Zelda M113 in IDF Service – Part 2 Command & MEDEVAC (No.18) by Michael Mass (Author) and Adam O’Brien (Editor)

The ubiquitous M113 Armoured Personal Carrier (APC) first joined the IDF (Israel Defence Forces) in the late 1960s when it was known as the Bardehlas (‘Cheetah’ in Hebrew). Today the IDF remains the largest operator of the M113 outside of the USA and its fleet of hard working APCs have undergone a multitude of modifications and upgrades to suit them to a variety of roles. The Zelda variant is an upgraded Bardehlas complete with Vayzata spaced armour which is basically a covering of perforated steel plates attached to the front and sides of the vehicle. Another variant of the Zelda is the Command (Pikud) version which is fitted with an APU and extra radio equipment and along with the Medivac (Pinuy) version, is the main subject of this book.    

The book is dedicated to the memory of Major General Moshe ‘Musa’ Peled who was one of the pioneers of the IDF Armoured Corps and passed away at the age of 74 in 2002. The author, Michael Mass is a reserve IDF Armoured Corps Lieutenant Colonel and as such is fully qualified on this subject.

Zelda M113 is pitched perfected at the armour enthusiast and modeller alike and from front to back and is packed with 188 colour photographs all of them produced to a high standard and all unpublished. The book is broken down into five chapters titles, Introduction – The M113 Family; Command AFV in the IDF; The Command Zelda; MEDEVAC (Medical Evacuation) in the IDF and The Pinuy Zelda. The opening chapter does a good job of displaying the large range of M113 variants in IDF service including the Mortar Carrier and Soft Skinned Tractor. The Command Zelda chapter is sub-divided into sections on the Armour School 460, 401 Brigade, Shelaqh Battalion, 7th Brigade, Barak HQ and Sa’ar Battalion. A short MEDEVAC section gives a solid historical account and includes great imagery of a various medical vehicles. The final chapter, The Puny Zelda is again sub-divided into the following sections, 53 Battalion Cast Lead, Armor School 460, 74 Battalion, 188 Barak Brigade, Ground Forces TC, 7th Brigade, Shelaqh Battalion and Pilar of Defence.         

I cannot praise the picture quality high enough in this book, it really is outstanding and the author, who is also the photographer, has captured every possible aspect and angle of this famous APC. Interior, exterior, mobile and static, it’s all there backed up with engaging text. An absolute must for IDF enthusiasts, M113 fans, modellers and anyone who appreciates a quality book!

Special thanks to Wendy Myers at the Aviation Book Centre who are the UK distributer for Desert Eagle Publishing. Zelda M113 is available at www.aviationbookcentre.com (Product Code 63560MIL).


ISBN: 978-965-7700-04-4

Price: £26.99

Pages: 84

Format: softback – 277mm x 214mm

Publisher: Desert Eagle Publishing

Website: www.deserteagle-publishing.com