Monday, 17 September 2012

Book review – Humber Light Reconnaissance Car 1941-45

Humber Light Reconnaissance Car 1941-45, Richard Doherty, illustrations by Henry Morshead, Osprey New Vanguard 177, 48 pages, 2011.
Another British armoured car getting a well-deserved Osprey. This time it is the Humber LRC.
The chapters:
Design and Development – Humber Ironside (LRC Mk I), Special Ironside Saloon (used by the Royal Family and Members of Cabinet – a ‘luxury’ model), Humber LRC Mk II, Mk III/IIIA, production totals and users.
Operating History – The Mediterranean, North-West Europe
Other Users – RAF regiment, Royal Navy, Other Allied nations, A Canadian cousin
The above looks promising, and the book started as a good read.
The Humber LRC was designed shortly after Dunkirk, as a defensive vehicle in case the Germans invaded, and production began in July 1940. I guess they were rather desperate for anything with armour at the time… Mk I was, well, not the optimal AFV, so in 1941 Mk II came, a much better vehicle, with an open-topped turret among other things. Later the same year Mk III appeared, having four-wheel drive, a bit better armour and other improvements.
That’s the first 20 or so pages. Then comes Operating History, and now we get snippets of a lot of operations. Some details on what happened, but not enough to give me something to build a scenario on, or really to interest me much. I left this long chapter disappointed. As it was only fragments of operations I really didn’t remember much, it all merged into a vague feeling of what had happened during the war (essentially: it wasn’t altogether healthy to travel in a LRC). No, not good enough.
Other Uses, bibliography and index covers the last four pages.
As usual in an Osprey we get a lot of interesting photos, a cut-away two-page spread of the Mk IIIA, four one-page plates showing different vehicles and camouflage, and two one-page ‘action’ plates showing the vehicles in an action scene. Let’s just say that Mr Morshead should concentrate on vehicles, and don’t mess with people and especially heads…
So, mixed feeling for this book. A lot of good stuff, and a lot that really gave me nearly nothing. I’ll give it a rating of a weak 3 out of 5 if you’re interested in British AFV:s.


  1. Ospreys were great when I started collecting miniatures in the early 80s and it was difficult to get documentation (specially living abroad)... but now they are really subpar (with exceptions)

  2. Well, I still feel that quite a few of them are really good, but unfortunately some have too much filler material.
    Fortunately there are so many other good books these days.

  3. sounds similar to the Osprey I have on the British army's armored recon regiments (or something like that I forget the title) it felt a bit general as well.