by: Todd Michalak [ ]
Merkava Siman 2 – Mekava MK 2 In IDF Service – Part 1
Series – IDF Armor Series
By Michael Mass and Adam O’brien
Published by Desert Eagle Publishing
ISBN 978-965-91635-8-8Printed by HodRahav Printing Israel
Copyright © 2015 Michael Mass
From time of the War of Independence to the present day, Israel has pushed itself to try and stay in front of the constant threats to its peaceful way of life. In the beginning, Sherman, Cromwell and Hotchkiss tanks were used with great success, but with the increasing threats of newer and stronger armaments throughout the years, Israel needed to remain vigilant in the development of better weaponry of their own; enter the Merkava Main Battle Tanks (MBT). In the late 1970’s, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) introduced the future of tank warfare with the Merkava Siman 2 MBT. To date, there are four main configurations of the Merkava MBT along with several upgraded variants to each version.
Drawn from early on in the growing history of the Merkava family of MBT’s, Desert Eagle Publishing presents their latest release in their acclaimed IDF Armor Series of books; Merkava Siman 2 (Merkava MK2 In IDF Service Part 1). This eighty-three page hardback is the twelfth book in the series on IDF Armor. This photographic monograph on the Mk.2 tank is printed on heavy weight A4 paper and is presented in full color. Author, Michael Mass, along with the editor Adam O'Brien, have compiled a tremendous amount of detailed photographs and technical information surrounding the Merkava Mk. 2 and it is all broken down into nine chapters consisting of the following:
• Introduction – The Merkava Family
• In Combat
• In Action
• Man and Machine
• In Detail
• Tactical Signs
As seen with their previous publications, Desert Eagle Publishing kept with the traditional formatting of the chapter layout of their books whereas the Introduction segues into three of the most attention-grabbing sections; In Combat, In Action and Man and Machine. The “Introduction” is a transitory opening to the extensive look at the Merkava Mk. 2 clarifying the developments of the Merkava family of MBT’s. Through the “Introduction”, the author gives a brief description of each tank variant in the family from the early Shot-Cal based prototypes up to the most current Mk.4’s and including the Armored Personal Carriers (APC) and Armored Recovery Vehicles (ARV).
Jumping right into looking inside this book, the first two chapters after the Introduction of the book, “In Combat” and “In Action”, are a complete Twenty-page photographic layout of the operational prowess of the Merkava Mk.2. We see the Mk.2 in full use on many fronts throughout its service. These two chapters give us a close look at the use and capabilities of this beast under urban and desert combat and training conditions. Each photograph is supported by informative text.
Moving on, the third section in this book is the “Man and Machine” Chapter. This six-page photo-spread gives us a glimpse into the human aspect behind the Merkava Mk.2. We see the soldiers of the IDF interact on a day to day operational basis with the tank from general maintenance, downtime, training and field duty preparedness. Again, each of the photographs presented are supported by text to help us, the readers, understand a little bit of what we are looking at in these pictures.
The fourth section to this book is called "In Detail" and makes up the bulk of this publication. As with all of Desert Eagle Publishing’s books, the “In Detail” chapters show a comprehensive walk around look at the subject presented in this case, the Merkava Mk. 2. In this section, we get to see, quite literally, just about every square inch of the exterior of the Merkava Mk.2. These photographs are highly detailed full-color photographs with descriptive text of each component to this MBT. Some sections of this chapter, as seen with a part on the rear stowage baskets and drive sprockets, are supported with exploded view diagrams to give the reader a better understanding of the construction to the parts. From a complete look atop the turret down to the layout and assembly of the wheels and even inside the stowage compartments, this section covers the entire exterior of the Mk. 2.
The "Nochri" (foreigner) is a chapter showing the complete ins and outs to the heavy mine roller system that is employed by the Merkava Mk. 2. In this chapter we get not only a photographic look at the mine roller and its parts including several exploded view diagrams showing us the special mounting plates and brackets to the system and how they go together. In sticking with attachments to the Mk.2, the next chapter in this book, Battering Ram and Adapters (listed only as Adapters in the Table of Contents) is a quick three-page pictorial showing the various attachment brackets for both the front and rear sections of the tank.
Moving forward, we come to the Chapter titled “Interior”. The author squeezes in a section showing the reader the complex and very cramped interior to the Merkava Mk. 2. Including pictures of the Gunner’s seat and views through various hatches with supported information explaining various components and what they do. We also get to have a look inside the battery and filter chambers located on the exterior rear of the vehicle.
This book culminates with a five-page photographic look at the “Tactical Markings” used. This included platoon, company and battalion markings and gives us a close look at the placement of these marking on the exterior of this tank.
It may seem a bit cliché of me to say, but Michael Mass (Author) and Adam O’Brien (Editor) “knocked one out of the park” again with the release of No. 12 in the IDF Armor Series of books from Desert Eagle Publishing; Merkava Siman 2 – Merkava Mk. 2 In IDF Service Part 1. Not only has my attention been captured by the remarkable pictographic walk around presentation of the Merkava Mk. 2, but the embodiment of this armored beast comes alive as well with the images revealed in several of its chapters where both the mechanical and human elements to this Main Battle Tank are shown in full action.
Desert Eagle Publishing consistently brings us exciting new looks inside and around the heavy armor used by the IDF. The high resolution color photographs throughout this book, combined with the detailed explanations of what has been presented makes the Merkava Siman 2 – Merkava Mk. 2 In IDF Service Part 1 book, a considerable “Win” and a “Must Have” for all armor enthusiasts; from both a historical and modelling stand point. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to gain a more visual, intimate look supported by written detailing of the Merkava Mk. 2 (Siman) subject!
I would like to thank Desert Eagle Publishing for providing his review copy of Desert Eagle Publishing - Merkava Siman 2 – Mekava MK 2 In IDF Service – Part 1!