A.F.V. Recognition book

Category:  Military Life

AFV Recognition book

When faced with tanks or armoured cars on the battlefield, it was essential to classify them as either hostile of friendly before opening fire. Such vehicles carried few markings, so the War Office provided recognition books to help troops identify them.

This book, covering British and Allied Armoured Fighting Vehicles, contains many detailed drawings and photographs, together with a warning on the cover that the contents must not be disclosed to the press. Being pocket-sized, it could easily be carried at all times.

Exhibit data

Museum number:



September 1942

Approx. size:

11 x 16 cm
(4¼ x 6¼ in)

More views

The key parts to identify on a tank or armoured car were the wireless mast, hull, armament, turret and track assembly.

This drawing shows the names and functions of the various parts of a typical AFV, in this case a Valentine tank.

Photographs of each vehicle (A Sherman tank in this example) from a variety of angles aided recognition in real-life conditions.