I reviewed the excellent Haynes Manual on the Tiger Tank and was delighted to find that Haynes also did one on the many variants of the Sherman Tank. Unlike the Tiger book this one isn't written by the Tank Museum but the author Pat Ware is a recognised authority on military vehicles and former editor of Classic Military Vehicle Magazine.
The Sherman Tank Manual provides a fascinating and detailed insight into the history, development, production and role of the most prolific and arguably most important Allied Tank of the Second World War.
Although relatively unsophisticated, and lacking the firepower and armoured protection of the heavier German tanks that proved to be its main opponents during WWII, the Sherman had the advantage of being available in large numbers - upwards of 50,000 by the end of the war. The Sherman was also easily adapted to a wide variety of specialist roles; everything from mine clearance to swimming assault tank!
The book is divided into sections each focused on a different aspect of the Sherman and its Variants:
|The M4 Sherman at Tankfest in 2010|
- History - design, evolution and development of the many variants.
- Anatomy - engines, transmission, tracks, body, brakes, armaments.
- In action - WWII, Indo-Pakistan, Yom-Kippur and beyond.
- Ownership - buying, insuring, driving, transporting, running.
- Restoring a Sherman - bringing a battle-weary tank back to life.
- Maintenance - reliability, problems, maintenance and repairs.
I've been reading its bit by bit for a couple of weeks and found it an easy book to dip into. In many way's its like reading a large magazine dedicated to just one subject and as such its an easy book to read over a long period and in between other books. That doesn't reduce its statue as an informative and well researched work and I think many gamers would find this just as interesting as military modellers and owners of military vehicles.