Tanks – C.I.A.B. 1943-1945 Review
Articles - Code: [ ] -
2009 Nov 23
Czechoslovak Independent Armoured Brigade 1943-1945
After the break of Czechoslovakia, soldiers and civilians began to leave their country to
exile into Poland, France and Great Britain. Most of them re-organize forces into army corps to fight the German enemy. Later Great Britain offered support, training and tanks to the Czechoslovaks to build up a Armoured Brigade. And so this volume starts narration about the history of the Czechoslovak Independent Armoured Brigade from the first days of training in Great Britain to the last days of the war with the Dunkerque Battle.
The publication is a 84 pages A4 softcovered book and written side by side in Czechoslovakian and English.
After pure historical notes, the topic moves to tanks. First we have the Cromwell A27 ARV Mk I and in deeper detail the Cromwell A27 ARV Mk IV 75mm with a large chapter description. Many photos show the Cromwell IV during training days. Photos are of good quality and denote many details of the tank. To complete we have a full page with Camouflage and markings relative of two version.
Cromwell mk IV A27 Typ E 75mm is the next tank and it is reported with photos shot during May 1945 during their homeward journey to Czechoslovakia and passing through liberated cities and villages.
With the Cromwell Mk IV A27 Typ F 75mm we find many intetesting photos with crews during maintenance services or parades. Again photos are in good conditions and many details are well visible. As like all photos of this book there are many interesting markings along with nicknames for each tank. Various profiles with Camouflage colours and relative markings are splitted on different pages of this chapter.
Cromwell Mk.IV A27 95mm is shown after the application of the S.C.C. No. 2 brown camouflage color.And exemplary photos of a ‘Desert Rat‘ Cromwell 95mm of the 2nd company of 1st tank battalion.Another interesting vehicle is ‘BRUMOVICE‘ a Cromwell Mk.VI Typ E A27 95mm with interesting markings and painted with British Olive Drab.
The Cromwell chapter is closed by last variant the Cromwell A27 Mk.VII 75mm, with just one page and couple of photos.
Next turn is for the Crusader (II, III and AA) family.After a short introduction note we find dozens of photos, Camouflage schemes and markings.Most photos have been took around 1943/1944 in Scotland.
Czechoslovak Independent Brigate received 22 Challenger 30 Tanks as an exchange for M4 Shermans Fireflies which were needed at other battlefields.These tanks however have not seen any combat. Anyway the book has a few page of good photos and nice camouflage schemes of this tank.
The Challenger 30 had a good gun performance but it was too heavy and never gained respect. On the other hand the Sherman Firefly was the most famous allied tank and different variants served on all battlefields of the WWII. Czechoslovak Independend Brigate was equipped with the Sherman Firefly Ic and the Sherman Firefly Ic Hybrid.
The book closing topic is related to the M5A1 Late Stuart, with 40 vehicles assigned to the Armoured Brigade and used for reconnaissance and surveillance purposes.
On my view this book is targeted at two audience types: One is the pure Czechoslovak that wants to build a deeper knowledge on the Czechoslovak topic. The other audience is the Allied vehicle fan that wants to build out a different camouflaged.
Actually the book has a huge amount of good quality photos and Czechoslovaks had the interesting habit to give nick names to tanks and make interesting markings. So this will give out to the modeller many options to the usual British Army Crusader, Cromwell or Sherman.
A must have if you want to build something different.