bookThe AC1 Sentinel Battle Tank
by Raymond Deeb.
Wizards Military Publications

ISBN 1-4116-4974-5

Review by Peter Brown

Sentinel will be reasonably well-known to Australian readers and maybe to others but for those who do not know about it, the Australian Cruiser Mark 1 was a medium tank designed and built in Australia during WW2. Home production was necessary due to supplies from the United Kingdom or United States being uncertain when the design was proposed, though in the end it did not see action as tanks were brought in from abroad.

For a vehicle produced from scratch it was a good achievement. It did borrow ideas from other designs, but it showed what could be done when necessity needed an invention.

I "won" a copy of this book on eBay and did not know what to expect. Having received it, I can say that if I had seen it before buying I would not have bid for it.

It is well produced with 22 pages neatly printed and a simple camouflage-pattern cover but the content is not worthy of the production. The information contained inside is not detailed, with a little digging as much or better could probably be found in websites and in general books. There are a few black and white photos, a general view of an AC1 on trials and a fuzzy shot of vehicles in the factory plus a poorly reproduced colour illustration which may have looked better printed at half the size, and a colour view credited to the Melbourne Tank Museum of the exhibit at the Bovington Tank Museum on the other side of the world.

Five pages are not even on the Sentinal, they are a brief history of the Australian armoured cars produced in the 1930s with two reasonable photos, and brief coverage of the ADI Bushmaster with a colour cutaway illustration and two colour photos, one of which is at least not too bad,

Overall, well, there may be phrases used in Australia to describe this and some in my own native "pomland" such as "this is not cricket, old boy" and I would not only not recommend this book but would go so far as to quote the words of the Monty Python team when speaking of Australian wines - "this is not one for drinking, it is one for laying down and avoiding". A bottle of Chateau Chunder would be a better bet and far more palatable

Page created November 18, 2005

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