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Ammo of Mig "Sherman, The American Miracle"

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“Sherman, The American Miracle”

Camouflage Profile Guide

Published by Ammo of Mig, written by Enrique Calderon, Illustrated by Claudio Fernandez

Reviewed by Glen Broman

Oh Lord, here we go again. Once again I’ve been snared by the allure of large green objects. Normally, it’s Churchills, but now Sherman’s have pulled me into their orbit. I’m really surprised that no one’s invented a cure for this.

So let me back up a little. A while back I saw this book on the upcoming good stuff page on the Last Cavalry web site. I thought, “Okay, looks interesting”, and then shiny object syndrome took over when I saw something else and forgot about it. About a week or so later I was at the Last Cavalry World Headquarters coordinating for an upcoming show when the Sherman book came in. Suddenly, I was all like “Hmmm, green, tank. Gronk want!”

So what do we get for a very reasonable $25 you may ask? Well, it may not surprise you that I have the answer. You get a lot crammed into 79 pages. This is another book in the Ammo of Mig camouflage profile series. I have a number of these and they are handy to have around the workbench, especially if you are tired of the usual bog standard camo schemes. This is a large format paperback with heavy card covers printed on high quality paper with color throughout. There are a few short chapters covering historical evolution and variants, turret types, and wheels and suspension. There are also a few pages covering painting and camouflage schemes. This covers the “notorious olive drab” along with color chips for US, USMC, Eastern front and British paints and camo. Except for a short bibliography, the rest is just pure Sherman profile goodness.

The profile section is divided by Theater. Each color profile has a short caption with a brief explanation covering the unit, the colors used and a few other interesting tidbits. There are also a few pictures scattered throughout each section covering some unusual schemes. Sort of a “hey, you can’t make this stuff up!” statement. The first Theater covered is North Africa and the Middle East which covers both UK and US vehicles. There are some juicy multi tone schemes here. Next up in the batting order is Italy. A few ARK and bridgelayer schemes in here as well. There are also some tasty Polish Sherman’s to give it a more cosmopolitan feel. Next we wander to the UK, which also covers the D-Day period. Again, we are treated to some specialist vehicles, such as the BARV and Funnies. This is followed by the Low Countries and we then move to Germany 1945. There are interesting examples of what my generation called “Hillbilly armor”. Lots of logs, sandbags and other versions of improvised armor because once you’ve shared your fighting compartment with a hot jet of molten metal from a Panzerfaust you would look for any advantage to keep it from happening again. There’s also a profile of a Guards Sherman V in a sea grey color. That bad boy will end up in my collection in the not too distant future. The Free French with their kicky markings are next. If you like splashes of color on your Sherman’s, you will be giggling like a little schoolgirl right about here. For my little Babushka’s, there’s a section on Russian M4’s, or “Emcha’s” as the Soviet’s called them. That’s Rooskie for M4, by the way. The last three sections cover Beutepanzer, which has a neat captured Sherman that basically has “please don’t kill me, I’m on your side” painted in German on the side, knocked out tanks and finally, the Pacific. This section covers a few Army tanks and some vehicles in Burma, but mostly focuses on the Marines. Lots of interesting stuff all up in here. More hillbilly armor plus nasty little pointy devices the Marines stuck all over the flat surfaces and hatches to discourage the Japanese from engaging in hand to hand combat with the tanks. The Marine’s were also into some wild schemes. I’m not sure if they were intended to camo the vehicles or maybe they just didn’t want to look like the Army. You never know with Marines.

There are few things that could have improved this book; first, investing in an editor would be helpful. In the first two paragraphs there are three spelling errors. Just a minor gribble, but I find it distracting. If you were traumatized as a child in English class by Nun’s wielding crew served paddles looking for the most minor spelling error or dangling participles, you feel my pain. Lastly, all of the profiles are side views. I would really have liked at least a few scrap views of front and rear markings. Five views of vehicles with camo schemes would also have been way cool. On the positive side, if you really want to track down more info on the vehicle, all of the references are listed in the back of the book.As you may have recalled from the second paragraph, I purchased my book from Last Cavalry. www.lastcavalry.com.