The Jeep

Published on
August 31, 2019
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Lance Cole
Other Publication Information
Paperback, 64 pages, B&W and color photos and illustrations
Provided by: Pen and Sword Books Ltd - Website: Visit Site
Product Picture

This is one of three books in Pen & Swords Land Craft series. The other books include the M2/M3 Half-Track and Bren Gun Carrier. The Land Craft books are good resources for modelers as they provide background on the design of vehicles, detailed descriptions, photos of variants, and include descriptions of completed models and available kits

The contents of The Jeep book are:


This section describes the story of the jeep during its early years of 1940-45 as it played a significant role in the 2nd World War and went on to become an icon in the four wheel drive movement. The Jeep became a wartime hero and went on to inspire a brand, sparking today’s off-road and 4-wheel drive enthusiasts. The Jeep became the first four-wheel drive multipurpose vehicle and B&W photos are used to show some early variants. This book focuses on the wartime Jeep with a concise description for the enthusiast and modelers.

Development and Design

The development history of the jeep is discussed in this chapter from its roots in an American adoption of a 1930’s British Austin design that had good ground clearance, simple construction, and ease of use. Other influences include a 1927 engine design used in the Willys Overland Whippet car. The book describes the development of 4-wheel drive trucks beginning in the 1st World War and continuing through the 1930s. Predecessors of the off-road Jeep included modified Model T and Model A Fords, the Howie-Wiley Belly Flopper in 1937, Marmon Herrington 4 x 4 light truck based on a Ford model LD1 in 1937, a French Citroen, and a Sydney Allard from Great Britain. Originally branded by the American Austin Company, the American Bantam Company developed the general purpose vehicle that became the true wartime Jeep. In 1940 Bantam was awarded the contract for the first prototype for the Army’s 4-Wheel drive off road vehicle. Willys also developed a prototype called the Quad. The US government passed the Bantam plans on to Willys and Ford. After legal challenges, the US awarded Bantam the initial order and then issued Willys development and manufacturing contracts. Ford worked to develop its own prototype called the Pygmy. The Willys and Ford prototypes would be merged into a the Willys Military Type A. The Willys-built Jeep became the model for the off-road 4 x 4 type, and the Ford-built jeep would dominate production.

The Jeep in Detail

Construction details of the Jeep are discussed in this section, as well as detail differences between the different manufacturer’s versions. Black & white photos illustrate many of the Jeep details

Camouflage & Markings

This section provides four-view color profiles of the following markings:

  • 101st Airborne
  • Soviet Lend-Lease
  • 8th AFB Group
  • No. 4 Recce Group
  • U.S. Navy Jeep
  • British Airborne Division
  • India China Div.
  • U.S. Army Armoured
  • Long Range Desert Group (LDRG)

Model Showcase

Color photos of completed Jeep scale models are included in this section

  • SAS Jeep (Tamiya)
  • SAS’Command Car’ (Italeri)
  • Willy’s MB - 2 models (Tamiya)

Modeling Products

This section list kits and modeling products available for Jeep model builders. Photos of box tops, parts sprues, and completed models are shown to illustrate the kits. A Key Modeler’s Essentials Checklist shows key points to consider for different Jeep versions.

In Service and In Action

Black and white photos are used to illustrate different Jeep configurations in various operations during WWII.

Second World War Jeep Variants

Jeep variants and configurations for different theaters are illustrated in this section with black-and-white photographs. Variants such as a radio jeep, armored assault jeep, ambulance jeep, trailer jeep, British LRDG/SAS, and many others are illustrated. The section also describes different variations applied in the field. The Jeep was used by many VIP/generals and many of them are described in this section. Some postwar developments in jeep design are also discussed in this section.


The book is a nice reference for Jeep modelers as it includes good descriptions of the vehicles, many illustrative photographs, and inspiration through the color profiles and completed models. The text on the topics covered is fairly brief, but thorough, and there are lots of clear black-and-white photographs and color profiles. This is a great reference for modelers of Jeep vehicles.

Thanks to Pen & Sword for providing the review sample of the book to the IPMS review program.


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