Reference, Concord 7068, British Armor in Italy and Sicily
November 13 2007 at 6:10 PM
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7068, British Armor in Italy and Sicily. By Dennis Oliver. Soft covers, A-4 size, 72 pages. Contains 170 B&W photos and eight pages of color plates. ISBN-962-361-138-2.
In the last couple of years there has been a resurgence in the number of 1/35th-scale styrene kits of Allied subjects, notably US, and to a lesser degree, British types. At the same time, thankfully, there has been a surge in photographic reference books devoted to British and Commonwealth AFVs. The author of this latest title, Dennis Oliver, has been in the thick of it, with this his second title from Concord in less than a year.
It is indeed a welcome change from the usual fare.
The book is devoted to the employment of British and Commonwealth tanks and AFVs in the Sicilian and Italian Campaigns, beginning in the summer of 1943 and going through to the end of the war in that theater.
Not surprisingly, the tank given the most coverage is of course the US-made M4 Sherman. However, coverage of M4-derived AFVs such as the M7 105mm HMC “Priest” and M10 3-inch/17pdr. GMC “Achilles” is also fairly extensive. Naturally “home-grown” British tanks are given coverage, specifically the Churchill in its many guises. For fans of the Valentine/Bishop, there are more photos of this AFV than I have ever seen in one place; this should please those with the ancient Alan/DML kit who may need some inspiration.
Other AFVs depicted include the ubiquitous Universal Carrier, variations of the M3 light tank (including de-turreted “Stuart Recce” versions), variations of the M3 half-track, M3 scout car, M31 ARV, DUKW, LVT, Monty’s Grant command tank and a few soft-skins. A number of British Armoured Cars, Light Reconnaissance Cars and Scout Cars are shown, as are a few scenes showing the book’s subjects moving over Bailey Bridges; the latter will be a useful inspiration to those with the Bronco kit.
The book opens up with a four-page text segment that gives an overview of the campaign, brief histories of the individual units involved (including basic information on vehicle types employed) and a note on sub-unit affiliation and how this would effect their markings. The photos are all accompanied by extensive captions, often pointing out details of markings, colors and fittings.
The center section composes eight pages of color plates, created by the book’s author. These ably depict the following AFVs: M4 medium tanks (four types), Universal Carriers (three types, with variations), Churchill infantry tanks (five types including the theater-unique NA 75), M10 (two types including Achilles) M3 half-tracks (two types including 75mm GMC) and M7 (two types, including Kangaroo). In many cases variations in insignia are shown for a given type, allowing modelers more scope in markings opportunities.
As I said up-front, the recent influx of books and kits devoted to Allied and British/Commonwealth subjects is decidedly a good thing for our hobby. Get hold of a copy of this latest Concord title, and you’ll see why.
Frank V. “Curley Stooge” De Sisto
Reviewer’s note: Since May of 2005, I have been producing books for Concord Publications. The reader may wish to take this into consideration. For my part, I will attempt to maintain an objective viewpoint when writing these reviews.
Concord Publications are available from retail and mail order shops, or from the publisher at: www.concord-publications.com.