Osprey Publishing has sent me a copy of one of their latest releases, this one on the Sherman Firefly tank. The British army took delivery on hundreds of U.S.-built Sherman tanks and outfitted them with a massive 17-pound gun. This innovation finally allowed British forces to match up with the imposing german firepower that had dominated the Western European Theater of Operations for so long. Veteran author David Fletcher, the historian at the Tank Museum in Bovington, UK, had penned an interesting and detailed account of the history of this conversion, exploring the people and methodology behind the development of the Firefly.
Fletcher’s writing style is perhaps unusual and a bit too folksy for my American taste, but his content is outstanding. He offers a thorough look at the history of the Firefly. As with all Osprey books, this one is profusely illistrated with period photographs (from the collection of the museum the author works for) and lavish full-color (colour for my British friends!) drawings and sketches.
Number 141 of the New Vanguard collection, this newly released book is certainly an authoritative look at this powerful weapon of war. At only 48 pages, it is a short and easy read, but is chock full of interesting information of value to the wargamer, WWII buff, or tank enthusiast. Fletcher examines the successes (and failures) of this tank destroyer, which was in high demand and short supply. They were allocated among various units, usually no more than 1 or 2 per unit.
All in all, I recommend this book to anyone interested in WWII British or American tanks. It is priced at $17.95 in the USA and $21.00 for our friends north of the border.