IntroductionCombat Vehicles of Russia’s Special Forces Spetsnaz, Airborne, Arctic and Interior Troops
is a new title from Osprey Publishing
. The series promises
The design, development, operation and history of the machinery of warfare through the ages
through 48 pages, includes photographs and color profiles of various vehicles.
Inside the book
The Spetsnaz: whatever they need
• of lynxes, tigers, and wolves: LMVs
• buggies and ATVs
The Airborne troops: by air and land
• the BMD
• the BTR-D
• BTR-MD and BTR – MDM
• Fire support
The naval infantry: finding their sea legs
• The BMMP
Specialized forces: war and peacekeeping
• Arctic warfare
• Desert warfare
• Urban warfare
Security forces: Hurricanes and Punishers
• LMVsProspects for the future
• Other national guard personnel carriers
• Crowd control
• Military policing
• Nuclear security
This is a rather ambitious “contents” for such a brief book, and each vehicle of each service is mentioned briefly. There is discussion on the politics of Russian vehicle procurement, competing demands between a multitude of services, and utilizing foreign manufacturers’ vehicles. Each could be the subject of a book in their own right.
With approximately two dozen different vehicles identified, there is nothing in depth beyond a rather cursory introduction, and a mention of any particular feature or difficulty with that vehicle. Plus dog sleds and donkeys get a mention, too.
There are some handy color plates, and three or four view profiles of a couple of the vehicles. The photographs are clear and well selected for their detail.
The most intriguing vehicle was the introduction of the BMMP, which is essentially an amphibious Kurganets. It looks huge. And is only a proposal at this stage. Also, there is the police riot control vehicle, Ural-532362, which mounts a couple of water cannon and a plow fitted to the front which looks as if it could clear any barrier moved in front of it.
There is some handy reference on some subjects currently available in kit form, namely the BMD, BTR, BMPT, and Typhoon truck. But nothing to assist with super-detailing or conversions. Given the BMPT has seen combat, I’d of liked to of seen more on its performance, but that may be classified information.
One highlight is the KamAZ 43269 Dozor of the 12th Main Directorate, tasked with nuclear security. It is described as something Batman would drive, and that is no exaggeration. The design and features of the vehicle make it a desirable vehicle to see in kit form.
Inside the title page is a handy glossary of acronyms used in the text.
In summary, I read this in an afternoon and came away wanting more information on both the various branches of Russia’s special forces and the vehicle they used. This is definitely a larger topic than will be covered in a scant 48 pages, there being too many vehicles to comment on the “design, development, operation and history of the machinery” within that limit.