This book is the first in a series covering AFV's of the Israeli Defence Force (IDF). Magach is the name that the IDF uses for M48/60 Patton tanks. The book covers the original Magach 6B (Gal) which is based on the US M60A1 RISE. The later Magach 6B Gal (Batash) will be covered in a later book.
The author, Michael Mass, served in the IDF (in Tirans) and later worked in the defence industry on upgrades and modifications. He is curator of the Yad Lashiryon Memorial Site and Museum in Latrun and is an avid modeller. This series is published in cooperation with Legend Productions, maker of after-market model parts.
This book is orientated towards modellers. There are no "there I was" stories or detailed operational histories. There are no tables of statistics or comparisons with other tanks. There are 64 pages, 134 color photographs, and 13 technical drawings (no scale given for the drawings) showing the tank in use and in detail. Pictures are not wasted on those parts of the tank that are identical to the M60A1 RISE so it's not a stand-alone reference.
The Book in Detail
The layout of the book sets the standard for the rest of the series and follows the following format: Names and Derivatives: This section covers all versions of the Magach starting from the M48. There are not pictures of all versions. This chapter is mostly to show where the 6B Gal fits in the Magach line. There are some photos of patches for units that currently use the Magach. The Magach 6B Gal in Action: This section has pictures of the Magach 6B Gal is use during field training exercises. This includes some pictures of the KMT-4 mine roller attached. The Man and the Machine: This section has pictures of the men working with the tank. It includes pictures of crews in tank coveralls and protective helmets as well as some track maintenance shots. There are diagrams of the area around the idler showing the track tensioning mechanism. The Magach 6B Gal in Detail.: This is the meat for all us modelers! The details of the turret are covered very well. There are also pictures of the interior. The interior photos are nice showing the controls that each crew member uses but I wish there were photos of what is all around them for a complete picture. There are diagrams for the commander's and loader's machine gun mounts as well as the over-the-barrel .50 cal mount. Rivet counter heaven! There are no hull detail pictures except for the KMT-4 mounting. If there are detail photos missing, it is probably because they are unchanged from the M60A1 RISE. The Magach 6B Gal in Detail - Power Pack.: The only picture lacking here is of the bottom of the power pack. Training with the Magach 6B Gal: This shows details on the instructor's seat that is mounted behind the loader's hatch for tank commander training. Tactical Signs - No One Alike: There are diagrams and photos of unit markings. Modeling the 6B Gal: This covers the painting of Legend's 1/35 Magach 6B Gal conversion kit used with Academy's 1/35 M60A1 w/Blazer kit. The kit is shown assembled unpainted and the stages of painting are shown. It also shows Legend's KMT-4 mounts and instructor's seat.
I think this is a "Must Have" for IDF enthusiasts. The book covers just about everything essential for detailing its subject. It would have been nice if there were more detail photos of the the parts common to the M60A1 RISE instead of the reader having to look at other references.
I wish Desert Eagle much success with their series. I know I will be buying the whole lot!
Highs: Very nice clear color photos. Very good captions and text.Lows: Would have been nice to include more detail photos of details unchanged from the M60A1 RISE so the modeler could use this as a stand-alone reference.Verdict: Excellent value for money and overall a fantastic book.