First Look Review
Great War Tank Mk IV
Great war Tank Mark IV Owners' Workshop Manual
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by: Alan McNeilly [ ALANL ]


Haynes is not normally a publisher I would automatically connect with Armoured Publications being better known for their Car Owners’ Manuals. However, this is not their first venture into Tank Manuals and in anticipation of the release of a new Mk IV in 1/35th scale I purchased this Manuel a couple of months ago.

The book is produced in conjunction with David Fletcher MBE of the Imperial War Museum and comes in hardback format consisting of 160 pages covering the Mk IV Great War Tank. This book seemed a good starting point to learn a bit more about the Great War tanks. Issued in hardback in A4 format, the book contains both detailed texts on the subject areas and good colour and black and white photographs, along with detailed diagrams.


The book is divided up into the following chapters starting on:-

Page 6 - Prologue
Page 8 - Introduction
Page 12 - The Tank Story

  • Design and Building of the Mk IV
  • Origins
  • Mark IV tank production Variants
  • Mark IVA
  • Stretched Mk IV
  • Supply Tanks

Page 30 – Anatomy of the Mark IV tank
  • General description
  • The Hull
  • Daimler 105hp engine
  • Gears and Gear Boxes
  • Petrol and petrol supply
  • Tracks, spuds and unditching beams

Page 52 - Tank Armament
Page 66 - Camouflage, paint and Marking

  • Paint
  • names
  • marking
  • mud
  • Numbers

Page 74 – Operating the Mk IV
  • Driving the Mk IV
  • Performance
  • Observation and Navigation
  • Transport by rail

Page 92 - The Tank at War
  • Mark IV tank actions
  • Tanks in the Middle East
  • Third Ypres and Cockcroft
  • Operation Hush, the Great Landing
  • Cambrai
  • The fascine

Tanks and cavalry
  • The time of the Savage Rabbits
  • The Canel du Nord
  • Beutepanzers

Page 128 – Retirement and Survivors
  • Survivors
  • The Ashford tank
  • Lodestar III, 4093
  • HMS Excellent
  • Flirt II, F4
  • Deborah, D51, 2620
  • Running, replicas and responsibilities

Page 156 – Appendices
Page 158 Index

Contents and Format

I found the book to be organised in an easy to read/use fashion, you can dip into what you want to know or read cover to cover. It’s well written and packed with detail, supporting black and white and colour photographs both contemporary and modern. If I have one grumble it is that the detailed diagrams of the vehicle are displayed with a green hue background and that makes them more difficult to study at least to my eyes.

Looking at the book form a modelling context rather than anything else, this one I think is a real gem. Not only does it give the whole development of the vehicle in a detailed historical context but the supporting material will be of excellent value to understand, construction, paint and detail the new kits.


A very useful and valuable resource for the modeller or anyone interested in the development of the early tanks. I am neither a historian nor tank expert but this book gives me as a modeller pretty much everything I would need to know about the Mk IV, plus a lot more. A very good quality publication that for a RRP of £21.99 gives excellent value for money.

Highs: Excellent detail and content.
Lows: Background colour to diagrams.
Verdict: Highly Recommended.
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 978 0 85733 242 4
  Suggested Retail: £21.99
  PUBLISHED: Jun 03, 2014
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

About Alan McNeilly (AlanL)

Greying slightly, but young at heart. I've been teaching adults off and on for most of my life. Left the services in 85 and first started modelling in about 87 for a few years. Then I had a long spell when I didn't build anything (too busy) and really just got started again during the summer of ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Alan McNeilly [ ALANL ]. All rights reserved.


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