Book Review
M50 and M51 Tanks, Part 3
Lioness & Lion of the Line, vol. 3: M50 and M51 Tanks, Part 3
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by: Gary Kato [ GARYKATO ]


This book is the third instalment of the M50 and M51 Sherman story. It covers the period from just after the 1956 Sinai War to before the Six-Day War of 1967.


The first 3 sections, pages 1 to 22, deal with the M50. The first section "Introduction" briefly reiterates the need for the M50 and highlights problems with the design choices made (3 photos). The next, "M50 Tanks of Regular and Reserve Units Still Training", talks about the integration of the M50 into the expanding IDF Armor Brigades and Battalions (11 photos). The third, "The M50 Tanks of the 4th Company, 82nd Battalion Demonstrate Their Power", is a photo essay of a post-exercise parade which shows not only the 4th Company but also a company of AMX-13 and a company of 20-pounder-armed Centurions (13 photos). There are 5-View drawings in 1/35 scale of an M50 Model B on a late M4 hull and an M50 Model A based on M4A4 hull.

Pages 23 to 49 contain the next two sections which focus on the M51. "Transplanting A Tractor Heart to a Tank Body - A New Engine the IDF M51 Shermans" covers the work on finding and implementing a solution to the M51's biggest handicap: the R975 Cyclone engine (13 photos). "The M51 Degem Beth Enters Into Active Service" covers the introduction of the newly transformed M51 (9 photos). There are 5-View drawings in 1/35 scale of an M51 Model A on a late M4A1 hull, an M51 Prototype Model B on a M51 Model A, and an M51 Model B on late M4A1 hull.

As usual with these books, it now shifts from the past to the present with color photos from surviving tanks. The focus is on the changes made for the M51 "Degem Beth":

"Cummins VT-8-460 V8 Diesel Engine Bay Walk-Around" - 16 photos,
"Cummins Engine Deck" - 16 photos,
"Air Filter Hatch Lids" - 8 photos,
"Small Drum air Filter Units" - 13 photos,
"Elongated Rear Armor Plate" - 8 photos,
"Rear End Louvers and the Protective Metal Frames" - 8 photos,
"Bottom Rear Engine Doors" - 18 photos,
"Main Engine Exhaust Pipe" - 9 photos,
"Rotating and Folding Antenna Mounts" - 30 photos.


As with the other books, the last 10 page section is "Camouflage and Marking of Early M50 and M51 Shermans", illustrated with color profiles of 10 M50 and 3 M51 tanks.

This book was purchased from SabIngaMartin Publications with my own money. I should mention about the packaging for shipping. Dr. Manasherob takes great care that your books will arrive safely. He takes special care with the corners!
Highs: Period photos of M50 and M51 tanks during training. Coverage of the diesel-powered M51 with detail photos of the engine area.
Lows: Minor mistakes in vocabulary and spelling ("absolute" instead of "obsolete", "HWSS" instead of "HVSS", "break" instead of "brake", unknown usage of the term "stacked"). Waiting for the next volume!
Verdict: This sheds light on a time when Israel was expanding its armored force and rectifying earlier decisions made for expediency, while scrambling to face newer threats. We finally get the story of the diesel-powered M51 and plenty of B&W period photos and a t
Percentage Rating
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: SIMBK-20
  Suggested Retail: $40.00
  PUBLISHED: Aug 11, 2019

About Gary Kato (GaryKato)

Copyright 2021 text by Gary Kato [ GARYKATO ]. All rights reserved.


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