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M2/M3 Bradley at War

M2/M3 Bradley at War Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review October 2007 Title M2/M3 Bradley at War
Author Michael Green & James D. Brown Publisher Zenith Press
Published 2007 ISBN 978-0-7603-2523-0
Format 128 pages, Softbound MSRP (USD) $19.95


The M2 Bradley started life as a controversial combat vehicle subjected to numerous requirements changes and resulting cost overruns. This vehicle was even the subject of a movie documenting the checkered history of the early Bradley. Even in all of this turmoil, it isn't surprising that the 'whole' story wasn't told, just the parts that slanted the story to the intent of the reporter in question.

In reality, the Bradley was subjected to what we call "requirements creep" as the Army would think of some other capability they wanted added to the design. While the result was lacking in key areas, most folks forgot that the key advantage of even the early Bradley was that it was far safer on the battlefield than the aluminum-armored M113 APC.

The authors start the tale of the Bradley from the early designs that led to the M113, the lessons learned from that vehicle, and how they shaped the initial requirements of the Bradley. They also cover some of the controversy that bogged down the program. In the end, the Army knew that it would be faster and cheaper to fix this vehicle than to start over yet again.

The Bradley was indeed upgraded and is now one of the leading infantry fighting vehicles (M2) and combat vehicles (M3) in the world. Proven in battle, it complimented the M1 Abrams in every combat experience and has provided its crews with essential protection while carrying out the mission of the day.

Overall, the title is broken down as follows:

  • Introduction
  • Background
  • Description
  • Firepower
  • Protection, Derivatives, and Variants

The last section also describes some of the little-publicised variants of the Bradley that have been fielded as well as some future concepts on the drawing boards. If you're looking for a good overview reference on the subject, this is the title you've been waiting for.

My sincere thanks to Motorbooks International for this review copy!