Suomalaiset Panssarivaunut 1918-1997 (The Finnish Armoured Vehicles)
Tony LeungTitle : Suomalaiset Panssarivaunut 1918-1997 (The Finnish Armoured Vehicles) Authors: Esa Muikku and Jukka Purhonen Published by Apali Oy, Tampere, Finland copyright 1998 ISBN 952-5026-09-4 Price: FIM 265.00 plus FIM60.00 for surface postage to Vancouver, Canada (total about CAD80.00)
Hardcover, 208 pages with mainly black and white photos and 18 colour photographs and 5 pages of colour plates. Available directly from the publisher http://www.apali.fi/Books/Armouredvehicles/www.armouredvehicles.html This is a book that should interest those with a fondness for Russian armour (WW2 and modern) and the Eastern Front. Most people overlook the fact that Finland fought on the side of Germany during the Second World War against the Soviet Union. The Finns fought NOT for the cause of Nazism, but for their own national survival. As a small nation that did not have the resources to purchase a lot of equipment, the Finns made use of whatever they captured during the war and adapted /modified the equipment to suit their own needs, hence, there were some pretty interesting variations of some famous tank designs. For example, Finnish T-34s were painted in a 3 colour camouflage of green, brown and biege. Zip boxes were added and mud guards were modified. One could say the Finns had the most colourful of any T-34s around.! This is the same as well with the T-72M1s sporting a 3 tone splinter camouflage in the present day army. As a result of political circumstance arising from Finland's peace treaty with the Soviet Union and local geographical and economic reasons, Finland now operates a lot of Russian designed equipment. Here is a list of some of the major AFVs operated by Finland past and present: FT-17 , BA-3/6/10, Vickers 6 ton, T-26 and OT-26s, T-37/38, T-34/76 and T-34/85, T-54/55, T-72M1, BTR-50, BTR-60, BTR-80, KV-1, StuG- 3 Ausf G and Panzer 4 J, ISU-152, BMP-1 and 2, the SISU 6x6 apc., MTLB, BUK-M mobile SAM system, Charioteer, and Comet.
This book is currently out of print and I was lucky to obtain one of the last 20 copies left from the publisher. As it appears to be a little known book outside of Finland, there may still be copies left. Do not let the Finnish title of the book put you off from buying it as the book has bilingual text (English and Finnish). The first 25 pages of the book contains a historical summary outlining the development of the Finnish armoured corps from the beginning right up to the present day. The bulk of the pages in the book is taken up by very large and very clear black and white photographs of the AFVs of the past and currently operated by Finland. There are generally two photos per page, so this gives you an idea how large the photographs are. The black and white photos are very clear. The last 13 pages of text contains info and illustrations of national, tactical and unit markings, camouflage, glossary of abbreviations, and technical stats of vehicles. The 18 colour photos at the back of the book are mainly of each type of post war equipment operated by Finland. This is a very well done book of a very interesting and less well known subject. Buy it while you can.
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