BRITISH BATTLE TANKS – US Made Tanks of World War II
by David Fletcher and Steven J. Zaloga
Reviewed by Al Bowie
After the debacle in France with the BEF having to leave behind almost all of its heavy equipment, the British Army was desperate for heavy military hardware and turned to the USA to supply AFVs and equipment of its own designs. However, the US were against this for many reasons and offered to increase production of its own designs which initially were not liked by British crews for a number of reasons such as crew ergonomics, limited range etc. As desperate as they were, they bought US designs and in some cases such as the M3 Medium Grant proposed limited changes of the design to better suit battlefield conditions. Very quickly they came to appreciate the rugged simplicity and reliability of the designs and orders were increased and accepted with enthusiasm. With the adopting of the Lend Lease Act the quantity of supply increased exponentially and as the British armoured forces used these in combat their feedback improved the designs and made them more battleworthy.
The US supplied initially light tanks to the British but soon these were followed by the M3 and M4 Mediums, tank destroyers and SP guns. As the US had no suitable tank to fulfil the Infantry tank role or the heavy tank role, the British continued to develop their line of Infantry tanks culminating in the Churchill - or it might be argued the Centurion.
If one is familiar with Osprey’s Vanguard and New Vanguard Range then you will be familiar with the format and style. Each chapter is more or less a new Vanguard title with all the photos and artwork of the originals. Like previous titles there is a lot of new and bridging information on subjects not previously titled by Osprey.
This compendium packs a lot into its 250 odd pages and will not disappoint anyone with an interest in the US tanks in British service or the History of Armoured warfare.
This title offers excellent value for money and offers valuable reference for the modeller, historian and armour enthusiast. Its colour plates are all preserved from the original titles and it also offers the benefit of a hard cover and additional plates.
The authors are acknowledged specialists in WWII armour and have used this to the readers advantage providing a quality but budget priced reference on such an important subject in the history of armoured warfare.
I cannot recommend this enough particularly as it is a one stop title on US armour used by the British Army of WWII at a bargain price.
Available online from Osprey Publishing and specialty book shops worldwide www.ospreypublishing.com