Book Review
Men Inside the Metal Vol 2
The Men Inside The Metal The British AFV Crewman in WW2 Vol. 2
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by: Brian O'Donoghue [ BRIAN638 ]


This is Dick Taylors eighth book for Mushroom Model Publications his first series of books dealt with the colours and schemes seen on British AFVs. This second series of books deals with something more important The Men Inside The Metal, this review deals with the second volume. The vehicle crew is an exceptionally important part of the fighting machine a tank can be repaired and replaced a crew needs to be trained. Once trained a vehicle crew becomes almost a single organic fixture were each person relies upon the other making a single crew a highly effective unit. This second volume deals with the units, the crew and living and fighting in an armoured vehicle.


  • Chapter 1 Individual Regimental Insignia
The British Regimental system can seem complicated and confusing, throughout the second world war units were created, disbanded and converted adding to the confusion. This lengthy chapter deals with the individual regiments including the RAC regiments, Household Cavalry, armoured battalions of the Foot Guards along with AFV crews of the Royal Engineers, Royal Artillery, Royal Horse Artillery, Reconnaissance Corps and Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers. Each of the separate entries includes details on cap badges, shoulder insignia and regimental headdress if applicable. There is a great deal of information it is short and concise. This will give the reader the opportunity the means to research individual units in greater depth.

  • Chapter 2 The Crewman
The chapter deals with the training process which appears to have included plenty of drill. The responsibilities of the crew are also covered within this chapter and there are a number of helpful and surprising insights. There a number of high quality period photographs within this chapter that show repairs and maintenance that will be very useful for the armour modeller.

  • Chapter 3 Living On An Armoured Fighting Vehicle
AFVs may move across the battlefield but they can either move tactically or non-tactically, tactical movement includes the choices the commander may face operating partially out of the confines of the vehicle. The rest of the chapter deals with the business of living in an AFV including resting, sleeping and the complexities of sharing a fourteen man ration pack with a five man crew.

  • Biography and References
The biography and references comprise of three pages of various sources that list official publications along with books. The book list will enable the reader to source further books by conducting a search online. Some of them are still current releases while other titles will need a rather extensive search.


Yet another fine book from Dick Taylor and Mushroom Model Publications one of the many highlights through out his book is the extra information. Dick has included a number of photographic references for the Imperial War museum archive, this enables the reader to search for and find additional images.
Highs: The entire book! If I had to pick one thing - the period photographs
Lows: I guess that some readers may feel that the individual unit descriptions could be longer. Overall nothing to complain about.
Verdict: A well written, well researched title covering this important aspect of tank warfare. Highly recommended.
  Scale: N/A
  PUBLISHED: Nov 20, 2014
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

About Brian O'Donoghue (brian638)

I began modelling way back when Matchbox appeared on the scene with their new range. It began an interest in a hobby that has spanned 40 years.... and has seen the greatest resurgence in recent years. The only breaks in the hobby have been for the usual reasons that most modellers experience; caree...

Copyright 2021 text by Brian O'Donoghue [ BRIAN638 ]. All rights reserved.


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