Legends of Warfare ( Ground )
Sherman Tank Vol. 3, America's M4A2 Medium Tank in WWII
The Legends of Warfare series of books published by Pennsylvania based Schiffer Publishing is an extensive and ever growing line of volumes on the famous and well known machines of war, divided by subject into Ground, Naval and Aviation subjects. These volumes share similar formats and production values, and are modestly priced at just $19.99 USD. Books in this series that I’ve examined were all found to be well worth the modest cost, and were useful additions to the modeler or military history buff’s library.
This book is Volume 3 in the continuing series by author David Doyle on the Sherman tank line of World War II. Volumes 1 and 2 of this series were very favorably reviewed here at AMPS, and a further two books in this series have been announced on David Doyle's website.
Volume 1 in this series focused on the M4A1 Sherman
Volume 2 in this series focused on the M4 and M4 (105)
This new volume 3 is an examination of the M4A2 Shermans, and follows the familiar format from the other books of this series.
Format - hardcover, square format
Page Count - heavyweight, glossy paper, 112 pages
Size - 9.25" x 9.25"
Photos - 275+ black and white, and full color images.
Tables / Drawings / Diagrams - tables of technical / performance specifications, no drawings.
All text and photo captions are in English
What's in the Book?
The above image showing the table of contents shows us the various models of the M4A2, and the changes that wartime service demanded.
The author opens this book with an Introduction which provides a substantial amount of background information in a clear, concise manner. The progression from the M2A1 medium tank to the M3 Lee, and finally the M4 tank series is quickly explained.
Each chapter of this volume begins in a similar manner, with a few paragraphs of concise text describing the chapter subject briefly but quite clearly, and then the pages of photographs begin. This ( like the others in the Legends of Warfare series ) is primarily a photographic study, so other than opening paragraphs in each chapter, the emphasis in this book is clearly on the photos.
Given the authors expertise in writing compact blocks of text, and quite efficient work on photo captions, text based information is certainly not neglected in this book.
The photographs used throughout the book are a nice mix of WWII era images and modern day examinations of museum or other preserved examples of the M4A2.
The full color images are scattered throughout the book as applicable, and not restricted to one specific section of the book.
Above - there are many terrific images of interior spaces of the M4A2 in this volume.
Photo sizes range from quarter page sized all the up to full page sized images. Even the smallest of the images are plenty large enough for all details are easily made out. Above - some terrific looks at the interior of a dry ammo stowage M4A2, wonderful reference images for modelers doing a full interior model.
Photograph quality is quite high throughout this volume, and the images are well chosen for their interesting content.
Above - there are a couple of nice tables of interesting technical information provided.
The Field Use chapter gives a reader 25+ pages of worldwide looks at the M4A2 doing what it was intended to do, taking the fight to the Axis forces in the European and Pacific theaters of war in World War II.
The full page sized images really illustrate quite well the use of these M4A2 tanks in the various conditions that they were employed in during WWII. Above is a nice image of a tank using wooden planks as additional armor in the Pacific Theater.
As is always the case with author David Doyle, the photograph captions are very well written, complete and concise. A good deal of information is provided as to the what's, when's and where's. The author takes care to point out special areas of interest when applicable in his caption work.
This series of books on the Sherman tanks of World War II is a genuine winner in my view, given what it's completeness appears will be when all volumes have been published, the thoroughness of the coverage of the specific variants in the volumes examined thus far, and the high quality of the author's work.
This specific volume has it all; terrific images of the versions of the Sherman tanks covered by this volume, including interior views, great walk around style images of surviving examples of these tanks, and wonderfully selected images of the M4A2 Sherman in action in World War II.
While this book is a photographic study, the author provides a great amount of interesting information on these tanks in his chapter opening text blocks, and his caption work is quite complete and well done.
I'm looking forward to seeing the follow on volumes in this series covering the Sherman tank, it will be quite a useful set when complete, and very well deserving of space in your library.
Thanks to David Doyle Books for the review copy
Reviewed by Chuck Aleshire, AMPS Chicagoland
AMPS 2nd Vice President, Midwest Region
If you liked this review, consider joining AMPS. Your annual membership
includes six copies of AMPS's magazine, Boresight,
and helps to support our ongoing reviews.
Click here for more information about joining AMPS