Both Dennis Oliver and Mike Starmer will be well known to those who collect reference books on Allied Armor. This book is their first outing as co authors for The Factory Publishing and who ever had the bright idea of teaming them up together is to be congratulated.
The Book - the basics
The New Breed Part 1 North Africa, Colour and Markings Series
This first book in The Factory Publishing'scolour and markings series is a soft bound detailed study of the camouflage and markings as used on British Sherman tanks and Priest self-propelled guns from El Alamein to Tunis.
It contains 30 black and white archive photos and 12 pages of full colour illustrations and diagrams.
It covers the history and organisation of each armoured brigade and the markings of each regiment in detail.
One thing to note is that this book covers color and markings and isn’t a technical manual on the different types of Shermans and Priests used by the Eighth Army.
This book could have been subtitled “all you ever wanted to ask about Color and markings on Shermans and Priests in North Africa but didn’t know who to ask” It contains a wealth of detail and draws on previous books by both Dennis Oliver and Mike Starmer.
It starts with a history of how the British Eighth Army came to be supplied by American sources with 300 Shermans (A name suggested by Churchill) and 100 Priests. This section also gives details of the modifications and additions made to the vehicles prior to their use in the field.
The book goes on to detail the markings both as they should have been applied to vehicles and also how that differed sometimes in actuality. It also explains the colours used for markings based on the seniority of the units involved.
Tactical markings, Formation badges, Arm of Service markings, War department numbers, Aerial recognition markings, signal flags and pennants are all covered in great detail.
The coverage of Camouflage patterns and colors is also exhaustive, with original drawings shown and quotes from original documents used to explain the changes made to the colours and disruptive patterns used as the campaign progressed. Each unit operating Shermans and Priests is covered as to how they applied the markings and camouflage.
There are 12 pages of detailed colour plates showing camouflage and markings for both Shermans and Priests and each plate is covered by comprehensive notes.
The book is illustrated throughout with black and white photos many of which will be familiar to Sherman students but their inclusion here is welcome as it makes this volume more of a “one stop shop” for those seeking info on North African Shermans.
There is, as we say in Ireland, “Eating and drinking” in this book. It’s packed full of details in closely set type (For which you might need a magnifier) and the colour plates are first class. At a time when some of these vehicles are becoming available in plastic for the first time this is a very welcome reference and bodes well for the forthcoming titles in the series.
Highs: The level of detail gone into and the color plates.Lows: The only low I can think of is the print a little small for my tired old eyes.Verdict: An excellent must have reference book for Allied Modelers.
I served three years in the Irish Army.
Then I studied fine art for five years.
Acted professionally since leaving college (Look me up on IMDB- Pat McGrathIII)
Interested in Allied Armour 1942-45 and German SPGs.
Other interests are figures and Sci Fi models