Images of War, Allied Armoured Fighting Vehicles of the Second World War, Rare Photographs From Wartime Archives

The Images of War Series has become very popular, and rightly so. This addition to the series follows the proven format of combining concise text with a large number of images from wartime archives, with some images of recently restored armour. This is a fine selection of images to comprehensively demonstrate the diversity of armoured vehicle designs and roles – Most Highly Recommended.


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NAME: Images of War, Allied Armoured Fighting Vehicles of the Second 
World War, Rare Photographs From Wartime Archives
FILE: R2533
AUTHOR: Michael Green
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back 
PAGES:  194
PRICE: £15.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII, World War Two, World War 2, Second World War, AFV, 
Armoured Fighting Vehicle, engineering armour, tanks, tank killers, 
self-propelled artillery, armoured anti-air vehicles, flamethrowers, 
specialist armour, armoured personnel carriers

ISBN: 1-47387-237-5

IMAGE: B2533.jpg6
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/lwq2onv
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION: The Images of War Series has become very popular, and 
rightly so. This addition to the series follows the proven format of 
combining concise text with a large number of images from wartime 
archives, with some images of recently restored armour. This is a 
fine selection of images to comprehensively demonstrate the diversity 
of armoured vehicle designs and roles – Most Highly Recommended.

The Second World War not only saw the gun tank coming of age, but the 
design of a very wide range of other types of armoured vehicle. What 
we would now describe as a Main Battle Tank, had developed from the 
early British tanks of WWI. Where the early tanks were slow moving, 
and relatively unreliable, with their main armament mounted in 
sponsons to either side of the vehicle, the standard MBT featured a 
single turret with a main gun and one of more machine guns, able to 
traverse 360 degrees in most cases. The additional machine gun in the 
forward hull alongside the driver proved of reduced value and later 
designs often deleted this gun and its gunner. There were also a 
number of deviant designs with multiple turrets or massive turrets 
that raised the height, and visibility to the enemy, of the tank. As 
WWII progressed, MBTs became larger and heavier, with more powerful 
guns, the Germans building some monstrous machines late in the war. 
Some of these larger tanks were too large for rail transport and for 
the roads and bridges that they might have to negotiate in battle.

Armoured cars may have received limited coverage in print, but they 
were an important form of AFV, often used in the reconnaissance role 
were they needed higher road speed and flexibility than a tracked 
vehicle could not provide. Some armoured cars carried relatively 
heavy guns, comparable with MBTs, but most were lightly armed and 
armoured, with speed and cross country performance prioritized.

As WWII progressed, there was a constant technology battle and AFVs 
were given thicker and more effective armour that then demanded much 
heavier guns for opposing tanks. That presented a particular 
challenge because there soon came a point where the typical tank 
turret was limited in the size of gun by the diameter of the turret 
ring and the width of trunions. This led to the assault gun which 
mounted a large gun in the glacis plate with limited traverse and 
elevation/depression.

Much use was also made of a hybrid between car and tank, the half 
track. These vehicles retain front wheels for steering, but replaced 
rear wheels with tracks. The Germans mainly used their half tracks 
as personnel carriers, but as the war progressed, half tracks were 
equipped with relatively heavy canon, mortars, or anti-aircraft guns. 
The Allies augmented their half tracks with armoured personnel 
carriers modified from MBT hulls, the turret removed, and usually 
with no overhead protection for the infantry aboard.

Armour also responded to new demands, particularly for amphibious 
warfare and bunker busting. This required the ability to swim ashore 
and across rivers and the use of flamethrowers and large calibre, 
short barrelled demolition guns and mortars.

Somehow, the author has managed to squeeze all of these design 
developments into the book, an achievement in its own right. This 
produces a fascinating study that is great value for money.