Israeli Half Tracks, Volume 1

Published: September 4th, 2011     
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Author: Dr. Robert Manasherob
Reviewed by: Randy Ray - IPMS# 29209
Other Publication Information: Softbound, 80 Pages, 300+ black & white and color photos, 1/35th scale line drawings, color profiles
Price: $35.00
Product provided by: SabIngaMartin Publications

If you have any of Dr. Manasherob's previous volumes on Israeli armor, then you will find this book a comfortable, familiar format. It comes in at 80 pages, with heavy-stock and full-color covers. The paper is the same high-quality stock as is used in the previous books, which lends itself to crisp, clear reproduction of the photos presented. Speaking of the photos, the book offers over 300 in both color and black and white. Thirty-eight of the 80 pages are in full color, and include both photo walk-arounds and color profiles.

Presenting itself as the first volume in a series, this one focuses on the early half-tracks M5, the early anti-aircraft M14, and the M5 converted to a flame-thrower carrier. All three types get representation with comprehensive line-drawings, as well as numerous in-the-field photos. Photos cover combat as well as in-action situations. One section of the photos is notable for its in-depth coverage of the drive-train. No less than 30 of the color pages are given over to this. The photos go literally down to the individual components: wheels, springs, arms, etc.

The book is more than just the photographs, however. The text is also very comprehensive. The photo captions are almost all long and thorough, and the historical section shows a great understanding by the author of the subject matter. In addition to this, there is a section called "The Story of a Halftrack Driver," contributed by Ralph Lowenstein, that offers a more personal view of the conflicts these vehicles have seen.

Lastly, the final seven pages of the book focus on colors and markings. Here you get more good historical explanation as well as six full-color vehicle profile plates. The discussion covers not just the general paint and unit markings, but also discusses the various types of personalized markings that soldiers often put to the half-tracks. Most of the color plates also feature these markings.

Overall, this is yet another excellent volume from the same source that has already given us so much information on Shermans and other IDF equipment. If you have an interest in either IDF armor or half-tracks in general, I highly recommend this book.

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