Sherman Tanks of the Red Army
...the American Vehicle in Soviet Service, from Gallantry Books
Title: Sherman Tanks of the Red Army
Author: Peter Samsonov
Publisher: Gallantry Books
The US built Sherman was supplied to the Soviet Union in large numbers during WW2 and this new book focuses on the use of this famous tank by the Red Army. A 123-page soft-cover book, it looks at the story of the M4A2 development plus their service and concentrates largely on the M4A2, which was provided under to the Lend-Lease scheme to Russia, and the UK.
The book is spread across 15 chapters, the first 7 of which look at the development of the Sherman, particularly of theM4A2, which was the diesel engined version which was never used by US units outside of the continental US but it was supplied in large numbers under lend-lease to the Soviets. Like pretty much any tank, the first ones were not ideal, and use showed up what improvements it benefitted from, moving from direct vision versions with the narrow mantlet for the main gun, through the use of small hull hatches with periscopes, later larger hatch hulls, the changes from VVSS to HVSS suspensions and different tracks to try and resolve some of the issues that were found. There was an evaluation of the M4A4 but they stuck with the M4A2 with its' diesel engine. The gun also changed from the original 75mm to the later 76mm with the new, larger turret. Then, in the middle of the book, a set of very neat colour profiles, which brings us into the second half of the book, looking at the Sherman in use and in combat with Soviet units in a variety of places along the Eastern Front, as well as Manchuria and the Far Eastern war with Japan. Mixed equipment in some units and the work of the recovery units which kept them in action all feature. Everything is rounded off in the final chapter, a Conclusion - Legend or Death Trap?
This is a fine reference, illustrated throughout with diagrams, plenty of archive images and others of preserved examples today. Author Peter Samsonov clearly knows his subject and this is a nicely done reference which I am sure will interest all the many Sherman fans out there, modellers especially.
Thanks to Morton books for our review copy.