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British and Commonwealth Armoured Vehicle Stowage Diagrams Part 1: Canadian and American-Built Armour 1939–45

by Barry Beldam

distributed by Quartermaster’s Depot, ISBN 0-9734277-6-0, 84 pages, spiral bound.

Modellers have been using stowage diagrams for a long time now, as guides to external equipment placing and for internal layouts. Unfortunately many of them are not particularly easy to find, but Barry Beldam has been collecting and has given us a very handy set here. Nearly all are multi-view diagrams with internal layouts, though in a few cases he’s still looking for more information. The vehicles covered in this volume are: C15-TA armoured truck, Fox Mark I armoured car, Lynx Mark II scout car, Otter Mark I light reconnaissance car, Ram Kangaroo, M24 Chaffee, M3 Grant, M3 Lee, LVT Sea Serpent flame thrower, M4A4 Sherman V, M4A4 Sherman VC Firefly, M4A4 Sherman V Duplex Drive, M4A4 Sherman V Crab Mark II, Staghound Mark I armoured car, M3A3 Stuart V, and M5 and M5A1 Stuart VI.

The LCT and Sherman Crab show external stowage only, but all the others give quite enough to give a good start on a complete interior if wanted and definitely enough to model what shows through the hatches. It is interesting to see the differences between Lee and Grant stowage as well as those between the M4A4 versions! The Stuart VI diagrams do not cover the M5, only the M5A1 with its radio in the turret and hence slightly different internal stowage arrangements. Apart from that my only caveat is that as stated these are the Commonwealth arrangements, so not reliable for modelling US vehicles unless you check that their stowage arrangements were not altered. Instrument panels and other major items didn’t change, but British and Commonwealth practice sometimes moved minor items around.

This is a great reference source, and another 7 volumes are forecast to cover wartime and post-war British-built tanks and other armoured vehicles. I can hardly wait to see these – recommended!

Readers in the UK can order from Barbarossa Books, where I bought my copy. Although at the time of writing their website seems to be offline the telephone number is 01621 810810.

John Prigent