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Osprey New Vanguard 329 - Tanks on Iwo Jima 1945

ISBN Number: 978-1-4728-6039-2 Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Published: Thursday, June 27, 2024 Retail Price: $20.00 USD
Reviewed By: Chuck Aleshire

Osprey New Vanguard #329

Tanks on Iwo Jima 1945

Osprey’s New Vanguard series of books has been around quite a while, with the wide ranging series earning good reviews for quality of content and value. These slim volumes all follow similar formats and are very modestly priced.

The subject of this volume is an unexpectedly interesting one, as the first thing one thinks of when Iwo Jima comes up, certainly isn’t tanks! But tanks were indeed used on Iwo, as we will see in this book.

Vital Statistics

Format - softcover, portrait format

 Page Count - glossy paper,  48 pages

 Size - 9.75” x 7.5”

Photos -  Black & White period images

Tables / Drawings / Diagrams - tables of technical and performance data, tables of unit organization and equipment, color renderings of tank markings and camouflage schemes.

All text and photo captions are in English

What’s in the Book?

The table of contents shows this volume to be logically laid out, and topics of interest to be easily located.

In addition to the armor used on Iwo Jima by the combatants, related items such as anti-tank weapons, land mines and infantry weapons are discussed. For a relatively slender volume, the scope of covered topics is fairly broad.

The book contains several tables of information, some are technical / performance in nature, others are statistical in nature. These tables are quite useful and easy to follow, providing a good amount of interesting information.

The books has several pages of well done full color renderings of vehicle markings and camouflage paint schemes. While these renderings are single aspect, they are of high enough quality to be quite useful to modelers.

Armor used by the US on Iwo Jima consisted of 3 Sherman equipped USMC tank battalions ( 1 per each of the Marine divisions involved with the assault ), 4 companies of LVT(A)-4 amphibious tanks equipped with a 75mm howitzer, 37 rather obsolete M3 GMC tank destroyers, as well as some special purpose armor such as flamethrower, bulldozer, and flail equipped mine clearing tanks.

Above - the book has several well done full color renderings of Japanese armor.

Armor used by the Japanese defenders of Iwo Jima consisted of the 26th Tank Regiment which at the time of the battle had approximately 35 tanks, a mix of Type 95 Ha-Go light tanks, and Type 97 Chi-Ha medium tanks. These tanks were well dug in, and were intended to wait on American forces arrival at their positions in a defensive posture, rather than counterattacking at the landing beaches. Most of the Japanese armor was entrenched in caves, ravines or other prepared positions located near the islands airfields.

In addition to the tanks, the Japanese also had a good number of surprisingly effective 47mm anti-tank guns, which knocked out several USMC tanks. Also, infantry tank hunter teams used improvised explosives and magnetic mines to attack American armor.

The author does a very nice job of describing the armored forces in use during the struggle for Iwo Jima.

The author does a clear and concise job of describing the conditions under which both sides armor fought, and the combat itself. His narrative is well written and easily followed. His photo captioning is also descriptive and of good interest.

Above - the book’s sole map, giving a general view of Iwo Jima, the three airfields that made the island worth fighting over, Mt. Suribachi on the southwestern tip of the island, and quite interestingly, the locations of knocked out Japanese tanks.

Also Above - an example of the sort of photographs found throughout this book. Other than a sole museum image of a surviving Japanese tank, all photos are period, in black and white. They are all rather small, in keeping with the general size of this slim volume. The images themselves are generally sharp and clear, and of good interest. 


In my opinion, the author has done a fine job of describing the epic fight on Iwo Jima from the armor perspective, especially so given the limits that a smaller book requires. He provides a good look at the forces employed, their equipment, and how the battle unfolded.

The author’s writing is clear, descriptive and easily followed, and his accompanying drawings, tables, photos and full color renderings of the tanks themselves are all of good value. I do wish that some of the photographs were larger, but I completely understand why they are not.

For its size, the author has done a commendable job in packing this slim book absolutely full of interesting text and images! 

Highly Recommended! 

Thanks to Osprey Publishing for the review copy

Reviewed by Chuck Aleshire, AMPS Chicagoland

AMPS 2nd Vice President, Midwest Region


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