Tank Craft #2: Sherman Tanks of the British Army & Royal Marines

Author/Artists: Dennis Oliver


Pen & Sword


$24.95 from Casemate


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 64 pages, softcover, 200 illustrations
ISBN: 978-1-473885301

This book from Pen & Sword's series on military vehicles concentrates on the Sherman tank as used by the British Army and the Royal Marines during the Normandy campaign. While not the best medium tank of the war, the Sherman was reliable, fairly well armed and had decent armor. It was not a direct match to German medium tanks, which often had greater firepower and armor, but the German tanks were not as dependable and were not available in the sheer numbers that the Sherman was. The only tank that was built in greater numbers than the Sherman was the Soviet T-34 series. Like the T-34, the Sherman lasted well into the 60s, though it was heavily upgraded by that time.

This book concentrates on those supplied to the British and used during the Normandy campaign. The Sherman was the most widely used tank in British service and the British did modify the vehicle in both small and major ways to meet their needs. One of the major modifications was to produce the superbly armed Firefly version. This was a tank that had the ability to take on German armor, but it was a tank that could dish it out, but couldn't take it as it did not have upgraded armor to go along with the bigger gun.

As seems to be the case with some books in the series, we get a brief look at how each of the various units used the tank and their combat record. There is then a fairly large section of large profiles, often accompanied by a photo of the vehicle in question. Then we get to some feature model builds along with a rundown of kits and accessories that are available to those wanting to build the British Sherman. This also includes various aftermarket pieces. This is followed by a brief section that helps one identify the major features of the different types.

There sorts of books where you have a mixture of history, camouflage and models are becoming more and more the norm. This one is well done and printed on fairly heavy paper, which is a nice touch. I do find that plunking the color portions of the book in the middle breaks the flow of reading. I am sure that was done to cut down on production costs and once you get used to it, it works out well.

May 2019

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