Mark Healy is writing a series of books on World War 2 and published by Guideline Publications. This release is Camouflage & Markings Vol 2, but all future releases will full under the Armour in Theatre title. As the title suggests this book looks at the British and Canadian Forces during the Normandy Campaign.
Written and Compiled by Mark Healy
Illustrated by Mark Rolfe
Published by Guideline Publications
This release from Guideline Publications is a soft backed book of 64 pages. The cover is a high gloss card that should be up to the task of protecting the pages within. The paper is a heavy gloss stock that does a very good job of showing off the photographs inside. The quality of the book is good in all respects.
The main focus of this title looks at the British and Canadian elements during the D-Day landings and after. The differences between the British and Canadian landings are compared to the issues the American Forces encountered and how they were overcome. The German armour that faced the Allies is also given brief coverage in this title, but this is pretty much limited to the vehicles rather than the conflict.
One of the elements of D-Day that seems to have made such a striking difference between the Allied landings is the 79th Armoured Division and Hobartís Funnies. The heavily modified Sherman and Churchill tanks of the 79th Armoured Division made a huge difference to the losses that the British and Canadians suffered compared to the Americans. The American forces only utilised the Duplex Drive Sherman or if you prefer DD Sherman and many of these were swamped and lost prior to getting into action.
It is often portrayed that the US Forces came up against superior German Forces on D-Day and the days following; however that does not seem to be the case that this title supports. The dislike of vehicles fielded by the 79th Armoured Division by the American hierarchy does look to have cost the American feet on the ground. I believe it was General Omar Bradley who stood against the use of these vehicles on the grounds of specialist training requirements and the need for greater spares, which I can see being a major consideration.
The vehicles of the 79th Armoured Division, such as the flame thrower, mine flail, bobbin tanks and not forgetting the Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers (AVRE) made a huge difference to survivability during and following the D-Day landings. Having the right vehicle for any given task allowed the British and Canadian Forces to move forward and exploit their advance opportunities more easily. It is said that the British and Canadian Forces had an easier time of it, but data on units proves this not to be the case.
This title also enters into the great paint debate and just what colour was used when and what exactly was that SCC colour. This particular area of the book will I feel be of interest to the modeller who likes to go the extra yard on exactitude. Also covered is the use of an American star as an air identification symbol and why it was selected. One aspect that is covered well, is the issue of dust clouds being created every time armour moved and how it covered everything making air identification more difficult and important.
The photographs in this title are black & white with the exception of one, the quality of these photographs is by and large very good considering their age. One aspect that always raises its head is have the photographs been published previously? Well from my personal point of you I do not care if they have or have not, the important thing to me is that the images are correctly identified and relate to the subject being discussed. All of the photographs in this publication have very good captions with them.
The illustrations of the various vehicles included are of a high standard and are again well captioned. The one thing I would have liked to see as regards the captions is for them to be drawn in one of the main two armour scales of 1/72nd and or 1/35th scale. Aspects that I like and have not seen in this type of publication before are quick ref charts showing things such as kill distances of armour and anti-tank guns, the information is so clear and easily understood, it shows just what the Allies faced when it came to head on conflict.
This title as a stand-alone offering is very good and has a lot going for it, but then look at this title as part of a series you see its true value. The text is presented in a clear and easy to understand format and so the information sticks and keeps you interested. I would like to see the artwork presented in a scale that appeals to modellers, but it should be mentioned that while some aspects covered are aimed very squarely at the modeller, this title is also well worth picking up if you have no interest in modelling. This is very much a series worth seeking out and keeping as a publication of interest and reference.
Highs: The way the information has been presented both written and visual appeals to me.Lows: I would have liked to see the vehicle artwork in a set scale.Verdict: The price of this title is appealing for a product that offers a great deal of information presented in a very clear manner.
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About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70ís starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...