This is another of Tankograd Publishing's latest items in their 'Technical Manual' series. This series takes elements of the Official U.S. Army publications of the vehicle and edits them into a reference source which is far more 'compact' than the original documents. I have quite a number of the originals and since most run into several hundred pages, although containing an extraordinary amount of data, they are, it has to be said, also full of material which the average modeler is unlikely to require. Therefore, a degree of editing is required to make them more practical references. However, that isn't the end of the story. As an added bonus, the books in this series also include a useful number of contemporary images of the vehicles 'in-theater'.
Tankograd's New book - the basics
6014 - U.S. WWII 75mm Howitzer Motor Carriage M8 HMC, 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage T82 is published within Tankograd Publishing's 'Technical Manual Series'. The book is A4 softcover, and consists of 48 pages. The book is edited by Michael Franz. The real reason for purchasing this book however will be for the images - around 200 are provided being a mixture of re-scanned images from the original manuals, contemporary (WWII) photos, and several (modern) images of peserved examples.
What does the book cover?
Rather than doing a replay of the other book (on the M5/M5a1), i'll be taking an overview of the areas covered and try and establish kind of 'position' on the book's utility.
Beginning at the beginning with the areas covered in the book, (broadly) three very different subjects are covered. These are: The 75mm Howitzer Motor Carriage (HMC) M8
The 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage (HMC) T82
The M8 Armored Trailer
The M10 Armored Trailer
The 75mm HMC M8
This section begins with an overview of the History/Development along with a written description of the vehicle. The final section of the introduction consists of the Technical Date (Weight, Dimensions etc.).
Curiously enough, the idea of the HMC was first mooted in 1927 with a 75mm pack howitzer being mounted on a Holt tractor chassis. What became recognizable as the forerunner of the M8 was in 1942 with the Stuart chassis mounting an open-topped compartment (like a small Priest!). Later, in september 1942, the first production M8 with a turret entered production. The chapter begins the photo-coverage of the vehicle by reproducing a large number of images (predominantly from the U.S. Technical Manuals) which show the vehicle from every conceivable angle. One of the highlights in this ection, from a purely 'inspirational' point of view, is a photo of an M8 armed with a 75mm M3 gun - being evaluated as a Tank Destroyer. There then follows eight pages of contemporary (WWII) images of the vehicle in service - the majority of which are vehicles of the French Army. For the modeler, these images are particularly useful showing stowage and markings in crisp detail.
As much of the material from the manuals would be a duplication with Tankograd's other book on the M5/M5a1, the author/editor has wisely chosen to abbreviate the 'common' elements (suspension, power train & engine) although they're still covered, they cover less space. The real differences come with the armament, ammunition and turret along with some brief diagrams of the marking positions. The 105mm HMC T82
Whereas the M8 HMC was a well-known and documented vehicle, the T82 certainly isn't. The T82 went through its evaluation and prior to the contracts being awarded, was cancelled in january 1945. That doesn't mean for a moment that it isn't worthy of consideration as a modeling subject - far from it. With the chassis of the M5 and with a mixture of scratchbuilding and some AM parts, an interesting project could easily develop...
Once again, the chapter begins with a page of background and technical description. As in the previous chapter, reproductions of the technical manuals are reproduced - these show the vehicle from many different angles and are helpfully labelled also. A page is devoted to similar 'official' images of the driver's compartment. Following on from this, five pages cover in detail the Suspension, Hull & Fighting Compartment with sufficient detail to allow the modeler to establish the relative positions of everything. Four pages finish the section on the the T82 covering the armament. Once again, using the official manuals, the various elements of the 105mm gun along with elevation and ranging equipment is covered in detail. A great and imaginative addition to the book! The M8 Armored Trailer
Of the two trailers covered in the book, for the modeler, this is probably the most useful of the two. All the images in this section originate from the official manuals and show it from all possible angles along with details of the pintle hitch assembly. As this trailer could be used with many vehicles in the U.S. inventory, and can be seen hitched to many diverse vehicles, the value of its inclusion becomes self-explanatory. The M10 Armored Trailer
Similar comments apply to this trailer. although it is covered in greater detail - the editor having included drawings of the internal storage arrangements along with a couple of images of the trailer in service.
The book finishes with a glossary of terms used and a useful list of references (including the list of U.S. Army publications)
Previously, one of the few possibilities open to modelers for building the M8 in 1/35th scale, was the Tamiya model. Now, in the last few months, with AFV Club's excellent M5a1 and Tiger Model Design's replacement M8 turret, there are fewer excuses (and less work necessary!) to build an accurate model.
So, using this book with the various 'donors' available there really isn't much more to do. This is an excelent reference for one of the more attractive (and widely-used) subjects of WWII. However, many will say that since the manuals are public domain, why bother? Simple really, useful as the manuals undoubtedly are, they contain far too much information. With the excellent editing done in this series, you are getting the material you WILL need. Once again an object lesson in editing although purchasing both of the books (this and that of the M5a1) would be a very worthwhile investment. It'd also be remiss of me not to pay my particular homage to the authors of the original manuals - i'm sure that they could never have imagined the valuable legacy they were producing for future generations of modelers!
VERY Highly Recommended.
Another vehicle which is a popular subject for modelers. This New book from Tankograd covers technical details of the HMC on the Stuart chassis, contemporary photos and (importantly) coverage of the M10 Ammunition Trailer - what more could you want?
Our Thanks to Tankograd Publishing! This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
About Jim Rae (jimbrae) FROM: PROVINCIA DE LUGO, SPAIN / ESPAñA
Self-employed English teacher living in NW Spain. Been modelling off and on since the sixties. Came back into the hobby around ten years ago. First love is Soviet Armor with German subjects running a close second. Currently exploring ways of getting cloned to allow time for modelling, working and wr...