Sunday, April 26

Read n Reviewed - Trident Juncture 2018 from Pla Editions by Ralph Zwilling & Daniel Nowak

We recently looked at the publication that covered the US Marines 24th expeditionary Unit in the 2018 NATO exercise Trident Juncture in Norway. Now we get to look at all of the other nations in this pictorial reference guide from Pla Editions. After reading it we give you our thoughts and some insight as to what to expect in this publication...

Read n Reviewed - Trident Juncture 2018
From Pla Editions
Author: Ralph Zwilling & Daniel Nowak
+140 pictures, softcover.
80 Pages
All Texts In English
Price 15€
As part five of the "references" series of books from Pla Editions, we recently got the chance to read and review a pictorial book about the USMC 24th Expeditionary Unit in Norway for the three-yearly Operation Trident Juncture. This is the sixth book in that "reference" series and it covers the very same operation  - this time featuring the European countries forces that took part in the exercise.

The book's physical form:
Coming in at eighty pages in a fairly thick magazine-style stock, this softcover book is A4 Portrait in size and layout and packed with colour photos (over eighty) throughout. Written in English by Ralph Zwilling and nicely written indeed throughout. The book features mainly photographs, but some text in cations describes most of the action that is portrayed to the reader. Not a heavy read, much more of a reference and inspirational guide to model military modellers out there. 
The Trident Juncture exercise 2018 Contents 
2.- Foreword Ullrich Spannuth Brigadier General
4.- Introduction
14.- US Marines
18.- Norway
28.- Germany
32.- Sweden
40.- Finland
42.- Netherlands
48.- Spain
54.- United Kingdom
60.- Denmark
64.- Poland
70.- Germany

OK - now we know the structure of the book let's go through the book page and chapter.

Page by Page:
We first start the book with a formal introduction in a foreword from Ullrich Spannuth Brigadier General from the 9th Panzerlehr Brigade in the Bundeswehr. We was in charge of the whole allied force during this event, and his knowledge of the exercise surely would have been helpful to call on and alone his presence lays weight to this publication.
An Introduction to the book takes up nine pages, and the block text describes the exercise, its participants, how they were broken up into two teams of red and blue and the scripted exercise in its entirety. There are maps and unit breakdowns which really do place your mind at the right spot during the progress of the exercise and add a lot of value to the text. All of this text, maps and pictures are a good basis for understanding the units and the equipment involved and sets the scene for the rest of the rather more pictorial nature of the book to come.
The contingent of the 24th Expeditionary Unit from the US Marines was covered in the previous "references" book from Pla Publications, so only four pages of some of the US arsenal is on show here. If you are primarily interested in US machinery take a look at our review of that book at this link.
The host nation Norway is second off the rank with ten pages of the various vehicles of the North (or Red) force.  We see APC's like the articulated Bandvagn 206, the NM200F3, the NM189 combat engineer and Wisent 2 tanks with dozer mounted on them. Several softskins like the Mercedes G290 (gangsta?) vehicles, along with the armoured multi-purpose CV90 in several pictures and guises. The Leopard 2A4 is seen in a series of photos fording a river and using a pontoon bridge to cross the deeper part of the river (not a Fjord ­čśü).
A large participant in this exercise is, of course, Germany, who had a myriad of units and their vehicles at the operation. We have four pages of vehicles from the Gebirgsj├Ąger's collection - we get an education on the Bandvagn S model and the Weasel scout light tanks. These are all very interesting as they are pictures laden with modern stowage and troops and their weapons and som very cool burlap camouflage.
Neighbours are proving they are good friends with the participation of Sweden in the exercise, and we see eight pages of soft skins and armour including the Stridsfordon 9040B of course, but several other smaller vehicles - all with Swedish names but we would know them more commonly as other vehicles. the Terrangbil 16, the Baringsbandvgn 120, the Radiolankpansarterrangbil 2024 (phew) as well as the Stridsvagn 122 (Strv 122) - a Swedish main battle tank based on the German Leopard 2A5 Improved variant and we see the additional Swedish applications in several pictures and the captioned text that accompanies it.
Finland has chipped in, but not just with a Moving van as you see below, but with an armed contingent accompanied by trucks and generator trailers, XA-360 Armoured Modular Vehicles, XA-185's andSisu XA-203 APC's shown over two pages.
Blue force gets representation now - with the Netherlands make an appearance with a Buffel, a Fenneck and a YPR 765A1 Battle Damage Repair vehicle that looks quite cool! The CV9035NL is heavily represented, again with a bunch of natural foliage strapped to the decks to provide local camouflage. We also see three large recovery "Zodiacs" in different configurations - all explained with helpful text accompanying the pictures.
Known for their mountain troops, the Spanish contingent of Trident Juncture is covered with six pages of machines and men. I had never seen the URO VAMTAC before - it is a HUMVEE type of vehicle - we also see a venerable M113 and the armoured recon VCI light tank. The heavier and almost ubiquitous tank of the operation the Leopard 2E's were also included in this book in several pictures.
The arms of the United Kingdom are on show now, with a lot of lighter vehicles like the Foxhound and the Panther liaison vehicle, the Husky and very Mad Max looking six-wheeled Coyote and four-wheeled sibling the Jackal and good old fashioned Land Rovers that really to say Britain... 
We see the participating vehicles from Denmark next, with a strong contingent for such a small country, six different types are here over four pages. The Leopard 2A5DK with interesting natural camo and other soft skin vehicles they brought - the Piranha IIIC, an M113 G3 APC almost hidden with bush camouflage, the Pansrede Patruljek├Şret├Şjer, a MAN heavy mover and lastly a Pansrede Minerydnings-K├Şret├Şj.
Poland has some of the nicest kit - as they have that mix of Ex-Soviet machines including a favourite of mine the polish built BWP APCs in various states, some covered with mud, snow, bushes or stowage and a makeshift camo made from white chalk that looks like big bird poos! The T-72M1Z is included in the operation which would have been great for both Red and Blue crews, with photographs of these tanks on roads, being refuelled and with a few close-ups of the tank details especially around the turret.
Last but not least are the armed forces of Germany, who have sixteen different types here on display, from light utilitarian vehicles, scouts, APCs, modern tactical vehicles and of course their Leopard 2's on show - too many tyes to list here without showing you reference for them all. You get the feeling they have the biggest variation of vehicles form the nations participating from the coverage in this book.
This ends the coverage in the book.

A book that is great for modern model makers, especially those who want to show off their models ina wet or a winter setting. A lot of different types and some I have never seen before let alone tried to pronounce some of them!

A great reference and a good companion to the Marines book we looked at recently...

Adam Norenberg

If you are interested in this publication it is available from the Pla Editions website... Thanks to them for sending this book to read and review.