Weapons of the U.S. Army Rangers – Book Review
Book Review: Weapons of the U.S. Army Rangers
2005, hard cover.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be an Army Ranger? Have you ever wondered what equipment the modern Ranger goes into battle with? Russ and Susan Bryant takes the reader behind the curtain to look at the equipment used by the members of the elite 75th Ranger Battalion of the United States Army in their book: Weapons of the U.S. Army Rangers. The title is actually a misnomer in the fact that it covers all the equipment issued to the Rangers.
The book is broken down into three main sections. Background and overview of the 75th Ranger Battalion is the first section. Included in this section is an honor-roll for the fallen Rangers from the War on Terrorism and the previous conflicts in Grenada, Panama and Somalia. It also shows what influences the Rangers such as the Major Roger Robert’s Rules of Discipline and excerpts from the Ranger handbook. The heart of the book is broken down into 4 chapters which cover, in order, Individual Weapons such as the M9 Beretta pistol, the M4A1 carbine, M203 grenade launcher and sniper weapons. The next chapter deals with the Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW), M2HB 12.7mm heavy machine gun and the other support weapons such as automatic grenade launchers, mortars and missile launchers.
The next chapter deals with the aviation element that supports the Rangers from the AH/MH-6 Little Bird all the way up to the massive CH-47 Chinook helicopter. It also includes coverage of the United States Air Force assets such as the C-130 and AC-130, the C-141 and mentions the C-17 Globemaster III in passing. Finally the last major section on equipment covers the ground vehicles of the Rangers. From the Desert Mobility Vehicle (DMV) to the All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) that you can buy at Pep Boys to the Klepper Kayak and Zodiac rafts are covered. The book closes with a look at the individual soldier and his equipment from his load bearing equipment (RLCS) to his individual communications equipment to the laptops which can tie into the satellite communications radios. It is in this chapter that more sidebars with the things that make a Ranger a Ranger.
The book is stunningly illustrated with full color pictures. Also the writer, Russ Bryant, can write from first hand knowledge as he himself is a Ranger. The writing is good and technically flawless of grammatical errors. There are a few minor flaws with the book. Perhaps the greatest is an inconsistency in the sidebars for the weapons. Some weapons are given a sidebar with tech data but others are not. The writer and editors needed to strive for better consistency in that regards. Also the writer spends time talking about an aircraft being retired from the United States Air Force Inventory (C-141), but only talks about the replacement (C-17 Globemaster III) in the captions of the illustrations. If you are looking for a ‘hard’ weapons data book than this book is not for you, but if you are looking for a good overview on the Rangers than this is the book to get. It has enough detail to keep the reader interested, but not so much that you would get bogged down in the minutia. Published by Zenith Books with a list price of $24.95 the book is recommended for anybody wanting to learn more about the United States Army Rangers.