bookRoyal New Zealand Armoured Corps
by Jeffrey Plowman and Malcolm Thomas.
Soft covers, A4, 56 pages.
ISBN 0-9582350-4-X

Review by Peter Brown

Sixth title in the Kiwi Armour series follows the RNZAC - as they became following their Royal Warrant in July 1947 - in the period since the end of the Second World War. A lot has happened to them in over six decades. Their intended role has changed several times, and with it their composition as units have been formed, had their role changed or been disbanded. Some ideas did not turn out as expected while decisions which made sense at the time turned out to have unexpected results.

This book covers all aspects of the Corps, from intention and organisation to the vehicles it used and their colour and markings schemes as they have all changed over the years. Immediately after WW2 there were many tanks in New Zealand though both Stuarts and Valentines were no longer state of the art. These were to remain in use for many years as replacing them would been too expensive. Some equipment was bought, a few new Centurions and some second-hand Daimler armoured cars to go with the existing tanks and Daimler Scout Cars.

Later some American M41 series tanks were bought, as were Ferret scout/armoured cars while one unit re-equipped with armed Land-Rovers. More armour took the form of the M113 APC and supporting variants while the tank role was taken over by the British Scorpion for many years until they too became worn out and were scrapped. The most recent armour purchase has been the widely-used LAV which can combine the roles of troop carrier with light support.

Whether you are interested in the RNZAC generally or its vehicles this book will answer a lot of questions and be a source for many models. For the modeller there are plenty of photos, most pages have two and many three black and white shots, lists of serial numbers with related names and call signs will be useful for depicting specific subjects in conjunction with these. Colour schemes varied throughout this period too from plain to a variation on the “red desert” version of the US MERDC camouflage back to plain again. Alongside the black and white photos, the covers are used for colour views with the painting of a Scorpion on the front and colour plates showing two views of Scorpion and Daimler and Ferret armoured cars on the back with the insides of the covers having colour photos from different eras.

As well as the photos there are 1/35th plans of Scorpion plus Daimler and Ferret armoured cars. Tables list unit serial numbers from 1953, 1974 and 1983. Organisation charts using silhouettes show unit layout for M41 and Scorpion units including calls signs and in the latter case serial numbers and names as well. There is a short section on uniforms and a helpful listing of suitable kits.

All the books in this series are well produced and have a lot of information which is often not readily available. This latest one is to the same high standard and will be an ideal reference for anyone wanting to depict New Zealand armour of the post-war era. It is highly recommended.

For details of how to obtain this and the earlier books, see the Kiwis In Armour web site.

Sample pages

Page created April 25, 2008