The Light Armored Vehicle -25 (LAV-25) has played a significant role in transforming Marine Corps doctrine since its introduction in the early-1980s. The Marine Corps Light Armored Vehicle program was based on the proven Swiss MOWAG Piranha series of 4x4, 6x6, and 8x8 wheeled vehicles. However, developing organizational units, tactics, and employment of the weapon system within the force structure of the Marine Corps proved to be more of a challenge than fielding the weapon system. This resulted in multiple re-designations for LAV units within the Corps. The LAV first saw combat action in Panama during Operation Just Cause (1989); LAV-25s have fought in every major conflict since - to include the current conflicts during Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq. During Operation Desert Storm the vehicle's record shows mixed results due to a string of friendly fire incidents; however one LAV-25 Commander earned the Navy Cross (one of only two Navy Crosses awarded to Marines during the Gulf War). The success of the LAV program has translated to several operators such as Canada, Australia, and the Saudi Arabian National Guard employing the weapon system for their own forces. This in-depth, highly-illustrated title will shed new light on this popular subject.
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LAV-25: THE MARINE CORPS LIGHT ARMORED VEHICLE JAMES D'ANGINA OSPREY PUBLISHING, 2011 QUALITY SOFTCOVER, $17.95, 48 PAGES, ILLUSTRATIONS, PHOTOGRAPHS, BIBLIOGRAPHY, INDEX
During the late 1970s, the United States decided to create a rapid deployment force to contend with escalating tensions in the Middle East. The United States Army considered several different types of forces to include those using light armored vehicles, but in its final analysis opted against them. The Marine Corps, under the leadership of then Commandant General Al Gray, saw an opportunity and used a special allocation from Congress to purchase and field the Light Armored Vehicle (LAV), built by GM Defense Systems in Canada. In 1980, at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, 29 Palms, California, a test project began with several Light Armored Vehicles (Grizzlies) on loan from the Canadian forces. Impressed by what they saw, the Marine Corps identified a requirement for enhancing the...
Mr. D'Angina provideds a good intro into the USMC's Light Armored Vehicle, a machine that gets overshadowed and overlooked by fans the USMC's more well known M-1 tank, and the U.S. Army's multitude of vehicles, of which the Stryker could be considered a distant cousin to the LAV-25. Good information, good history of the procurement, upgrades and variations of the machine is covered. Lots of effort was made to cover weapons and variants, which, if not decribed, may be lost on the casual observer. The relation of the "machine to the mission" is an enlightening view on the employent and sometimes uncoventional use of a 14 ton armored vehicle that highlights both the LAV-25, and the USMC ability to adapt and overcome. As previous reviews have reported, what is missing are interior views (which may not be allowed on some variants), but would help "insert the viewer" a little more than the scant few interior shots and diagrams, and first-hand accounts. Also, Osprey Publishing...
The vehicle may be lightly armored but this book is heavy on information.
D'Angina covers the vehicles history from inception to involvement in current contingencies.
Readers can learn most of what there is to know about the LAV as the book is packed with stats, specifications, dates and photographs. I must disagree with a fellow reviewer; pages 10-11 provide a 36-item cutaway of the interior/exterior.
My criticism is limited to two items: Caption accuracy and lack of `first hand' accounts.
I counted a handful of caption-to-photo inaccuracies - none major.
There are a few quotes in the book as well as a citation for the Navy Cross (great addition by the way), but it would have been nice to have a few pages dedicated to stories of the Marines that operated the vehicle.
In all this is a very good, informative read.
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