Tank Power 551
Established in 1990 in Warsaw, Poland, Wydawnictwo Militaria publishes an extensive range of military monographs focused on specific vehicles or other military weapons systems. The Tank Power series of books can be found with exclusively Polish text, Polish and English text, and Polish text with Polish / English photo captions. Wydawnictwo Militaria books are now carried in the US by David Doyle Books.
The subject(s) of this book are the Canadian Ram tank, which was used solely in a training role, and its late WWII conversion to the Kangaroo armored personnel carrier. As all text in this book is in Polish, I can’t really tell if the main focus is on the Ram, the Kangaroo or both. Either way, it’s all good, read on.
In mid 1944 Canadian military leadership became concerned about mounting infantry losses, and wanted a better way to get their infantry moved around the battlefields. US made APC’s were in short supply so the Canadians found a solution by converting some under utilized Priest SP gun chassis to troop carriers. Later, they used other vehicles including roughly 500 Canadian-built Ram tanks, converted mainly by removing the turrets, and ammo stowage, and installing bench seats. These converted vehicles could carry 8 fully equipped infantrymen, more could be jammed in if necessary.
Format - softcover, portrait format
Page Count - heavyweight, glossy paper, 50 pages
Size - 8.0” x 11.5”
Photos - B&W period images, a handful of full color images.
Tables / Drawings / Diagrams - line drawings, three dimensional views, some full color renderings
All text is POLISH, photo captions are in Polish / English.
What’s in the Book?
There is no Table of Contents in this book. The first half of the book appears to focus solely upon the the development and production of the Canadian Ram tank and it’s variants, with the Kangaroo not being mentioned until page 26.
Above - the front and rear cover pages each have three full color renderings of various Ram tanks showing camouflage and markings.
This monograph is chock full of crisply done line drawings of the Canadian Ram tanks and Kangaroo armored personnel carriers. Above are four aspect views of the Canadian Ram I cruiser tank.
The period photographs selected for use in this volume are generally quite well chosen, being crisp and clear.
Above - more splendid drawings, this four aspect set is of the Ram II tank. Most of the line drawings in this book are in 1/35 scale, aure to be of use to modelers.
As noted above, photo captions are bi-lingual, Polish and English.
The Kangaroo makes its appearance roughly halfway through the book. Above - what looks to me to be a period drawing of on board equipment stowage positions.
Above - a nice cutaway view of a Ram II, as well as some detail photos of track and running gear. Fortunately, the period drawings are labeled in their original English ( or Canadian, eh? ).
There are a few full color images of surviving vehicles in museum settings.
The book closes with a full page table of technical and performance data which is in Polish / English. The inside back cover page contains 3 more full color renderings of Ram II tanks as they’d been painted and marked for training duty in Great Britain during WWII.
The lack of English text in this work is somewhat frustrating for me to be honest, as I don’t speak or read a word of Polish. Given the quality of the non text content, I’m reasonably sure the text is of a good quality as well.
The drawings, photographs and tables are really well executed. The drawings in particular are quite nicely done and would be great references for modelers of the Canadian Ram tank or Kangaroo armored personnel carrier.
Thanks to David Doyle Books for the review copy
Reviewed by Chuck Aleshire, AMPS Chicagoland
AMPS 2nd Vice President, Midwest Region
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