bookThe Lioness & Lion of the Line Vol.1
Israeli Way
by Dr. Robert Manasherob

SablngaMartin Publications
ISBN: 0-9774627-9-X

80 pages, 32 in color 320 B&W and color photos

Review by Terry Ashley

Enthusiast of Israeli armour have been well catered for recently with the excellent books series from Blue Steel and Desert Eagle Publishing and we now have the first book in a new series, Israeli Way from SablngaMartin Publishing entitled The Lioness & Lion of the Line Vol.1 dealing with the M50/M51 Sherman in IDF service.

The 215mm x 280mm soft cover book is entirely in English and has 80 pages, 32 in colour packed with 320 B&W and colour photos as well as 1:35 scale drawings and colour profiles and markings for M50 tanks.

This first volume concentrates on the initial M50 series commencing with a brief introduction describing the forming of the IDF armour formations with a few photos of AMX-13 and M4A1 76.2mm (M1 Super Sherman) tanks followed by the development history of the M50 series.

Pages 8 to 44 have B&W in-action and training photos of the M50 showing the various different types used for the conversions such as the M4, M4 Composite hull, M4A1 and M4A4. The photos are mostly 2 to a page being large enough to show the various vehicle details nicely as well as giving good examples of the markings and crew uniforms.

Most of the shots are semi-close-up but there are also some closer detail shots as well as a couple of pages of posed interior shots showing the crews in action that again give nice details of the uniforms as well as internal tank details.

The photo captions are quite extensive and fully describe the vehicle type shown as well as other useful info to help identify the many details. Intermixed with the photos are a series of 1:35 plan drawings with side plan views of the M50 based on the M4A1, M4A4 and M4A4/A2 Hybrid hulls and overhead, front and back plans of the M4A4 based M50.

Pages 45 to 48 has a brief introduction to the M51 Sherman with a few shots of the tanks on the production line with the text giving detailed descriptions of the M51 features.

This is followed by pages 49 to 58 packed with detailed colour close-up interior shots of a fully restored late model M50 Sherman from the Littlefield’s collection in California USA.

These photos have excellent all around views of the turret interior showing the gun breech, gun mountings and controls as well as the wall fittings and lower turret basket and the  turret bustle mounted radios followed by a few shots looking into the driver’s and co-driver’s stations showing excellent details.

The next 7 pages are devoted to the VVSS bogie units with what seems like endless photos of similar looking bogies but on closer inspection they show the many small detail differences such as weld seams, casting numbers other smaller differences between each unit that will keep the Sherman buff intrigued for hours.

Page 64 has no less than 19 close-up photos of the return roller brackets again showing the many small detail variations with shots of straight and raised roller brackets followed by close-up shots of the bogie hull mounting bracket bolts.

The next three pages are devoted to the different style drive sprockets, idler wheels and road wheels seen on the M50 that include the open spoke, solid spoke and smooth dish wheels that will be just as useful for any other Sherman type.

Pages 69 and 70 have detailed shots of the rear hull plate and looking up under the rear hull overhang showing the air filters, the exhaust pipes and protective screens.

Some turret details are next with one page having 23 shots from different angles of the M50 smoke discharges to cover just about all the details you might want and another page with 10 shots of the M50 75mm gun muzzle brake with shots from every conceivable angle to fully show the details and finally there is a single page with 8 close-up shots of the turret bustle from all sides and above to again fully show the details.

As a bonus pages 74 to 76 has some excellent detail shots of an Egyptian Sherman with the AMX 13 oscillating turret which makes a nice comparison to the IDF M50.

Pages 77 to 80 has 6 colour side profile drawings showing different markings applied to the M50 as well as scrap drawings showing the unit markings and vehicle number styles used on the early M50s.

As you may have noticed there are no shots of the general hull and turret details and these will no doubt be covered in Volumes 2 and 3 along with detailed coverage of the later M51 HVSS Shermans.

This first book in the series gives an excellent overview of the IDF M50 Sherman showing well the different hull types used in the conversions as well as superb close-up details of the suspension components that will be just as useful for any Sherman variant, not just the M50.

Obviously we will have to wait for Volumes 2 and 3 to complete the story but this series will provide a feast for Israeli Armour fans and Shermaholics alike.

Highly recommended. 8.5/10

Sample pages

The book is available worldwide from Toadman's Tank Pictures website.
Thanks to Robert Manashero for the review copy

Page created September 10, 2007