Sunday, July 27

In Review: Ampersand Publishing’s D7 Tractor – A visual History book..

Before the Doobie there was this little doozie – today we review Ampersand’s book on this hard working tool for the Allies during the second world war and afterward. The D7 Tractor…

The D7 Tractor
“A Visual History of the D7 Tractor in U.S. Army Service 1941-1953”
Paperback landscape format: 120 pages
130 B&W photos and over 60 colour photos
Publisher: Ampersand Publishing
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0977378187
$22.95 directly from the Ampersand Website

Like the title suggests this book on the D7 Tractor - A Visual History of the D7 Tractor In U.S. Army Service 1941-1953 is a graphical landscape format book that features this little tractor over it’s twenty-two year service.

The book resembles the other special titles in Ampersand’s series – the glossy soft cover, the near page size pictures in black and white, plus colour including modern walk around pictures showing preserved vehicles today along with factory fresh shots of the vehicles as they were made. There are one hundred and twenty pages with 130 black and white shots including over 60 colour photos and explanative text to each of the pictures.
There is also large block section in the introduction section of text that give you a general background of the D7 tractor – I never knew it wasn’t a bulldozer until I read this book – but it is a tractor with attachments like the dozer and ripper blade (and a bunch of other handy tools) attached to it.
There are several pictures of the D7 factory fresh in the first part of the book. The text really helps you understand more about the structure of the tractor and the framework supporting the dozer blade. You get to see the black and white pictures from seventy-odd years ago of the equipment before it was used – the isolated dozer blade and tractor in bare shape are really interesting to see.
This heavy tractor was used in every theatre of the war the US was involved in, and there are pictures as evidence to show that. Against a background of snow, mud, landing craft on beaches and even volcanoes – this tractor is captured from all angles with troops around and operating it in different states of dress reflecting the vast spread of theatres this tracked vehicle operated in all round the world.

 Several series of pictures like this one show a process of recovery or construction with the tractor as the star 
The last twenty pages of this book are dedicated to the D7 tractor as it is today -  colour photos showing a mint D7 on “manoeuvres” in the mud and shifting dirt with a re-enactor in it ( they are always easy to tell as they are a little heavier than soldiers back then.)
The one D7 shown here is covered from all angles. You see the framework that support the blade, the controls and driver’s compartment, the blade, the tracks, the engine, wheels and undersides. The good thing about this vehicle’s shots is they are in colour so it may help you with weathering your D7 model.

This is a comprehensive view in pictures of the tractor that never bogs you down with boring text and whose jewel is the pictorial content. The shots are interesting as they are varied, no also-rans they all give a different insight to this little tractor which could do just about anything.

A great study – if you are interested in this or any other engineering vehicle then this is right up your street.

Adam Norenberg.

You can get this book from the Ampersand Website along with their other great books.