book Hommes et Matériels du 15e BCC
Stéphane Bonnaud
5, avenue de la Republique
F-75541 Paris Cedax 11

ISBN 2-913903-42-8

174 pages hard cover

Review by Terry Ashley

Histoire & Collections are renowned for their superb reference books especially those on uniforms and equipment with the clear colour photos of preserved equipment as well as others on campaigns and units of the French Army.

This title is in the same tradition and is a detailed account of the unit and combat history of tank battalion 15e BCC from 1939 through to the fall of France in 1940.

The 25cm x 32.5cm hard cover book has 174 pages lavishly illustrated with colour diagrams and colour photos of crew uniforms and equipment and many black and white wartime photos of the tanks, men and equipment of 15e BCC during that tumultuous period.

Text is entirely in French only but for anyone not conversant the pictures in regard the vehicles and uniform details speak for themselves but obviously you will not be able to take advantage of the extensive campaign histories included in the book.

There are many wartime photos of the Chars B and B1bis some in semi-close up as well as a few interior shots taken before, during and after the battle for France with many of the photos supported by colour illustrations of the photo subject showing the camouflage and markings which should be a great help to modellers.

As well as the many Chars B photos there are also numerous shots of support vehicles with the Lorraine tractor, transport trucks, motor cycles and personal transport such as the Citroën CV and other cars shown.

Intermixed among the photos are many shots of the tank crews and other personnel giving an excellent look at the uniforms or the time illustrated further with colour photos of preserved uniforms and equipment in the usual Histoire & Collections style.

The text is quite extensive throughout the book recounting the actions of 15e BCC during the time with colour campaign maps included showing the movements of the various elements and an order of battle chart that should be of as much interest as the photos themselves.

While the majority of the book is taken up with photos of the actions, tanks, vehicles and personal there is a 10 page section at the end devoted entirely to the uniforms of the day with colour illustrations of the various uniform styles plus colour illustrations of the rank insignia worn of the sleeve, lapels and caps as well as some decorations and this is as they say “the icing on the cake” for anyone interested in the French Army of the time.

This is simply a superb book with excellent photo coverage of the Chars B and B1bis during the French campaign with the colour illustrations complimenting the wartime photos but it is much more than just a book on the Chars B with the detailed activities of 15e BCC and the many fine photos and illustrations of the crews and their uniforms as well as the support vehicles.

Highly recommended.
Sample pages
Thanks to my Credit Card and Blast Models for the review book.

Page created June 2, 2006

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