by Steve Guthrie.
Canada's Weapons of War Series, WOW002
A5 size softback, 24 pages
Review by Peter Brown
Canada was a major user of Sherman tanks in the Second World War, in fact all its Armoured Regiments I the field by the war’s end were equipped mainly with this type. Despite that there is not a lot in print on the subject outside specialist Regimental histories, which makes this book a very useful guide. Although it cannot be a full history of the tank, the scene is set with a short description of its development with the main emphasis on those sub-types used by Canada. This should be enough for newcomers and is not too long to take up space for those who know their Shermans.
The organisation of Canadian Armoured Corps Regiments, Armoured Brigades and Armoured Divisions is described, then details of the Sherman in use from initial issues to units in the United Kingdom through action in the Sicilian, Italian and NW European campaigns. This includes details of where their vehicles came from, introduction and use of the 17-pounder armed Firefly and accounts of how different units approached the matters of field camouflage, extra armour made from timber and spare track links and how antiaircraft guns were employed. Anyone not familiar with Canadian regimental names will find the final section very useful as it is a full list of those Regiments which used Shermans giving their Regimental numbers as well as their usual names, following their service by Brigade, Division and campaign.
Complementing this account is a selection of photos from Canadian archives depicting Shermans "in action". As well as giving the original negative number which is a good starting point for anyone wanting more photos in the same series, the captions state which unit is shown, where the photo was taken - would that all books did this! - and also unusual features of the tanks themselves. These are all black and white but there is a full-colour shot on the cover, while the centre spread uses a four-view scale plan by Chris Johnson to show a Sherman V in "typical" markings for a tank of the Ontario Regiment in Italy.
The size of the book means it has a fairly limited format so there will be those who will want more detail, but as a reasonably-priced single-volume study of Canadian Shermans this will be very useful for any modeller or researcher wanting to increase their knowledge either of Canada’s often understated part in WW2 or to add to the wider Sherman story.
Thanks to Clive Law at Service Publications for the review book.