A Short historical perspective..
In WWII, there were effectively two Polish armies who continued fighting until the capituation of Germany in 1945 - one which fought on the Eastern front under Soviet control, the other equipped by the Western Allies which fought with distinction in the Western Desert, Italy and NW Europe. The latter was equipped with both British and U.S. equipment. The subject of this book is primarily the Polish 1st Armored division, which from 1943, began to be re-equipped with M4s of four distinct types:
Mk IIa (M4a1(76) W
Mk. V (M4a4)
Mk. Vc 'Firefly' (M4a4)
Mk.1c 'Firefly' (M4)
The 1st Armored began its campaign in NW Europe in august 1944 (alongside LeClerc's 2nd French Armd. Div.) during operation Totalize
one interesting footnote to this operation, was during a skirmish near Cintheaux, Leon Wojtynowski
a Firefly Troop commander, destroyed a Tiger coded 007 - commanded by Michael Witmann
... The division fought hrough the rest of the war in Belgium, France, Holland and Germany.
Wydawnictwo Militaria's book...
Wydawnictwo Militaria - Polskie Shermany (Polish Sherman) Vol.II (No. 192)
is a 77 page, soft-cover A4 book which is written by Janusz Ledwoch
. The book (unlike earlier titles in this series) is TOTALLY
There is a useful technical introduction with a brief historical account of the Polish 1st Armored Division. Moving onto the technical side, the introduction is sub-divided into the following sections:
Brief description of the four principal variants
Camouflage and Markings
The latter is particularly well-presented. The first indication of this is on the inside front-cover with a full page of full-color illustrations of tactical, unit and national markings. A further page is dedicated (through a diagram) the positioning of these markings. A good-sized section of text is dedicated to further explanation.
From the introductory text, the book moves onto the real strength of the book's content:
Photos and illustrations
The real strength of the Wydawnictwo Militaria
series comes thru their use of illustration and photography. This book is no exception. From pages 13 to 62, the content is entirely photographic with around 3 high-quality black and white photos per page. These are all properly captioned and show some superb details for the modeller and super-detailer. Once again, many of the photos show indications of enhancement as there is a superb tonality in the majority of the images. Amongst the more 'inspirational' images, are one of a Sherman V (75mm) with sandbags on the front glacis plate - not a common sight...
The last section follows the traditional Wydawnictwo format - the full-color side views. This time there is a welcome addition - two pages of 1/35th scale (full-color) views of a Vc Firefly. The rest of the book contains eight pages of full-color side views of a variety of vehicles (including ARVs) with three images per page...
In some cases perhaps it would be useful to add some 'top-views' - particularly in the case of vehicles such as the ARVs. An other useful addition, would be more illustrations which include stowage. This is a touch 'nit-picking' on my part as the majorty of the photos do include these details...
Unfortunately, I haven't got myself a copy of volume 1 yet - this deals with the 2nd Polish Corps in the Western Desert and the Italian campaign with a considerable amount of images of the M4a2 in Polish service. That said, this is an excellent and practical book which will be of great value to Sherman modellers looking for a change of direction. With good kits and update sets available of the Firefly Vc (and a promised 1c from DML
) along with their recently announced M4a1 (76) W, there really is no excuse to NOT
to add some very different models to your collection. Added to that, is the tantalizing reference to post-war service of 1st Armoured in B.A.O.R. (British Army of the Rhine) from 1945-47 when they were equipped with 105mm HVSS M4s. That is of course another story entirely....
VERY Highly Recommended
Further details and availability
The Wydawnictwo Militaria
series is fairly widely available at specialized military book sellers and modelling retailers. Here are just three sources for these books:
In Canada/North America
In Britain/Europe Military Book Centre
Direct from Poland
: Jadar Models