Modelers looked at different schemes for their models and many considered the Middle East. While there are many books of this theater of battle, not many concentrate on the particular vehicle in question. Some of the most interesting vehicles in the theater are the various Sherman medium tanks used by the IDF. SabingaMartin has published two references on the First and Early tanks.
In the Priority Mail envelope, I found a soft cover book measuring 8.5 inches wide by 11 inches tall and 80 glossy pages within the two heavy cardstock glossy covers. It utilizes perfect binding which will probably be damaged thanks to the heavy use I am planning for it. The covers do have an intentional crease parallel to the spine to allow them to be spread out.
Color is used throughout except on the tonal photos. Gone are the sepia tones some had to them. Flipping through, I saw many period photos, color detail photos, scale plans, and color profiles. I prepared myself a cup of coffee and sat down to read the text.
Once I was past the color cover design, the inner cover provided some details of the labor of love this book is for Dr. Robert Manasherob. The name of the publishing company is based on the names of his children. They are listed in the acknowledgments along with many others who helped.
What follows are 230 photos, 61 of which are tonal photos with 169 walk around photographs being in color. The tonal photos are clear and in several cases show details which are usually censored. While they are in a chronological order, with excellent captions that go in depth, they do not necessarily follow the text. There are also 17 TM illustrations with caption left intact.
The text goes into detail about the creation of Israel and the vehicles used in that theater of operations. The difficulties faced in creating a tank force are covered. The use of the vehicles is also covered in detail which makes for great inspiration given the amount of period photographs included in this tome.
The color section contains 169 photos covering every imaginable detail of the Sherman diesel and radial engines, transmission, gearbox, and VVS suspension including an exhaustive collection of the road wheels showing wear, weathering, and damage. Four photographs of the turret serve to whet the appetite for the next book in the series which promises a full walk around.
Arkadiusz Wróbel’s artwork includes seven color profiles and scrap views of markings found on the first IDF Shermans. All four Shermans are covered in 1/35th scale plan views (two in five views). These include a side view of an unarmed M4A2 Meir, M4A2 Meir after installation of the 75mm gun in five views, M4 (105) Tamar after re-arming with a 75mm gun in five views, side view M4 (105) Ruth II after re-arming with 75mm gun, and a side view of an unarmed M4 (105) Ada still with the howitzer rotor and shield. The captions with the plans are excellent covering details of each vehicle such as road wheel and track types. Sadly, all the M4 (105) turrets are shown as low bustle when they should be high bustle. This become obvious when comparing to the photographs. However, this does not affect the dimensions of the IDF add-ons so the plans do remain useful.
This book is highly recommended and serves to whet the appetite for the following books. It, along with the new second IDF Sherman monograph, are superb references for Dragon’s new M4 (105) Sherman. To order the book, send the author Dr. Robert Manasherob or visiting their web site SabingaMartin Publications.