Book Alert: Soviet Lend-Lease Tanks of World War II (New Vanguard)

Tomorrow is the release of the latest entry in the Osprey New Vanguard series, Soviet Lend-Lease Tanks of World War II (New Vanguard).   This is a 48 page softcover with numerous illustrations and photos, following the well established format of previous entries in the series.  As far as we know, this is the first book to deal exclusively with the issue of the Lend Lease tanks sent to the Soviet Union.

Publisher’s Description:

The Red Army suffered such catastrophic losses of armour in the summer of 1941 that they begged Britain and the United States to send tanks. The first batches arrived in late 1941, just in time to take part in the defence of Moscow. The supplies of British tanks encompassed a very wide range of types including the Matilda, Churchill, and Valentine and even a few Tetrarch airborne tanks. American tanks included the M3 (Stuart) light tank and M3 (Lee) medium tank and the M4 Sherman tank, which became so common in 1944–45 that entire Soviet tank corps were equipped with the type. With these Western tanks, the Soviets were finally able to beat back the German tide in the East.

This study examines the different types of tanks shipped to the Soviet Union during the war, Soviet assessments of their merits and problems, and combat accounts of their use in Soviet service using full colour artwork, contemporary photographs and detailed cut-away illustrations.

Book Review: Forgotten Archives 2: The Lost Signal Corps Photos

Over the past two decades, the Panzerwrecks series of books has become known for quality books showcasing photos of WWII armor.  Founded by Lee Archer and Bill Auerbach, Panzerwrecks has became both a book series and a publishing house focusing on  armored warfare in WWII.  Unfortunately, co-founder BIll Auerbach passed away in 2015, but Panzerwrecks has soldiered on, both with the original Panzerwrecks series andForgotten-Archives-2-Jacket-600px with titles by a new generation of authors.  One such writer/researcher is Darren Neely.  Last year Panzerwrecks released his book Forgotten Archives 1: The Lost Signal Corps Photos.  This month saw the release of the follow-up book, Forgotten Archives 2: The Lost Signal Corps Photos in the UK with release in the US coming this July.

We had a chance to examine a copy of this latest book and it is a very handsome volume indeed.  This is a large hardcover volume of 240 pages.  Primarily a photo book, the pages are printed on high quality glossy paper and the photo quality is excellent.  The black and white photos, of which there are 252, are generally printed one to a page making it very easy to see the details contained in the images.  There are also a small number of nicely done color illustrations by artist Felipe Rodna.

The subject matter of the book is, of course, WWII armor, specifically US and German armor in the ETO 1944-45.  This ground has been covered extensively over the years by numerous authors and publishers.  Probably everyone with an interest in WWII armor has had the experience of getting a new book on WWII tanks and upon cracking it open, finding the same familiar photos that get recycled year after year.  Fear not, this is not the case with Forgotten Archives 2.  What makes this new book unique is that the author was able to work with the families of eight former US Army Signal Corps photographers, going through the photo collections that these men brought back from the war.  Each photo is accompanied by the original caption written by the wartime photographer as well as a caption by the author, noting any errors or discrepancies in the original captions.  The book is arraigned by photographer, each chapter dedicated to a particular Signal Corps soldiers’ collection.  In organizing the book this way, each chapter tells the story of that particular photographer, marking the places they passed through and the things they saw and experienced.  Being presented in this way, the book becomes a tribute not just to the fighting men captured in the images, but also to the men who risked their lives behind the camera.

For those looking for original, never before seen photos of US and German armor in the ETO, we highly recommend this book.  Both the content and the presentation are top notch and should prove a valuable reference for both tank historians and model builders.  The book is currently available at the Panzerwrecks website.

pages samples and images below:

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Book Alert: M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank Haynes Manual

Amazon has listed a release date of June 10 for the new Haynes Manual on the M1 Abrams MBT by Bruce Oliver Newsome and Gregory Walton.  This volume covers the history of the M1, including the M1A1 and M1A2 variants.  Like other books in this series, this is a hardcover of 160 pages.  As far as we can tell, this is the first tank related book written by these authors.

Publisher’s Description:

The American M1 Abrams main battle tank is a revolutionary design: it broke an evolutionary development lineage from the M20 medium tank of 1941 to the M60 (which it replaced, and which stayed in production until 1987).

The M1 remains the only main battle tank in the inventories of the US Army and the US Marine Corps, with years of service to come, while no replacement has been procured. It is believed that the M1 will easily serve for more than 50 years in the US alone.

The US retains about 6,000 M1s, while almost 2,000 are in use with the armies of other countries including Australia, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia.

