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Book Review

"Dodge WC54 Ambulance"

 

 

By Dr. Chris Lloyd-Staples  - Earls Barton, UK

Basic Item Information

Title Dodge WC54 Ambulance

Author

Fabien Raud

Publisher

Casemate Publishers (Sponsor of WarWheels.Net)

ISBN/Stock Number

978-1636242132

Media

Hard Cover 

Number of Pages

158

Number of Photos/Illustrations More than 300 photos and illustrations

Text Language

English 

Retail Price

$37.95 USD 

Reviewer

Dr. Chris Lloyd-Staples 

Review Date

August 27, 2022

Review Summary

Review Type

Full Read 

Basic Positive Features

Most of the photos provided in the book have never been published before.

Basic Negative Features

Very technical in places, with minutiae of vehicle details.

Recommendation

A "Must Have" if you are researching this ambulance

Photos

                          

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Detailed Review

Like so many in this series from Casemate, this book is a translation of a volume that appeared originally in French, but there is no glitch in any part of the perfect translation.  Fabien Raud has been involved in restoring an ambulance, and the detail in places is quite eye-watering.  For modellers there will be sections to skim read, but avid Dodge enthusiasts will love the types of information about Bodywork fixing Chocks, Grounding Straps and types of lock washers!

The following is a list of the Table of Contents:

1. Chassis and Running Gear

2. Bodywork

3. Electrical and Heating Cables

4. Accessories

5. Markings and Identification

6. Postwar and Reconstruction

The Dodge WC54 is the iconic American field ambulance for most of WW2 and into the Korean conflict.  Based on the ton Dodge chassis, and sharing many parts with the Beep light trucks, the WC54 began to appear in 1942 and quickly replaced other types of field ambulance, with more than 26,000 produced.  This vehicle, with a decent off-road capability, was to be found close to the front-line, picking up casualties from Aid Posts and Dressing Stations, and ferrying the wounded to field hospitals.  On airfields, the WC54 would collect injured aircrew from the plane, and drive to medical facilities.  The vehicle could accommodate four stretchers or seven sitting patients, and had a crew of two.  This book by Fabien Raud provides a lot of intricate detail of fittings, helpful to anyone restoring an ambulance, and a good part of the book is beyond what any typical modeller could use. 

However, there are many pictures of the ambulances in operation, and many snippets of information would provide that last piece of super-detail that brings up the standard of a model.  Strangely, the book does not cover in detail the changes in external appearance, such as the petrol filler position and the shape of the front grille, and modellers will need to refer to photos of particular vehicles in order to get this correct.  The book really emphasises that we need a new-tool 1/35 model of this famous ambulance, as it appears in so many photos of the WW2 period and beyond, and is sadly lacking in model form.

A number of things in the book are particularly interesting, pointing out unusual features of the ambulance.  For example, the springs are packed with grease to give a smooth ride, but to keep dirt out of the grease, there is a leather sheath and the whole thing is in a metal case resulting in the springs having a smooth outward appearance with no visible detail of the actual springs.  Other information about the linoleum floor and the interior colors will all be useful to researchers and modelers.

Overall, a very valuable book for research and for making a very detailed model.


A "Must Have".
 
Thanks to Casemate Publishers for the Review Sample.
 
Copyright: Dr. Chris Lloyd-Staples - August 27, 2022