Allied Armour 1939-1945 British and American Tanks at War

Published: February 18th, 2021     
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Front Cover
Author: Anthony Tucker-Jones
Reviewed by: Michael Reeves - IPMS# 51129
ISBN #: 9781526777973
Other Publication Information: 248 pages with 70 black and white illustrations
Price: $34.95
Product provided by: Casemate Publishers

There are numerous accounts of the various armoured campaigns that defined the major fronts of WWII from the perspectives of all sides involved. Some are exhaustive accounts filled with places, dates, and names that can be excruciating at times to read with the extensive details. Books by Anthony Tucker-Jones usually are a bit easier to decipher and can be enjoyable without getting too much into the minutiae. This book is a good example of this- to the point of being a bit watered down perhaps. The book looks at the entirety of the war from the Allied view-- with the book covering American, British and Commonwealth, and French armor forces and that is no small feat.

The book begins with a brief synopsis of the period following WWI where most were trying to figure out where armor would fit into the future of military tactics and dogma. Some, like the Germans, embraced this time and designed a whole discipline known as blitzkrieg to further the goals of redefining how combat would be carried out. Others saw armor as a temporary thing and began the battles of the following world war trying to play catch-up. This is evident in the first chapter which saw well trained German forces led by Rommel and Guderian attacking ill-prepared British and French forces, leading up to the evacuation at Dunkirk and time to lick wounds and devise new strategies.

The next couple of chapters focus on North Africa and the early successes of Allied forces against the inferior Italian armor. The entry of Rommel's better trained German forces soon turned the tide and again proved to be detrimental. The text doesn't go into great depths of detail or any accounts from the soldiers, but the reader gets a sense of how better armor and tactics win the day. The entry of America and its formidable manufacturing might quickly turn things around- with M3 light Stuarts, M3 Lees and Grants, and the M4 Sherman. Things reversed in North Africa, and the Allied forces quickly went on the offensive in the Mediterranean front at Sicily towards Rome. Patton and Montgomery were the new leaders that shaped the way the Allies would face off and start to defeat the Germans and Italians.

The book breaks off and spends a few chapters discussing the Pacific front- and engagements in the jungle and in island hopping against the Japanese. The IJA forces had initial successes when Allies denied armor operations were even possible in jungle environs and Japanese tanks were facing just artillery and universal carriers for the most part. China received Stuarts, Shermans, and Hellcats however- and these trickling into Burma soon made a difference.

The book then jumps back to the ETO and the D-Day landings, and locations like Villers-Bocage and Caen would be etched into armoured history due to the actions there. The battles in the hedgerow country would create opportunities for new designs like the Rhino and other modifications used to adapt to defensive fortifications the Germans had erected. Landings in the French Riviera and Patton's victory at Lorraine continue here. There would be setbacks- like Market Garden and the Bulge- but in the end the Allies drew to Germany and the eventual end of German's aspirations of a new Reich.

The appendices are full of great information. Appendix A breaks down the Allied Armour Divisions throughout the war. Appendix B gives brief descriptions of British and Commonwealth Tanks and AFVs and Appendix C does the same for American Tanks and AFVs.


The book offers some excellent easy-to-read information for those with a growing interest in learning about armoured operations during WWII. Armor experts and those who have been building armor for some time won't find a great deal of new information here. The photos are a mix of ones that have been seen in other books and some new to me- which I have included a sample of. They will certainly lend inspiration for diorama ideas and the book offers good reading for the long winter nights we have been having as of late. My thanks to Casemate Publishers and IPMS-USA for this review sample.

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