Available from Amazon : M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank Manual: From 1980 (M1, M1A1 and M1A2 Models) (Haynes Manuals)

New issue of ARMOR available

A new issue of ARMOR, the journal of the US Armor Branch is available for download at the eARMOR website.  Here is the table of contents for this issue.

armor spring 2017Protecting the Tail of the Tiger: Reshaping the Way We Train Logistics
by CPT Travis Michelena

Defeating the Battalion Tactical Group
by CPT Nic Fiore

Strength Punishes, Speed Kills: the Stryker Weapons Troop at National Training Center
by CPT Jared Wayne

2017-2018 Armor Training and Leader Development Strategy Released

Bringing the Future Back to Combat Systems: Recognizing the Need for a New Main Battle Tank
by MAJ Michael J. Trujillo

Army Design Methodology for the Regionally Allocated Battalion
by LTC Christopher S. Mahaffey, MAJ John W. Denney and 1LT Victoria C. Hulm

The Reconnaissance and Security Strike Group: A Multi-Domain Battle Enabler
by MAJ Nathan A. Jennings

Maneuver Leaders’ Role in Observation Planning
by LTC Jack D. Crabtree, LTC Jonathan A. Shine and CPT George L. Cass

Lessons for Today from Umayyad Invasion of Gaul
by CPT Thomas W. Doherty

Future Special Operations Forces and Conventional Forces Interdependence
by LTC Casey Galligan and CW5 Dennis Castellanos

Overtasking and Its Effect on Platoon and Company Tactical Proficiency: an Opposing Forces and Observer / Coach / Trainer Perspective
by CPT J. Scott Metz

Maneuver and Intelligence: Bridging the Gap for Unified Land Operations
by MAJ James A. Kolky and MAJ Michael J. Trujillo

Book Alert: Panzerkampfwagen IV: The Backbone of Germany’s WWII Tank Forces

A new entry in the Legend of Warfare: Ground Forces series on the German Panzer IV tank has been released.  Written by David Doyle, Panzerkampfwagen IV: The Backbone of Germany’s WWII Tank Forces (Legends of Warfare: Ground Forces) is published by Schiffer Military History and is a 112 page hardcover.

Publishers Description:

The Panzerkampfwagen IV, or Panzer IV as it is more popularly known, formed the backbone of Germany’s tank formations during WWII. With production totaling more than 8,500, the Panzer IV was the most plentiful German tank of the war, and the only German tank that remained in production for the duration of the conflict. Through more than 180 photos, this volume chronicles the design, development, and operational deployment of this ubiquitous German tank. This material is arranged in nine chapters, each focusing on a specific production model (Ausführung) of the tank. Comprehensive tables reveal the details of the performance and technical specifications of each variant. A concise, easy to read text, and detailed photographic captions expose the secrets of this iconic tank.

Book Alert: The History of the Panzerwaffe: Volume 2: 1942–45

Osprey Publishing has released a follow-up book to Thomas Anderson’s History of the Panzerwaffe.  This new book, The History of the Panzerwaffe: Volume 2: 1942–45 covers the later half of the Second World War.  Unlike the slender softcover series books that they are mainly known for, this Osprey offering is a 304 page hardcover.  Thomas Anderson is a German researcher of armored vehicle history, having written several Osprey titles on German WWII armor.

Publishers Description:

The final years of World War II saw the legendary Panzerwaffe face its most difficult challenges, with Allied troops landing at Normandy and storming across the continent, and the Russians gaining the upper hand on the Eastern Front. As Germany fought fiercely to hold on to the advantages gained in the early years, they relied heavily on the Panzer IV, the Panzer V Panther, and the StuG III–the backbone of their infamous armored divisions–to hold back their advancing opponents. This second volume on the Panzerwaffe offers a comprehensive guide to the final years of Germany’s most famous fighting force, covering the further use of the Panzer IV, the role played by the StuG III assault gun, and the battlefield debut of the formidable Panther. Explosive combat reports and rare archive photographs help uncover the final years of the Panzers, from their defense against the D-Day landings and the role they played in the Ardennes Offensive, to their valiant last stand in Berlin.

Book Alert: The Armor Journal #5

Armor Journal 5The fine folks over at The Armor Journal have released their fifth issue.  This new issue is available now for download or as a print copy starting on June 5.  The good news is that print editions are now only $9.95 plus shipping or $8.50 plus shipping if pre-ordered now.  Issue 5 contains a variety of articles covering AFV history, both early and modern, as well as some pieces aimed at the model building community, book reviews, letters to the Editor and readers submissions.

Those interested in early AFV history will enjoy the article on the pre-WWII Vickers Six Ton Tank by Peter Brown as well as the Yuri Pasholok article on British Infantry tanks in Soviet service during WWII.  Those interested in more recent history will enjoy the article by Mason Pacek on the Battle for Baghdad.  For those into model building, Chris Medding’s opinion piece “Rivet Counters” and Don Haney’s  description of his model of the US Abrams tank “All Bout Da Bones” will be good reading.

If you would like to read this issue and support the fine work being done by Alex at The Armor Journal, please purchase a copy at their website here.