In the mid-1960s, the Soviet Union unveiled the BMP-1, the first true “infantry fighting vehicle.” A revolutionary design, the BMP marked a significant departure from the traditional “armored personnel carrier,” sporting a lower silhouette and a higher-caliber armament than rival APCs. One of the most fearsome light-armored vehicles of its day, it caused great consternation on the other side of the Iron Curtain as the Americans scrambled to design a machine to rival the BMP. The result was the M2 Bradley; however, the American type seemed to be at an immediate disadvantage, with a higher profile, lighter armaments, and a lack of speed compared to the BMP.
This book examines the first time these Cold War icons clashed--not on the plains of Europe, but in the deserts of southern Iraq during the first Gulf War. It examines how the Americans were able to combat the BMP in Iraq--despite their apparent disadvantages--investigating the impact of better-trained crews and stronger C&C structures on the eventual outcome. Featuring specially commissioned full-color artwork, this is the absorbing story of the origins, development, and combat performance of the BMP and Bradley, culminating in the bloody battles of the first Gulf War.