US Marine Infantry Combat Uniforms and Equipment 2000-12, J Kenneth Eward

US Marine Infantry Combat Uniforms and Equipment 2000-12, J Kenneth Eward

This Osprey seems to fit a vast amount of information into its 64 pages. Many books on military equipment focus on fairly stable periods, but this one covers a period of unexpectedly dangerous combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Much of the US military's equipment didn't hold up under the stress and as a result the Marines (and the Army) have been forced into an unusually rapid period of modernization. In most areas we thus start with the equipment of 2000, which had often been in use for some time, and then work through a series of new generations of improvements. Body armour is the best example, with half a dozen different armoured vests introduced since 2000.

In my opinion that makes this book much more valuable than many similar tomes - instead of serving as a snapshot of a particular set of slowly evolving equipment we have an interesting study of the way in which the Marine Corps had reacted to over a decade of combat and the unexpected threats that have developed over that time. New protective armour, new camouflage and new weapons have all been developed and introduced, and many newer items are still under development.

Be warned - the Marine Corps really loves its acronyms - very few items of equipment have a simple name, and with several generations of equipment being introduced in a short period of time this can verge on the overwhelming! Just to give one example in uniforms we have the MCCUU of 2002, fire-proof FROG gear in 2006, ECWCS cold weather gear, APECS cold weather gear of 2004, MCWCS mountain and cold weather gear of 2006 and the CDJ desert jacket. Just about every item of equipment has a similar array of variants, new designs and the accompanying maze of acronyms. Of course this isn't the author's fault, so be prepared to concentrate as you navigate the maze!

Infantry Combat Equipment Design
Combat Clothing
Personal Protective Equipment
Load-Carrying Equipment
Bivouac & Special-Purpose Items
Infantry Weapons
Future Developments

Author: J Kenneth Eward
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 64
Publisher: Osprey
Year: 2012

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