The South African 6th Armoured Division was the first armoured division in the South African Army. Established in 1943, it was formed using members of the former South African 1st Infantry Division that had returned to South Africa after the Second Battle of El Alamein. The division was sent to Egypt first to complete the necessary training as an armored unit and then it was sent to Italy where it served from 1944 to 1945. Upon arrival in Italy, the division was attached to the British Eighth Army and later transferred and attached to the United States Fifth Army for the remainder of the Italian Campaign. The South African 6th Armoured Division returned home after the end of the war in Italy and was disbanded in 1946.
Model Centrum PROGRES
Armor Color Gallery #9 - Camouflage & Markings of the 6th South African Armored Division - North Africa & Italy 1943-45 - Part 2 Wheeled Transport & Artillery by William Marshall has a 2012 copyright and its ISBN number is 978-83-60672-18-1. As the title states, the book details the camouflage and markings of the 6th South African Armored Division during World War Two. The book is a 71 page soft cover book and contains 127 black and white photographs, color illustrations and informational charts, 10 in black and white and 2 in color. The inside front cover is used as an advertisement for Model Centrum PROGRES and the last page and inside rear cover are used as advertisements for IBG Models and Accurate Armour.
- Units & Organization
- Motorized Infantry
- Technical Service
- Medical Service
- Logistical Service
- Vehicle paint & camouflage colors
- Vehicle markings
- Basic markings
- Other markings
- Divisional emblems
- Vehicles & artillery
- Staff Cars
- Artillery Pieces & Tractors
- Recovery Vehicles
- Color Plates
Shown throughout the book is a wide variety of photographs of the South African 6th Armoured Divisionís vehicles and artillery. All of the photographs are in black and white. I would have liked to have seen some color photographs included. The photographs range from action scenes to casual scenes to scenes that were staged for the photographer. They cover various actions such as tank recovery, artillery emplacement, convoys, maintenance operations and other such scenes. Most of the photographs are nice and clear, however there are some that have an out of focus look to them. I have seen several military photographs that have this look to them so maybe that is just typical. I do know that several military photographs are actually stills taken from video so that could be one reason. With that said, the quality of the photographs is of no fault of the author. I havenít seen a majority of the featured photographs before, if not all of them, and I was pleased with this. I definitely consider that a bonus as it is nice to have a reference book that contains several lesser known photographs as opposed to the same old over used photographs that many books tend to contain.
The Color Illustrations:
There are 6 pages of excellent illustrations of South African 6th Armoured Divisionís vehicles. They provide multiple views of the vehicles and show and describe the color of the vehicle as well as its markings. The illustrations are of:
- Division Commanderís Jeep
- 11thh Armored Brigade Commanderís Jeep
- Dodge WC-54 ĺ ton 4X4 Ambulance
- Scammell Pioneer SV/2S Breakdown
- Scammell Pioneer TRMU-30 Tank Transporter
- Diamond T 981 Truck
- Ford F60-2L CMP Ambulance
- Morris C9/B 40 mm Bofors Anti-Aircraft Truck
- Dodge T-110L-5 3-ton GS Truck
One item of interest in regards to the drawings are that they are shown in 1/35 scale. This should prove to be very valuable to the modeler and the scratch-builder that can use them for reference and comparison.
The Text and Captions:
All of the photographs are accompanied by captions that are in English text. The captions that accompany the photographs are well written and go into great detail in regards to the vehicle and the scene that is shown. It is obvious that William Marshall has taken the time to study the photographs and research them so that they are well detailed and point out several items of interest to assist the reader by describing what the reader is looking at. The text is well written and detailed and provides a wealth of knowledge that will assist both the historian and modeler. One problem I noticed with the text is that most of it is white text on a black background. For me this is a problem as I think it makes the text harder to read than black text on a white background. I realize that is just my personal feeling of the text however I thought I should mention it. However, the white on black text does not take anything away from this fine volume.
There are 8 divisional flow charts included in this volume. The show the division, units and regiments of the South African 6th Armoured Division. The flow charts are of:
- 6 SA Armd Division
- Artillery Units
- 1/6 Field Regiment
- 7/23 Medium Artillery Regiment
- 4/22 Field Regiment
- 1/11 Anti Tank Regiment
- 1/12 Light Anti Aircraft Regiment
- 15 Field Regiment
There are 2 informational tables included in this volume. The informational charts are of:
- Table 1: 6 SA Armored Division Vehicles
- Table 2: Camouflage colors
There are also 2 informational charts that are in color. These charts will prove to be valuable references for both the modeler and the historian. The color informational charts are of:
- 6 SA Armored Markings
- Artillery Tactical Markings
All in all I am pleased with the book. The coverage of the South African 6th Armoured Division is very well covered. With its wealth of detailed photographs and captions this book will appeal to the military vehicle modeler, scratch-builder, detail modeler, diorama modeler, and military vehicle, armor and artillery enthusiast and will be a welcome addition to oneís personal reference library. I would have no hesitation to add other Model Centrum PROGRES titles to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others.