Being there . . . to assist in the creation of the American Army’s technological communications, throughout World War II

                            

                Defeating Hitler and Tojo with the U.S. Army Signal Corps Vehicles, 1941 – 45

Reviewed and Recommended by Don DeNevi

An Overview: “U.S. Army Signal Corps Vehicles 1941 – 45, A CASEMATE Illustrated Special” by

Didier Andres. Hardcover, 8”x10”, 160 pages; Kindle, $22.99, hc $37.95, Email: casemate@casematepublishers.com.

The U.S. Army Signal Corps was at the forefront of technological development of communications in the Second World War. Tasked with coordinating all American military activities, the Signal Corps initially had to rely on a communications landline network covering some 1.4 million miles. This was soon overtaken by radio communications. However, adaption remained a priority within the U.S. Army Signal Corps – when landline networks were unavailable, or radio silence had to be observed.

Even now, approaching 80 years after America was painfully and momentously shocked into the reality of “total war” some 15 minutes before 8:00am on the morning of December 7, 1941, it is difficult to fathom how totally unprepared the U.S. Army facing an influx of 16 million men and women who were stepping forward to fight.  Like all the Armed Forces, the Signal Corps was short of both men and materials, it’s strength under 4,000, and those servicemen were scattered throughout the world.

But technological evolution was rapid; radio communications replaced landline networks; and adaptation was natural, ordinary, and common, leading Winston Churchill to credit it as having played one of the three main reasons the Allies defeated the Axis in a relatively short period of time. “American inventiveness and organization, the prodigies of old-fashioned know-how. Patton, one of America’s best battlefield commanders, was blunt, “I need not tell you who won this war . . . artillery and the Signal Corps”. The superlatives earned during those three and a half years of pure invention amid hitherto unknown, unconscionable bloodshed and destruction have been, and still are, illimitable

As with ALL Casemate books, the book is a dream to hold, be intrigued by, and riveted to until conclusion. First and foremost, the narrative in clear, clean, and, for the most part, not all that technical. In clear, precise, easy, and enjoyable to digest narration, we are privy to the World War II American and British secrets of the latest developments in radars, radios, multi-use vehicles, specialized vehicles, specialized trailers, telephones, and the like. The photographs, sizeable and numbering some 200, are uncrowded, space appropriately, with welcoming thick captions. The appendix is appropriate, listing for further research and reading, primary technical manuals, all published during the war, as well as other helpful publications.

Readers are truly recommended to browse the Casemate website for a tour of the publishing houses’ warehouse stock, www.casematepublishers.com. What military buff in America can resist owning four additional new titles, “U.S. Army Ambulances and Medical Vehicles in World War II”; “U.S. Army Chevrolet Trucks In World War II: 1 ½ Ton, 4 x 4” (both these titles by one of the world’s foremost authorities on the subjects, Didier Andres; “U.S. Army Vehicle Marking, 1944” by Jean Bouchery and Philippe Charbonnier; and, “Sherman: The M4 Tank In World War II” by Michael Esteve. Whole home libraries can be filled with such titles.

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