During the Second World War, the M4 Sherman series of tanks were used as the basis for many specialized vehicles including flame-thrower, flail, bridgelayers and others. Many of these were developed by the British Army. Of these, one of the most important types was the Duplex Drive or "DD" tanks. First used at Normandy, they helped provide much needed armor support during the first critical hours of the invasion.
Swimming Shermans- Sherman DD amphibious tank of World War II (New Vanguard 123) by David Fletcher, illustrated by Tony Bryan. Printed in the standard New Vanguard format, this book consists of 48 pages. 40 black & white photos, 4 non-scale line drawings, and 8 color plates are included.
The book starts off with an explanation of some of the early problems the British ran into during the course of designing amphibious tanks along with some of the answers they came up with. Next, the reader is introduced to Nicholas Straussler. He is the person who came up with the Duplex Drive concept. This section then describes some of Mr. Straussler's early tests using a Tetrarch light tank and how he decided on using a flotation screen and a boat propeller.
After we meet Mr. Straussler, the author then goes on to describe in separate sections the development of the Valentine and Sherman DD tanks. Good information is provided regarding the training of crews and which units received which type of tank. Also covered are the types of landing craft used to launch the DD's.
The development and training sections are then followed by a section covering the combat history of the DD tanks. This section primarily focuses on the Normandy operations with some coverage given to other operations in North-West Europe and Italy.
The book closes with a look at some of the post-war experiments with DD tanks along with the captions for the color plates and a bibliography.
I found this book to be quite interesting as it covers the DD's very well. From a modeller's standpoint, I think that some of the photo coverage is weak, as there just aren't quite enough detail photos. However, that is a standard gripe about the New Vanguard series and let's face it, we modellers can never have enough detail pictures! However, the color plates are quite good, especially the center spread which shows quite well how the flotation screen sets up. I highly recommend this book for armor modellers, especially, "Shermanaholics".
Thanks to Osprey Publishing for providing the review sample.
From a modeller's standpoint, I think that some of the photo coverage is weak, as there just aren't quite enough detail photos. However, that is a standard gripe about the New Vanguard series and let's face it, we modellers can never have enough detail pictures! However, the color plates are quite good, especially the center spread which shows quite well how the flotation screen sets up.
Our Thanks to Osprey Publishing! This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.