Military Hardware Books

While it’s unlikely you’ll see serious military hardware in your shop, a study of their history is interesting and showcases the development of small arms. Here are some recent titles from Osprey Publishing.

FN MAG

Since the 1950’s, the 7.62mm FN MAG from iiFabrique Nationale d’Herstal has been a dominant general-purpose machine gun. Several nations have license-produced the weapon as their standard GPMG, including the British (L7 series), Americans (M240 series), along with more than 80 nations. It has been modified extensively for vehicular, naval, and aircraft platforms and used in the jungles of South East Asia, deserts of the Middle East, and icy battlefields of the Falklands, this book explores the origins, development, combat use, and legacy of the FN MAG machine gun and its more than half-century history.

Featuring specially commissioned artwork, first-hand accounts, and carefully chosen photographs, iiiThe FN MAG Machine Gun: M240, L7, and Other Variants by Chris McNab charts the technical evolution of this extraordinary weapon.

The Anti-Tank Rifle

The emergence of the tank in World War I led to the development of the first infantry weapons to defend against armored fighting vehicles, notably the German iiTankgewehr. Anti-tank rifles armed Polish, German, Finnish, British, and other troops fighting in the early campaigns of World War II, which saw the debut of the Boys Anti-tank Rifle – later also fielded by the US Marine Corps in the Pacific. The 1940 battles made it clear that the day of the anti-tank rifle was ending due to the increasing thickness of tank armor, leading to the development of anti-tank rocket launchers utilizing shaped-charge ammunition, such as the man-portable recoilless anti-tank rocket launchers (called a “Bazooka” or “Stovepipe” by U.S. Troops) and the German iiPanzerfaust and iiPanzerschreck.

Nevertheless, anti-tank rifles – notably the PTRS and the PTRD – continued to equip Soviet forces on the Eastern Front through to 1945 and saw service in the Korean War and later. Fully illustrated and drawing upon a range of sources, this is the absorbing story of the anti-tank rifle, the infantryman’s anti-armor weapon during the world wars.

Read more in the November 2018 issue.

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