The Second World War campaigns in North Africa, on the Eastern Front and in northwest Europe were dominated by armoured warfare, but the battles in Italy were not. The mountainous topography of the Italian peninsula ensured that it was foremost an infantry war, so it could be said that tanks played a supporting role. Yet, as Anthony Tucker-Jones demonstrates, in the battles fought from the Allied landings in Sicily in 1943 to the German surrender after the crossing of the Po in 1945, tanks, self-propelled guns and armoured cars were essential elements in the operations of both sides.
His selection of rare wartime photographs shows armour in battle at Salerno, Anzio and Monte Cassino, during the struggle for the Gustav Line, the advance on Rome and the liberation of northern Italy. And they reveal the full array of Axis and Allied armoured vehicles that was deployed – most famous among them were the German Mk IVs, Panthers, and Tigers and Allied Stuarts, Chafees, Shermans and Churchills.
This volume in Anthony Tucker-Jones’s series of books on armoured warfare in the Second World War gives readers a vivid impression of the Italian landscapes over which the campaign was fought, the wide range of military vehicles that were used, and the gruelling conditions endured by the men who fought in them.
In the early days of World War II, the US Army developed many specialized vehicles based on the standard US halftrack chassis. One such vehicle, the M3 Gun Motor Carriage, was engineered to be a self propelled antitank gun, melding the venerable 75mm 1897A4 cannon – the famed ‘French 75′ – with the then-modern halftrack chassis built by Autocar. The ever-increasing armor protection of German tanks combined with advances in fully-tracked tank destroyers led the Army to eschew the vehicle after limited use in Europe, notably in Sicily. The US Marines, however, used the vehicle in several campaigns in the Pacific, where the Marines brought the canon to bear on comparatively thin Japanese armor as well as bunkers. Chronicles the development and combat use of the M3 Gun Motor Carriage through vintage photos, as well as thoroughly documenting the only fully restored example in existence through an additional full-color images. By David Doyle. Illustrated with 237 photographs; 80 pages. Available in Softcover (SS39002) and Hardcover (SS79002).