which befit an Armored division whose past history (logically) lies with cavalry....
Conclusions This is a truly staggeringly detailed work. It's value undoubtedly lies in the inspiration it will provide for modellers. The first volume which dealt with the early days of 'Brunete' is perfectly complimented by this second volume. Visually it it is superb, the quality of the photographs is second-to-none. Some publishers seem to ignore modern technology and publish photographs without any enhancement. Quiron, to their credit, have obviously remastered many contemporary photographs which gives them a crispness and detail. The color illustrations, deserve a second mention here. Superbly executed they contain a mass of detail which is invaluable for the modeller.
Possibly the only drawback (for the vast majority of modellers) is that the book is published in Spanish. However, the text, though important, is not vital to understand the subject of the illustrations/photographs. M60 is M60 in English, Spanish or any other language. The second volume has more illustrative content than the first, possibly because the subject is better documented than before.
Is it Worth it? This book (and its companion volume) should enter into the bookshelves of any modern armor modeller. The depth of the subject area is sufficient to keep most modellers happy (and building) for years to come. For the 'specialists' amongst us, the photos of the engineer vehicles or the ICVs should have a similarly 'inspirational' effect.
Without hesitation. One of the best executed and produced reference books that have passed through my hands. Look at their website for more details (it's in English as well). Above all, buy them! If you have to invest in a Spanish/English dictionary as well, it's a small price to pay.
About Jim Rae (jimbrae) FROM: PROVINCIA DE LUGO, SPAIN / ESPAñA
Self-employed English teacher living in NW Spain. Been modelling off and on since the sixties. Came back into the hobby around ten years ago. First love is Soviet Armor with German subjects running a close second. Currently exploring ways of getting cloned to allow time for modelling, working and wr...