Desert Eagle Publishing – Zelda M113 In IDF Service – Part 1 – Fitters


By Michael Mass and Adam O’Brien

No. 9

ISBN 978-965-91635-5-7

Published by Desert Eagle Publishing

Printed by HodRahav Printing Israel

© 2014 Desert Eagle Publishing

MSRP: $59.95




Created in 1962, the M113 was the most extensively deployed vehicle in the Vietnam War; capable of traversing all terrains with its primary use is as an Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) in frontline operations. Even though the M113 has since been replaced on the frontline by newer APC’s this mainstay is still working hard within the ranks around the world.

Not long after full use within the US Army operation in South-East Asia, the M113 design was sold throughout the world for use by foreign militaries; the Israel Defense Force (IDF). The IDF, working off the design of the US issued M113, created a whole new breed of M113’s for the battle field.

The M113A1 was pressed into service with the IDF in 1970 after being supplied to Israel from the US. These Nagmas (APC in Hebrew) fit right into the operational condition within the IDF. The speed, maneuverability and capability of bringing a wide variety of men and materials to the field of battle, the M113 is a valuable asset and remains in service to this day.

Soon to be replaced by the IDF as an APC, the M113 will still provide critical support through many of its modifications.  Within the many variants of the IDF M113, the most commonly used vehicle would be the nicknamed version, Zelda.

 Zelda M113 – In IDF Service Part 1 – Fitters


Michael Mass (Author) and Adam O’Brien (Editor), the driving force behind Desert Eagle Publishing, to continue their IDF Armor Series of books with their 9th publication: Zelda M113 – In IDF Service Part 1 – Fitters.

This is an in-depth, comprehensive look in to the family of the M113 Zelda within the IDF Service. There are five chapters to this book spanning 83 pages packed with high resolution color photos and supporting text.


  • Introduction
  • Technical Teams
  • Early Zelda Chata”P
  • Late Modular Chata”P
  • M579 Fitter


The introduction gives a brief overview to the M113 Zelda Family explaining some of the widely modified variants to this APC including MEDEVAC Ambulance APC, TOW missile AT launcher and Mortar Carrier to mention a few.

The book quickly leads into the Technical Team Chapter of the book. This chapter gives a “Then and Now” look at the operational layout to the maintenance teams and the use of Halftracks and the M113 Zelda. More or less this is a swift overview of the operational transition leading up to the deployment of the M113A1 in the IDF.

Chapter 3 titled Early Technical Team is a short episode looking at the Early Zelda Chata”P or M113A1. This is a four page color photo array of the early M113 containing several up-close and detailed shots presented as a walk around with supporting text.

Chapter 3 titled Late Modular Chata”P makes up a good portion of this book covering a wide assortment of operational deployments within the IDF. Collectively they make up 43-page, 96 color photo walk around of the Late Modular Chata”P Zelda. Just about every facet of this vehicle is covered in this chapter, all with supporting text describing various points of interest. From a technical standpoint this is a wide-ranging overview of the late model; however from a scale modeler’s perspective this is a treasure-trove of highly detailed walk around pictures. This chapter is not limited to just the detail parts as these are not parade vehicles but rather the dirty, worn, damaged, muddy, dirty…did I say dirty already? It was definitely worth the second mention.

The final chapter of this book, M579 Fitter, is another large photo layout of the M113 as it is used as a field deployed crane based maintenance platform. Equipped with the HIAB hydraulic crane the M579 has just about everything you will need to support your armored column. The author takes us on a vivid walk around view of this helping –hand of the battle field. Including detailed close-up pictures of the crane and its hydraulics, exterior wears and a few beautiful shots of the interior many as the M579 remain static as well as a few in operation.



Again, Desert Eagle Publishing has set the bar as it pertains to covering the vehicles of the IDF with their 9th book in the IDF Armor Series titled Zelda M113 In IDF Service – Part 1 – Fitters. This is a remarkable and highly descriptive walk around approach to looking into the world of the M113 Zelda as it is seen operational in the IDF.

The collection of detailed photographs is beautifully presented all with supporting text. I see this as one of the most in-depth assemblages on the subject of the M113 and most comprehensive gathering of information on the Zelda family of APC’s so far.

I would highly recommend this book to not only the fans of the M113 and its variants but to any modeler that appreciates weathering of their models. The IDF Armor Series of books are created with the scale modeler in mind. The pictures in these books are thoughtfully composed to show every angle of the subject they are covering along with the informative supporting text makes these books a valuable asset to any modelers work bench library, making the Zelda M113 – In IDF Service Part 1 – Fitters book a “Must Have” !


Highly Recommended


I wish to thank Michael Mass and Desert Eagle Publishing for this review sample.



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