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Viewing Topic "Whoops! Has Murphy struck again or is it something else?"
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Posted by: KenA
Posted on: 28/02/2021 13:06:25

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Posted by: KenA
Total Posts: 145
Joined Date: Tuesday, 15 October 2013

I have just recently received my copy of “Vehicles of the Long Range Desert Group 1940-45” (NVG 291).  I only got up to the first colour plate on page 11 when ‘the bells began to ring rather loudly’ as it were.  I have got used to Osprey’s periodic typos and the other odd overlooked relatively small errors in their publications, but this time it looks like someone (or some people) has/have really made an all-out effort to lead the unwary astray.

The first colour plate A has the label ‘Chevrolet WB’ (referring to the Chevrolet WB 30 cwt or 1½ long ton truck 4x2 (2 wheel drive)).  So far so good.  It is in the right place in the book because the surrounding text is about this vehicle and there are a couple of photos including the vehicle as well.  The problem is that the colour plate in question is of two views of the Willys MB Jeep!  This jeep looks nothing like the Chevrolet WB truck.  There are photos of the Willys Jeep included later in the book as well so there is really little excuse to confuse them.

But this isn’t the end of it though.  On pages 34 and 35 is the cutaway colour plate of a vehicle used by the Long Range Desert Group.  You guessed it - this one is described as a ‘Willys Jeep’.  The vehicle description and specifications listed are all for the Willys MB Jeep.  But the problem is the vehicle depicted is the Chevrolet WB truck and the key to identify parts of the vehicle are consistent with the Chevrolet WB truck.

The Chevrolet WB truck is important because it was the first vehicle used by the LRDG and it set the trend in vehicles used by the desert force.  How the author and Osprey have managed to mess this up is quite beyond me.  There is, after all, quite a difference between a jeep and a truck.  It does emphasise though the need for greater care in proof reading prior to publication.

I have included below some links to web sites showing photos of Chevrolet WB trucks and Willy MB Jeeps so that the difference is clear to everyone (including the author and Osprey): (This photo is slightly miss labelled.  The reference to model 1533 should not be there.  This is a Chevrolet WB 30 cwt truck).

I have to confess that I have yet to finish reading “Vehicles of the Long Range Desert Group 1940-45” (NVG 291) so there may well be more surprises in store for me.  This experience though has shaken my confidence in author Gavin Mortimer and in publisher Osprey as providers of reliable military history material.

Posted on: 28/02/2021 13:06:25
Posted by: Paintybeard
Total Posts: 411
Joined Date: Monday, 4 February 2013

Thank you for this well-timed warning, KenA. This book gets crossed off my shopping list. (To be honest I was doubtlful that it would contain a great deal that was not included in previous titles.) Ospreys "very relaxed" editorial policy continues to worry me.

Posted on: 28/02/2021 14:15:29
Posted by: Minal @ Osprey
Total Posts: 117
Joined Date: Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Hi all,


We are very sorry about this error. This has been recorded and will be amended in the reprints.



Minal @ Osprey

Posted on: 02/03/2021 12:10:23
Posted by: PAUL W
Total Posts: 415
Joined Date: Sunday, 4 January 2015

Hi, thanks for the warning Ken.  That does sound quite a mistake! Minal, any idea as to when the corrected reprint will be out?

Posted on: 20/03/2021 18:04:45

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