TankCraft 9, Cromwell and Centaur Tanks...
...British Army and Royal Marines, North West Europe 1944-45, from Pen and Sword
Title: TankCraft 9, Cromwell and Centaur Tanks
Author: Dennis Oliver
Publisher: Pen and Sword Books
Book No 9 in the TankCraft series from Pen and Sword, and another in this series by author Dennis Oliver. The development story starts things off, with the use of both the Nuffield Liberty (in the Centaur) and the Meteor (in the Cromwell) engines, which was a non-supercharged version of the famous Rolls Royce Merlin. The 64-page book opens with the background of the development of the Cromwell, developed with the experience of combat in North Africa. It was in use in the second half of the war and proved to be a successful British Tank design, one which led on to the Comet which served on post war.
The introduction is followed by a major section covering all the units which were equipped with these tanks in the NW Europe campaign. Each one has details of the unit, where it saw service etc. These unit details are accompanied by archive photos which have informative captions that add to the information along with the visual reference. There are also some helpful unit organisation charts included. This is followed up with 10 pages of excellent colour profile artwork which in turn leads into another 11 pages of Model Showcase, where we get to see some first class model builds from a mix of modellers and 4 builds in 1/35 and 1 in 1/48. Quite logically, this leads into the next section which gives details of available kits of the Cromwell/Centaur in a mix of scales, such as 1/35, 1/48. 1/56 and 1/72. Add to this various resin and metal update sets, etched brass detailing and metal tracks all included.
Next we get back to unit histories, with Royal Artillery and Royal Marine Armoured Support Group. The final element covers the Technical Details and Modifications of the assorted variants of the tank which should help modellers get the detail right for their specific model(s).
Another very useful addition to the Tankcraft series of books from Pen & Sword, and author Dennis Oliver in particular. This deserves to be popular with British tank fans.
Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.