Sold Out

Codename Swallow

British Sherman Tanks at Alamein

Green • 2006
AuthorsDennis Oliver
IllustratorDennis Oliver
Release date2006-06-01
Cat. No.4102
CategorySold Out CategoryWyprzedana
FormatA4, 36 pages (8 in colour)
Price49.00 PLN Price15.00 GBP

The first appearance of the Sherman tank in battle was at the Battle of Alamein in North Africa. The colours and markings applied to these vehicles by the British Army is described and illustrated in detail in this new book, covering all the regiments which used this new tank. The author also puts the record straight on many previous misconceptions about the tank and its role in the battle. The features include: finely documented aspect of World War Two armoured history; superb colour illustrations of camouflage and markings, scale plans and rare b+w archive photographs; and essential reading for military enthusiasts and scale tank-modellers.

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  • amazon.co.uk • 2009-04-07
  • Sabot Away! • 2009-03-19
  • Sabot Away! page 2 • 2009-03-19
  • IPMS UK The Magazine 6/2006 • 2009-03-19
  • Amazon.co.uk • 2009-03-19
  • Hyperscale.com - Missing-Lynx.com • 2009-03-19
    Reviewed by Glen Porter

    Mushroom Model Publications is known for its excellent aviation books. I believe this is the first of a new series aimed at the armour modeller.

    The subject of the debut book in the Green Series, British Shermans at Alamein, covers a very specific group of cast hulled and radial engined M4A1, and the welded hulled diesel engined M4A2, tanks which were supplied to the British Army during the second half of 1942 and which became the first Shermans to see combat. These were the very early production vehicles with direct vision slots, M3-style bogies (with the support roller above bogie) and plain rubber block or “double I” tracks.

    After a brief Author’s Note, the Introduction details the circumstances surrounding the issue of these tanks and their modification by the British. Part 2 follows with an explanation of the markings. This is followed by four pages of coloured artwork and four pages of captions for the art. My one little niggle about this artwork is that no plan views are shown.

    Part 3, Camouflage, covers the authors’ opinions on the Official Orders, the colours, the schemes and a few anomalies that have existed for some years. Some of these are shown in the art-work. Part 4, The Armoured Brigades, covers the four Brigades individually, their camouflage and markings and each unit with-in the Brigade, their make-up and any oddities. This is then followed by another eight pages of very good art-work and captions.

    Lastly, there is five pages of plans which I think are in 1/35 scale, although this is not stated, with four views shown (only left hand sides) but with none of the British modifications mentioned in the earlier text except for one side view having the sand skirts.

    This is, without a doubt, a great start to what should be a very interesting series. The text is easy to read and understand and the artwork is inspiring, so much so that I am looking forward to getting Dragon’s new M4A1 in Braille Scale to see if I can adapt it to build one of these vehicles.

    Highly Recommended.
  • IPMS USA website • 2009-03-19
    Reviewed By Laramie Wright, IPMS# 36156

    This title from Mushroom Publications concentrates on the 250 or so Sherman II's (M4A1) and Sherman III's (M4A2) used by the Eighth Army in the Alamein Battles in 1942.

    There is a great deal of information packed into Mr. Oliver's slender volume, divided into sections as follows:

    1. Introduction
    2. Markings
    Color Profiles
    3. Camouflage
    4. The Armoured Brigades
    Color Profiles
    Scale Plans

    Part One tells of the events leading to the decision by President Roosevelt to strip the US First Armored Division of its new M4A1's to quickly shore up the badly weakened British Eight Army following the loss of Tobruk and other defeats. M4A2's were also sent and the British christened the M4 series as the General Sherman. Details of items changed and local improvements prove of interest and "Swallow", as the Sherman acquisition operation was codenamed, was in high gear.

    Part Two describes the markings for various formations as laid down in regulations and field orders gives a refreshing sense of what the markings meant and how they were assigned. Regimental tactical signs, aerial recognition markings, WD registration numbers and pennant assignments are all covered. The print section is followed by four pages of 1/35th scale color drawings of assorted Shermans, illustrating markings as described in the previous pages.

    Part Three tries to sort through conflicting information that has accumulated over the years about the camouflage carried by Shermans in North Africa. Oliver makes reference to photos, film and numerous books in his footnotes to support his conclusions.

    Part Four covers the Armoured Brigades at Alamein. He identifies brigades and their assigned regiments, and then describes their markings and camouflage.

    Three pages of color profiles follow beautifully illustrating some of those brigade/regimental schemes on Shermans.

    Finally, the last section is five pages of what appear to be very accurate 1/35th scale line drawings of Sherman II's and III's.

