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M4 Sherman vs Type 97 Chi-Ha: The Pacific 1945

M4 Sherman vs Type 97 Chi-Ha: The Pacific 1945 Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review July 2012 Title M4 Sherman vs Type 97 Chi-Ha: The Pacific 1945
Author Steven J. Zaloga Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2012 ISBN 9781849086387
Format 80 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $17.95


Latest in Osprey’s acclaimed “Duel” series examines the “largest single armored clash of the Pacific War”.  But unlike previous editions, this one considers weapons of vastly different effectiveness – the U.S. M4A3 Sherman and Japanese Type 97-kai Shinhoto Chi-ha.

Could “innovative” Japanese tactics, Steven Zaloga asks, overcome “technical imbalance” and vast U.S. might?  And to answer that, the author brilliantly mines archival sources to probe the performance of Japanese and American tank units on Luzon, Philippines in early 1945.

Zaloga superbly sets the stage with introductory notes and chronology – then segues to design histories and technical remarks on both vehicles.  Text next turns to “combatants” – the impact of crew vehicle positions and unit organizations on battlefield performance.

After summarizing strategic circumstances, coverage hits climax with the author’s absorbing account of the clash between elements of the Japanese 2nd Armored Division and U.S. Army 716th Tank Battalion at San Manuel, 24 Jan 1945.

Zaloga’s riveting page-turner ends with instructive analyses and bibliographic comments.  Beautifully informative illustrations, photos, sidebars, charts, maps, and index supplement text.

This terrific tome deserves a spot in every WWII enthusiast’s library.

Unreservedly recommended.

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!