by: Olivier Carneau [ ]
The third volume of the IDF armor series from Desert Eagle Publishing is dedicated to the latest version of the Merkava tank. Written in English by two experts in the Israeli armor, it includes 80 pages illustrated with over 200 color photos and 5 drawings.
The book comprises six parts:
• Merkava, Names and Derivatives
• The Merkava Siman 4 in Action
• The Man & the Machine
• The Merkava Siman 4 in detail
• Power pack
• Tactical signs
The introductory section briefly recalls the history of the Merkava with each version and variant, from the Merkava 1 to the Namer APC, described in a short paragraph. Even abandoned projects such as the Sholef SPG are mentioned.
The section devoted to the tank in action has many photos of the Merkava 4 in training as well as in operations. This chapter also provides an opportunity to see some accompanying vehicles: D9, M113, tank transporters.
The Man & the Machine section is very interesting and is enhanced by the numerous photos of them during maintenance operations. It particularly shows, in two pages of photos, a sequence of the track replacement. They enable the reader to see the details of the running gear and the suspension as well as the skirt brackets. The various crew uniforms are particularly visible.
The first 13 pages of the chapter dedicated to photos of detail are devoted to the turret. They are complemented by three technical drawings (2 of the 12.7 mm machine gun and 1 of the turret basket). The chassis is shown in the following 6 pages. Two technical drawings show the rear basket and the skirt brackets. This chapter concludes with two pages of views of the interior.
The MT883 engine of Merkava is the subject of 4 photos in general view.
Finally, the book concludes with a series of photos of tactical markings. The authors also provided a drawing with the dimensions of the turret markings.
This book is particularly well documented and shows the Merkava 4 from every angle. It will be as useful to modelers eager to detail their model as to those seeking ideas for their dioramas.
However, we may regret the absence of a special chapter for the LIC version whose photos are scattered throughout the book. It is also unfortunate that the various versions of the Namer be treated so quickly in the introduction.