    There are only a few period photos of Shermans sprinkled through the text and some of those appear to be digitally reproduced at low resolution which caused a loss of sharpness and detail. That is the only area where the book falls short though.

    In conclusion this book is highly recommended to those interested in the historical record and the North African war in general. It is very useful for the modeler as well and I recommend it unreservedly.
  • CyberModeler Online • 2009-03-19
    By Ray Mehlberger

    Regular readers, of this site, have read reviews that I have done in the past on books about aircraft subjects by Mushroom Model Publications (MMP). This new book is the premier issue of what is to be a new series of books about armor subjects. This comes as a total SURPRISE to me and pleases me to no end. Most people, that know me personally, know that I am a real armor nut.

    The book comes in a 8 ¾” x 12” soft-cover format. It is 36 pages long.

    Although it was Winston Churchill, himself, who named the M4’s as Shermans, they were first referred to as Codename Swallow. Three hundred of them were given to Britian, with 100 brand new M7 105mm self-propelled guns…subsequently christened “Priest” by the British. The Shermans were M4A1’s, with petrol engines, known to the British as Sherman II’s and the diesel powered M4A2’s, known as Sherman III’s.

    In this new book, Dennis Oliver describes and illustrates the colors and markings applied to the first Sherman tanks to see actual service – at the 2nd Battle of el Alamein in 1942. By the time of this operation, 252 Sherman II’s and III’s were in service, suitably modified for desert operations and repainted in British camouflage and markings.

    Colors and markings are superbly illustrated by the author’s own artwork of representative vehicles, backed by detailed captions and full discussion of the official schemes and the variations seen in service. There are 7 pages, with full color illustrations of 27 different Shermans. In addition, there are 11 black and white line drawings, in 1/35th scale, of Sherman II’s and III’s at the rear of the book. Included also are 6 black and white wartime photos.

    This book will be an invaluable resource for military historians, enthusiasts and scale modelers.

    Highly recommended.
  • ModelingMadness • 2009-03-19
    By Scott Van Aken

    This is the first of a new series of books from Mushroom Models Publications and not only is in a new, larger format from the norm, but also concentrates on armor. This seems a logical progression to me as many aircraft modelers that I know also dabble to one extent or another in armor modeling as well.

    This premiere edition covers the camouflage and markings of those Sherman tanks used in their initial combat at El Alamein during 1942. Since the US Army was not ready to enter into the war, it was decided to provide the British with the best tanks available to help in their fight against the Afrika Korps.

    The author first tries to unwind some of the mystery surrounding the various markings one would find on these tanks and does an admirable job of it. Then the general camouflage schemes worn by the Shermans in battle is covered, followed by a section on specific camouflage as used by each of the various brigades that participated at El Alamein.

    These various sections are all ably referenced to eight full pages of color profiles and detail drawings, themselves with pages of explanations. What comes from it is probably the most detailed look at the markings and camouflage schemes worn by these vehicles yet done. With the addition of some period photographs, the result is a very interesting book in its own right and one that I'm sure modelers will come to appreciate as they get ready to build their own Sherman models.

    Highly recommended.
  • Internet Modeler • 2009-03-19
    by Chris Banyai-Riepl

    Mushroom Model Publications have started a new series, one which departs from their traditional subject matter and delves into the world of armor. This first volume, Codename Swallow, covers the first operations of British Sherman tanks at Alamein. The author is quite knowledgeable on the subject matter, and does an outstanding job of explaining his conclusions regarding the colors and markings of these tanks.

    The book is broken down into several logical sections, with the first chapter providing the initial overview of the British Shermans. Following this comes a nicely detailed chapter on the markings worn by these tanks. This is well presented and quite welcome, as with this information one could fairly easily determine where a particular vehicle is from. This section also includes aerial recognition markings and temporary markings, as well as the standard division and formation markings.

    Building on the markings section is the next chapter, a treatise on the camouflage of these vehicles. The author has gone to great lengths to research this subject, including interviewing surviving crew, examining original documents, and viewing period photos. This depth of research pays off with a detailed description of the camouflage schemes worn by British Shermans at Alamein. These notes are further enhanced by several pages of color profile illustrations, which really bring to life these schemes. In addition to the basic camouflages, these profiles also show many of the unit and personal markings worn by these vehicles.

    Overall, this is a great way to start out a new series. The writing is quite good, and it is backed up by some wonderful photo and color artwork. This is sure to become a popular series for Mushroom, and I am already looking forward to their next in the series (which, according to their website, will be Magyar Steel, a book about Hungarian armor).

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