Book Review
U.S. Self-Propelled Artillery
WWII U.S. 155mm on the M12 and M40 Carriage, 8inch Howitzer on the M43 Carriage
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


One of the latest releases in the Technical Manual Series from Tankograd Publishing looks at the U.S. WWII and Korean War Heavy Self-Propelled Artilery. The vehicles covered are;
  • 155mm Gun Motor Carriage M12
  • 155mm Gun Motor Carriage M40
  • 8-inch Howitzer Motor Carriage M43


This recent technical manual release by Tankograd Publishing consists of 48 pages not counting the cover; the pages are a good quality glossy paper with the cover being a good quality glossy card. The printing is of a good standard with no poor print quality located anywhere in the book. The text in the book is in English throughout and covers 4 pages in total. The pictures are all of a good quality and in black and white, the exception to this are the 2 pictures printed on the inside of the front cover which are in colour.

The book initially looks at the beginning of the self-propelled artillery culminating in the M12 gun motor carriage and cargo carrier M30 and touching upon a lot of interesting information, perhaps most importantly how out of date the vehicle was before it even entered service. A lot of the information relates to vehicle layout and production numbers. There is a technical data sheet in the book which provides a lot of information on vehicle measurements. The pictures contained in the book are the real stars which while most provide various angle shots of the M12 gun motor carriage and cargo carrier M30 along with images of the early attempts at producing self-propelled artillery, there are a number of technical detail shots. These images look in detail at the drivers position through to the removal of the radial engine, images and drawings of the sighting system and ammunition will I am sure prove to be of great interest to the modeller who attempts to replicate this vehicle. It is worth remembering that due to the very limited numbers of these vehicles fielded during WWII they only saw combat in the European theatre, and were made obsolete at the end of World War II.

The M40 and M43 which were also being built by the end of World War II signed the end for the M12, however it would seem that only the trial versions of both vehicles (T83 and T89) made to Europe for trials in combat zones before wars end. The production versions of the M40 and M43 did see service during the Korean War however. There is again a data sheet for these vehicles in the book covering the same information as the previous sheet. Pictures! If there is one thing I like about most of the titles from Tankograd Publishing it is the pictures, I dont know how much digging they do to get the images they use but for the most part they are of a stunning quality.

The images of the trial vehicles being tested during World War II are incredibly clear for their age; one picture I particularly like is of the T83 or T89 in a firing position beside a destroyed Stuka dive bomber, now there is a diorama setting for the taking. The detail shots and cutaway drawings will be of help to those who enjoy packing in as much detail as possible and as general reference. There are a number of pictures showing the M40 and M43 in action in Korea with perhaps the most awe inspiring being 2 M40s turning the night to day in support of the 25th Infantry Division in the snow of 1951. The biggest aid to a modeller will be I suspect the images of the support equipment in particular the loading trays and ammunition identification.


Another winning title from Tankograd Publishing which should appeal to the modeller, one person who I can see picking up this title at some point is Gino, as while the information is limited by the page count the pictures are great. In these days of the internet books get little attention for the most part which is a shame as companies like Tankograd Publishing have some stunning titles to choose from.
Highs: Fantastic pictures of these early SPGs and SPH with the images of the support equipment being I believe the most useful to modellers.
Lows: I would have liked to see a few more pages in this title with more text.
Verdict: If you like SPGs and SPHs this is a book for you.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: Nr. 6030
  Suggested Retail: 9.90
  PUBLISHED: Nov 23, 2013
  NATIONALITY: United States

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.

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)

I have been building model kits since the early 70s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright 2021 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.


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