SabingaMartin Publications
Centurion Tanks of the IDF
Shot Kal Alef Volume 3
by  Dr. Robert Manasherob
Reviewed By  Mark Aldrich, IPMS# 39295

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MSRP: $35.00
ISBN: 978-0-9841437-0-2
Publisher contact:

SabingaMartin and Dr. Robert Manasherob have done it again. Centurion Tanks of the IDF is another great armor book for the IDF or Centurion enthusiast. Of course you could be like me and be both. Either way, you will not be disappointed in this newest tome.

The book is a soft bound 80 pages long. It contains a mix of black and white and color photographs, line drawings and color plates. There is a history of the Shot Kal Alef. This is the version where they changed out all the old stuff on an assembly line (mostly the 20 pounder gun and Meteor engine) and installed the 105mm gun and the M48 series engines and transmissions. You get to see many photographs of this assembly line procedure. The neat thing that I learned was that while they were upgrading the Centurions, the M48s were also being upgraded with the same improvements. The conversions on two different vehicles took place on the same assembly line floor right across from each other.

The first Shot Kals were issued to the 188th Brigade in 1970. They were trialed and tested in the utmost secrecy. These new Centurions were not even revealed to the Israeli public until 1973 on the 25th Anniversary of Independence parade.

[review image] All the factory, trial and combat photographs are Black and white. The combat photographs are mostly of and relate to the 7th Brigades vehicles in the last days of the 1973 war. Some of these pictures are truly unique. They show the round search light found on the M50/M51 series and some even have a Luna L-2 infrared searchlight removed from captured or destroyed T-55/62 series tanks. The color photographs are of a Shot Kal Alef at the Latrun Museum. This vehicle is not a straight Alef. It has had provisions for the blazer armor packs added to it which gives it a different designator.

[review image] Dr. Manasherob's writing is concise and to the point. However, he immediately threw me for a loop in Paragraph one. He states that, "for complete details on the early years of the Centurion in IDF service, see the first two parts of this series". After emailing Dr. Manasherob, he explained that this would be like "Star Wars" in that the last volume is actually the first published. Near the end of the history lesson he also mentions compiling a Centurion "in action" with the IDF book as well. Man was I drooling here. For those who may not have read my earlier review on the M50 in IDF service, Dr. Manasherob also promised to do a book series on the halftrack in IDF service as well as one on the M51 and M1 Shermans.

If you are a fan of the IDF then this is another must have book. There are over 310 pictures in this book alone. The color photographs of the Latrun Centurion will be of great interest to anyone wanting to model an Alef. The assembly line photos allow for some great diorama ideas as well. My sincere gratitude goes out to Mr. Manasherob for writing this book, my wonderful wife Jerry for allowing me to purchase it and IPMS/USA for a place to post this review. Have fun build an IDF Centurion.

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