Cadillac Gage V-100 Commando
Review by Franz Tinio-Lopez
Vehicles featured in book
on War Wheels website
the V-100 Commando
ISBN13 / EAN: 9780897475747
Author : David Doyle
Product Type: Softback Book
There was a blank space on US armored cars between the WW2 M8 and M20 Greyhound to the present day USMC LAV25 and later US Army Stryker LAVIII. A few publications covered the Vietnam use of the XM706, the US military designation of Cadillac Gage's private venture V-100 Commando armored car. Squadron Signal's Walk Around Color Series recent publishing of the "...V-100 Commando" fills in this gap. Togther with the 1/35th scale Hobby Boss plasic kits of the V-100/150 family, should get armor modelers busy.
"I started on the book in June 2008," book author David Doyle wrote. He photographed the vehicles of Jeff Symanski in Virginia and Alan Wise at Ohio. Don Greer created the art work for the book's front and back cover. Matheu Spraggins did the line drawings that show the differences among the early and succeding production models of the V-100.
There are three versions of the V-100 featured in the book. The first is an early model with the angular wheel corners, with double gun and view ports on the upper hull. Doyle notes that vehicles with production serial numbers before 10586 or 10619 had these multiple gun and view ports. And also that vehicles 10595 and later had raised driver and observer hatches (p.19).
A late production example XM706E1 possibly production serial no. 10631, is finnished in a NATO 3 color camouflage pattern. It has upgrades like smoke dischargers and add-on external machine gun mounts on the rear hull deck and on the T50 turret roof. This is what a mid-production model of the V-100 could look like, upgraded with later model parts after an overhaul or rebuild. The photo on page 20 shows the vehicle before the .50 Cal. pintle is added to the turret roof. And the scorched paint from the welding of these mounting blocks can be seen in the inside image of the turret on pages 34 and 35.
The last 40 pages covers USAF XM706E2 (serial no. 10892) with its four sided parrapet and folding roof doors. Cadillac Gage offered a similar configuration as a 81mm mortar carrier. There are enough interior photos in the book to for the dedicated modeler to fill-in their models and accurately represent the underside suspension and drive components of the vehicle.
Squadron Signal's description of the book:
"The best-known American armored car of the post-WWII era, the Cadillac Gage Commando - a versatile, amphibious, 4x4 vehicle - still looks modern even though it made its debut in 1962. The V-100 Commando went through numerous changes in light of its extensive and varied experience in reconnaissance, convoy escort, riot control, security, and as a personnel carrier. As it proved its worth to America's South Vietnamese allies and later to US forces in Southeast Asia, Cadillac Gage introduced one modification after another in response to evolving combat needs. Although US military use of the Commando declined after the end of the Vietnam War, many Commandos were rebuilt and to this day, serve police forces and SWAT teams in Europe and the US, while various armies around the world still use descendents of the combat version. Illustrated with over 200 color photographs plus detailed line drawings."
Squadron's V-100 Walk Around book with its detailed images is great source for the model builder. It is an esential complement to Richard Lathrop's "...V-100 Commando 1960-71" book by Osprey and R. P. Hunnicutt's Armored Car: "A History of American Wheeled Combat Vehicles" by Presidio Press.
The book is available on line from the following sources in no order of preference: