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Vietnam Gun Trucks (New Vanguard) Paperback – September 20, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“...provides a good overview of an important innovation developed during the Vietnam War. I highly recommend it for both its narrative and for the large variety of the clear photographs and excellent illustrations.” ―Jeff Leiby, IPMS/USA

About the Author

Gordon L. Rottman entered the US Army in 1967, volunteered for Special Forces and completed training as a weapons specialist. He served in the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam in 1969-70 and subsequently in airborne infantry, long-range patrol and intelligence assignments until retiring after 26 years. He was a Special Operations Forces scenario writer at the Joint Readiness Training Center for 12 years and is now a freelance writer, living in Texas.
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Product Details

  • Series: New Vanguard (Book 184)
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (September 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184908355X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849083553
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.2 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,476,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book give a in depth look at the convoy structure which developed during the Vietnam war.
The descriptions of the gun trucks and there usage by all facets of the military was interesting.
I think additional color plates of gun trucks would have been a nice addition.
I have gotten James Lyles series on gun trucks which is of great assistance because James main focus is the pictures available of gun trucks and the crews that served.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book covers the inception, development and use of the gun truck during the Vietnam war. Although no two gun trucks were alike and no standards existed for the construction of the trucks, they followed certain patterns. There are many drawings and photos of typical trucks and photos of individual trucks. It is with having in your library.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very interesting book written by James Lyles who was a former member of the 104th engineers, they mostly rode with convoys and if you ever had that experience you would know what I mean, if the truck in front of you is hit, you become a sitting duck.
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Format: Paperback
This is a very well written and very instructive introduction to the saga of gun trucks in Vietnam. I learned A LOT from it. The writing is clear, the book is well organised, everyone of 48 pages is fully used and there is no useless digressions and no filler.

Illustrations are good and colour plates are very honest but the real interest of this book resides in the text. Author clearly knows the subject and gives us a lot if useful and interesting info, beginning with the whole organisation of truck convoys system in Vietnam War - that helps the reader to better understand what was the role of gun trucks and the logic behind the tactic of their operaitonal use. We move then to the recruitement and organisation of crews of gun trucks, before getting to the construction of those improvised vehicles and the equipement and weaponry they used. Tactics are explained only once we got a better understanding of previous points and then we go the names (believe me, you will have a ball reading that point), paintings and lore of gun trucks. The whole organisation of the book is very good - it is in form of a logical progression in the learning processus.

As all Osprey New Vanguard books it is a short thing (48 pages) therefore, even if it is a very, very good thing, this book can not be very comprehensive. More pictures (including in colour) can be found in "Gun Trucks" by Timothy J. Kutta, published by Squadron/Signal in their very good Vietnam War Studies series and also in "Gun trucks: a visual history" by David Doyle. There is also the "Gun Trucks In Vietnam : Have Guns - Will Travel", an 86 pager by James Lyles, and it s follow up, "Gun Trucks: the Hard Ride" (63 pages) but those things are extremely expensive.

Bottom line, this is a very, very good, instructive and useful little book. I am very glad that I bought it and I recommend it with enthusiasm. ENJOY!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
During the Vietnam War enemy insurgents tried to hurt U.S. and Free World soldiers by cutting off their supply lines. Since most supplies were provided by truck convoys roadside ambushes became a common event. Military Police were designated for route security but were not available in the numbers needed to keep the routes secured and it wasn't the job of ground troops to do it either. So, transport provided their own security for convoys by escorting them with gun trucks, improvised weapon platforms which could hammer the enemy if they tried to attack the vulnerable convoys.

These vehicles were primitive at first, utilizing sandbags and prefab metal shielding for protection while using a few light machineguns for firepower. These would be exchanged for armor plating and a variety of weapons. Gun crews also painted nicknames and artwork on their gun trucks.

This is a great book, even though it's a bit of a slim volume. It includes original artwork and period photos as well useful lists such as names of known gun trucks used in Vietnam. The author discusses the evolution of the weapons, the units which employed them and many other interesting bits of information. The only thing that annoyed me was his references to "artillery air defense" units and weapons. The correct designation is Air Defense Artillery, which became a seperate branch during the Vietnam War. As an old ADA missile officer myself I found it a little grating although I knew what he meant.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having servied with the Guntruck Plt, 2nd Trans. Co, 27th Trans Bn 1970-71 will say this is a very good book on who we were and how we operatied. This book along with James Lyles the Hard Rides series tell the complete story of what we did in Nam.
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Format: Paperback
VIETNAM GUN TRUCKS
GORDON L. ROTTMAN
OSPREY PUBLICATIONS, 2011
QUALITY SOFTCOVER, $17.95, 48 PAGES, PHOTOGRAPHS, CHARTS, ILLUSTRATIONS, BIBLIOGRAPHY, INDEX

Early U.S. convoys in South Vietnam had modest security, although heavy vegetation that ran along most roads in Vietnam invited ambushes. On September 2, 1967, a convoy of almost 40 vehicles from the 8th Transportation Group was returning from Pleiku. By the time it reached An Khe Pass, the convoy was split because of mechanical problems with a fuel tanker. It was almost dark when the lead gun jeep was ambushed. Simultaneously, the rear half of the convoy was attacked and the rumbling fuel tanker began to burn. Many of the soldiers were unprepared and were caught by surprise. Before this ambush, enemy attacks on U.S. convoys had been minimal and limited to sniper attacks. This was the first major ambush of an American convoy and it changed the nature of logistics operations for the rest of the war.

Initially, mounted machine guns were placed on 2 1/2-ton cargo trucks. Some of the motor transport companies, under the group's executive officer, constructed sandbag-filled boxes in the back of the cargo trucks to protect the M-60 machine gun and gunner. However, the rain-soaked sandbags proved too cumbersome for the vehicles and the drivers began to use steel plates to reinforce their vehicles. Pre-cut steel plate armor kits designed in the U.S. also were fielded for the vehicles. The group commander also decided to increase the number of gun trucks from 1 to 3 per 30 Trucks in a convoy. The improved gun trucks began to incorporate a second machine gun for added firepower.
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