British Battle Tanks - American-Made World War II Tanks

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
David Fletcher, Steven J. Zaloga
Other Publication Information
Hardcover, 256 pages, B&W photos, color illustrations
Company: Osprey Publishing - Website: Visit Site

This book describes the design, development, and operational history of US-made tanks in British service in World War II. The British were initially reluctant to endorse the American-made tanks as they felt they were inferior to British developed tanks. The British eventually appreciated the simplicity of American designed tanks and modified them to meet British needs. The Lend Lease program allowed Britain to obtain American tanks in adequate numbers to take pressure off of the British manufacturers. By the end of World War II the British tank regiments were equipped with more Sherman tanks than any other type.

Author David Fletcher MBE was born in 1942. He has written many books and articles on military subjects and until his retirement was the historian at the Tank Museum, Bovington, UK. He has spent over 40 years studying the development of British armoured vehicles during the two World Wars and in 2012 was awarded an MBE for services to the history of armoured warfare.

Steven J. Zaloga received his BA in History from Union College and his MA from Columbia University. He has worked as an analyst in the aerospace industry for over three decades, covering missile systems and the international arms trade, and has served with the Institute for Defense Analyses, a federal think tank. He is the author of numerous books on military technology and military history, with an accent on the US Army in World War II as well as Russia and the former Soviet Union.

The book is packed with numerous black-and-white photographs illustrating each of the tank types, colored illustrations of tanks, and colored cutaways of several of the tank types.

The American-made tank types are described in individual chapters:

  • Introduction
  1. M3 Light Tank: The Stuart
  2. M3 Medium Tank: The Grant and Lee
  3. M4 Medium Tank: The Sherman
  4. Firefly: The 17-Pounder Sherman
  5. Sherman Duplex Drive
  6. Sherman Crab Flail Tank
  7. Other American-Built Tanks
  8. Staghound Armoured Car
  • Select Bibliography
  • Index

As an example of the detail included in the different chapters, Chapter 4 - M4 Medium Tank: The Sherman, includes the following sections:

  • Design and Development - The decisions and chronology in the development of each tank
  • US Variants - Versions and configurations
  • Firepower, describes the main gun and other weapons
  • Protection - Armor & field-applied protection
  • Mobility - Engine variants
  • Shermans in British Service, describes the many variations of the Sherman; M4A1, M4A2, M4A3, M4A4, M4 and Hybrid, 105MM Sherman, 76MM Gun Sherman, Command, Control, and Observation Post Tanks, The Funnies.

The tanks are illustrated with black & white photos of the tanks in action, color cutaways, and color illustrations. The written text is packed full of information and an easy read.

This book is a great reference for the many tanks produced by the US that were used in British Service. The many photos and illustrations are good references and inspiration for modelers. Those interested in history and Sherman buffs will both enjoy this book.

Thanks to authors Fletcher and Zaloga, and to Osprey Publishing for producing this great book and providing the review sample to IPMS.


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