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The Sherman
in Canadian Service

by Steve Guthrie


S u m m a r y

Title, Description & Publisher Service Publications "Canada: Weapons of War" series:  The Sherman in Canadian Service by Steve Guthrie; Service Publications, Ottawa, Canada 2002
ISBN: 1-894581-14-8
Review Type: FirstRead
Media and Contents: 80 pages; soft cover; landscape format
Price: CDN$8.95
Advantages: Nice, concise history of the Canadian use of the M4 Sherman series tanks
Disadvantages: Considering scope of the subject, very few
Recommendation: Highly Recommended to all Sherman fans and those interested in Canadian military history


Reviewed by Cookie Sewell

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One of the highest compliments paid to the American M4 Medium Tank series by any of the non-American users was that of Field Marshall Montgomery, who referred to it as the "Universal Tank." As such, all of the Allies in WWII made use of the tank in one of its five major production versions. But unlike other nations, who received the tanks via Lend-Lease, Canada was more closely involved with the tanks and at one point even produced them in Montreal.

Well-known Canadian armor modeler (or armour, as the Canadians do make a difference in the spelling) Steve Guthrie has written this handy overview of the Sherman in Canadian service. It does not attempt to cover the history of the tank in detail, as it has been done very well elsewhere in technical publications, but rather relate the tank to its service in Canada and with Canadian Commonwealth forces in Europe.

The book covers a good deal of organization and history of Canadian armoured units, which were based more along the British pattern than the American one. A Canadian Sherman regiment, for example, had 64 tanks whereas its American battalion counterpart only had 53 or 54 Shermans. Also, the Canadians made use of the upgunned "Firefly" versions of the Shermans with the British 17-lb antitank gun whereas American units did not.

Quite useful is a listing of the Sherman regiments and how they evolved from their predecessors. American tankers are used to the system of battalion/regiment allocations and the occasional nickname for the regiment, but since Canadian units evolved from earlier formations with names into numerically ordered regiments (but kept their sobriquets) it is really very handy. For example, the 10th Armoured Regiment was originally the Fort Garry Horse; the 2nd Armored Regiment, Lord Strathcona's Horse or the Royal Canadians. (The latter also fought with Shermans in Korea, but that is outside the scope of the book.)

Overall this is a handy little guide and history of how Canada used the Sherman, and should be part of the library of every Sherman fan. Thanks to Service Publications for the review sample. (Service Publications can be reached at http://www.servicepub.com or at PO Box 33071, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K2C 3Y9.

Cookie Sewell

Review Copyright 2003 by Cookie Sewell
Page Created 04 January, 2003
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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