Mary Rose Cook's notebook

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Introduced in 1984. Superseded the jeep.

Main job: people and supply carrier.

Specifications. Drive on- and off-road. Carry large loads. Survive indirect fire better than the jeep. Climb a 60% incline. Traverse a 40% incline. Electronics waterproofed against driving through 2.5 feet of water.

Cost: $220,000.

Weight: 2-3 tonnes.

Transmission: automatic.

Speed: up to 70 mph.

During the Iraq war, the role of the US army changed from fighting the Iraqi army to suppressing guerrilla insurgents. This meant Humvees had to withstand IEDs more often. To adapt to this, the US manufactured and added armour kits for the vehicles. These made them heavier and less manoeuvrable. When they withstood an explosion, the doors tended to jam, trapping soldiers inside. To adapt to this, hooks were added to the outside of the doors so another vehicle could yank them off.

Indirect fire is artillery that doesn’t require a line of sight between the weapon and target. E.g. a mortar.

Traversing means driving along, rather than up or down.