Shropshire Star

Trucks journey of a red revolution

A Telford author's latest book is guaranteed to be "well red" - it's an in-depth look at trucks in the old Soviet Union.

Author Andy Thompson

For as long as he can remember, Andy Thompson has been fascinated by trucks, cars and vans, being particularly interested in the often-overlooked brands and industries.

He has owned more than 70 different vehicles in a lifetime of motoring from Cumbria to Bulgaria, from Shropshire to the Sahara. His previous books, Cars of the Soviet Union and Cars of Eastern Europe, have been highly praised and translated into several languages.

And now he has followed those up with Trucks of the Soviet Union, which was published last month, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution, so that it covers 100 years of revolutionary trucking.

The communists raised the red flag over a country with virtually no truck industry, and its few assembly plants would bolt together imported components.

By the time of the fall of the Soviet Union its engineers, designers and workers had created one of the world's largest truck industries.

Andy's book is a detailed record and history of the trucks produced by the Soviet Union and its successor nations, and includes a unique collection of photographs, with particular emphasis on the post-war era.

He tells how the Soviet Union’s communist system was the world’s first attempt to create a new type of society, one that rejected the rules of capitalism.

For more than 70 years, trucks in the Soviet Union were designed and built to be part of a vast planned and ordered transport system, interacting rather than competing with trains and waterways. Each factory built specific trucks with their own roles to play in the grand design of the planned economy.

Andy's sister book, the equally large and detailed Cars of the Soviet Union, had the compliment of being translated into Russian.

Previously, Andy has been a disc jockey for Radio Caroline, a housing director for local authorities and housing associations and a housing markets advisor at the Audit Commission. He studied at De Montfort University in Leicester in housing studies. He now lives in Telford with his wife, son and daughter, dogs Gem and Holly, and Gerry the cat.

Trucks of the Soviet Union is 384 pages, and has 380 illustrations, and retails for £45. It is published by Behemoth Publishing Ltd, 59 High Street, Wincanton BA9 8AL, UK