Armour in Theatre Volume 4...

...Camouflage and Markings Tanks in the Great War 1914-1918 from Scale Armour Modelling

Title: Armour in Theatre Vol 4, Camouflage and Markings Tanks in the Great War 1914-1918

Author: Mark Healy

Publisher: Guideline Publications

ISBN: 978-1-908565-19-8

For volume 4 in this series, Mark Healy has turned his attention to the topic of tanks in WW1 and he has made another fine job of it.  This is a good value book which tackles the history of the tank in service in WW1 as well as providing an excellent collection of colour profiles which will be enjoyed and useful to modellers.

There are 11 chapters in the 64 pages softcover book, though the last two are simply one page each.  It all starts with the Origins of the Tank - a difficult Gestation.  This looks at the origins of the tank, and the need for it to defeat the machine guns and wire of trench warfare.  Both Britain and France were working on a solution though getting the military 'establishment' to embrace the new technology was a challenge.  An interesting reminder that it was Churchill and the Admiralty which provided the vital impetus for the first 'Landships'.  With the tank accepted, the next chapter covers 'Mother goes into Production' and this is followed by 'The German Reaction' and then 'French Armour'.  Chapter 5 is 'The Artillerie Speciale Goes to War', as the French and the British tanks went into service.  Chapter 6 moves on to the first large scale use of tanks and 'Cambrai - Armoured Dawn'.  This examines the course of events, the successes and the failures. Then we get to chapter 7, '1918 - The Light Tanks' and the introduction of what might be considered a 'true' tank as we know it, with the little Renault FT having a fully rotating turret.  This chapter also includes a good account of the first Tank v Tank action at Villers Brettoneux in April 1918.  Use of the tank had been somewhat of a learning experience for all involved and chapter 8 examines 'The Battle of Amiens' when massed tank attacks did result in what Luddendorf later described as 'the black day of the German army'.

Chapter 9 tackles the subject of Camouflage Colours of First World War Armour, and includes British, French and German approaches.  Everything is then rounded off with those two short chapters at the end, 'Had the War Continued' and the plans for the next generation of tanks and US involvement with the Mk VIII, the 'Liberty Tank'.  The close then comes with a consideration of 'How Decisive was the Role of the Tank in the Great War'.  Throughout the book there are plenty of maps linked to the text and archive photos all with useful captions along with a series of very well done colour profiles by Mark Rolfe and these in turn also have caption notes which will please many modellers.  Helpful with the number of WW1 armour models that have been released over the last few years.

This is another good addition to this book series and deserves to be popular as it is good value for money.

Robin