This volume is the fourth and last of
the series dealing with all the German variants of the US made M113. Like the
booklets in this series it comes in a 64-page format with 75 color photographs,
19 black and white photographs and 1 scale drawing. As usual the texts and photographs
captions are both in German and English. This volume mainly deals with Artillery
variants not covered in the third volume and with a number of prototypes.
This volume is divided into 6 chapters following an introduction which is common to the various volumes of the series. Each chapter covers a different variant with its historical background followed by numerous pictures with some close-ups.
Chapter 1 Lance Surface-to-Surface Artillery Rocket System
The Lance rocket artillery system entered service with the Bundeswehr in 1976. The system consisted of two vehicles, M667 transport and loader vehicle and the M752 launcher vehicle. Both vehicles are covered in this chapter with 16 pictures (7 being black and white). Amongst the most interesting pictures 4 are top views, 2 for each variant.
Chapter 2 M113 120mm Mortar Carrier and M113 Mortar Fire Control Vehicle
Introduced in 1970, the mortar carrier was originally a M113 APC converted in Germany by Rheinstahl-Henschel and fitted a 120mm Tampella mortar. The fire control vehicle belongs to the mortar system and has been upgraded along with the mortar carrier. A small quantity of these vehicles is still in service with no visible replacement so far. This chapter gives 30 pictures of which 7 are black and white. There are three photographs of the inside of the mortar carrier and only one of the fire control vehicle taken from afar.
Chapter 3 Skorpion Vehicle-Based Scatterable Mine-Laying System
This vehicle is not an artillery variant but an engineer one as it mounts the Skorpion mine laying system. Based on the M548 chassis, it started entering service with engineers units in 1986. This chapter features 18 photographs and a 5-view scale drawing.
Chapter 4 M113-based Prototypes
Here are presented a number of prototypes, each illustrated with a single or a couple of photographs. Among the prototypes, one can notice a Milan ATGW carrier and some turreted variants mounting weapons ranging from the usual M2HB MG to a 25mm automatic cannon. This chapter displays 13 pictures.
Chapter 5 The Future of the M113
This chapter covers the foreseeable future of the German M113 vehicles. No longer meeting the protection requirements due to the new threats encountered in the theatres of operation, the German M113 are progressively being phased out and offered on the international market. Simultaneously an increased protection package is also offered. 11 photographs show various variants in service with different armies, i.e. Danish and Polish armies.
Chapter 6 M113 The End of an Era?
The authors clearly state the M113 now belongs to the Bundeswehr history even if for still a number of years some will remain in service with the German army. Others have already started a new operational life within foreign countries armed forces.
This fourth volume in the German M113 series concludes a comprehensive research work by the authors. As with the other volumes in the series, the number of photographs is sufficient to have a good idea of each vehicle and will please the history-minded reader. But again, the lack of details photographs will let the modeler slightly frustrated. However, this volume is recommended.