Images of War, M1 Abrams Tank, Rare Photographs From Wartime Archives

This is an important addition to a very popular series of books that feature lavish illustration with rare photographs. This is one of the larger books in the series and also contains a higher percentage of text, but without in any way reducing the unique collection of images that each book in the series is famed for. A delight with fine full colour photographs and clear drawings – Highly Recommended.


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NAME: Images of War, M1 Abrams Tank, Rare Photographs From Wartime 
Archives
FILE: R2499
AUTHOR: Michael Green
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back 
PAGES: 182
PRICE: £14.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Armour, AFV, Armoured Fighting Vehicle, tanks, tank warfare, 
gun tank, Middle East Wars, deserts, insurgencies

ISBN: 1-47383-423-6

IMAGE: B2499.jpg6
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/l88l8aj
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION: This is an important addition to a very popular series 
of books that feature lavish illustration with rare photographs. This 
is one of the larger books in the series and also contains a higher 
percentage of text, but without in any way reducing the unique 
collection of images that each book in the series is famed for. A 
delight with fine full colour photographs and clear drawings - 
Highly Recommended.

The author has elected to begin with a rapid tour through earlier 
US armour from the WWII Sherman to explain the reasoning behind the 
design and development of the M1 Abrams Tank. To illustrate this 
section, he has selected full colour photographs of restored tanks 
to maintain a full colour photographic gallery through the book.

When looking at armour, and trying to assess the importance of each 
design, a successful tank may not be the finest example of its time, 
but the model produced in sufficient numbers. Looked at technically, 
US tank design has been poor and some commentators will say that the 
M1 Abrams Tank has not broken the established US pattern of technical 
short comings. Certainly, British and German designs have been much 
better, as have been some Russian/Soviet models.

During WWII, the British continued to design and develop both their 
own native designs and significant modifications to US tank models. 
The British Sherman Firefly adaptation produced a Sherman that had 
the firepower to take on and destroy the German Tiger I and Tiger II 
main battle tanks. The British Cromwell was produced in relatively 
small numbers, but proved a very effective tank. The most advanced 
tank was however the British Centurion, which arrived too late to see 
WWII action, but was used very effectively in the Korean War and 
through a series of Middle Eastern wars. The Germans had produced a 
number of assault gun/tank killers which were very effective and 
married a much more powerful gun, with limited traverse and elevation, 
to an older main tank chassis. The Tiger I, Panther and Tiger II tanks 
were highly effective and lacked only in some unreliability from 
complex engineering, and in a shortage of numbers. They represent the 
pinnacle of WWII German tank design. Against the British and German 
production, the US armour relied on mass production and weight of 
numbers, with the Sherman as the apex of WWII design. Technically, the 
Grants and Shermans and the various tank killers were at best 
competent.

After WWII, the British Centurion became a leading design, not least 
through its powerful and innovative 105 mm main gun. However, the 
Russians had built up a huge stock of tanks and produced 120 mm 
gunned models. The interim British solution was the 120 mm gunned 
Conqueror that was issued in small numbers to Centurion mounted 
regiments. It was well armoured and the gun was highly effective, 
although the tank was slow and heavy. Never tested in battle, it was 
perhaps more accurately considered as a mobile bunker with a very 
heavy gun that could be sited to provide supporting fire for troops 
of Centurions, moving to new positions as the battle moved. Its main 
recommendation was that it was more effective than anything produced 
by the US. The Germans also got back into the tank business with the 
Leopard which has proved a popular and effective design, purchased 
for the German army and by other countries. The British have kept 
ahead in design, with the Chieftain in its various marks, but 
produced relatively few machines, with the Cameron Government 
claiming the tank was now obsolete and could be scrapped to save 
money.

Against that background, the M1 Abrams was a step in the right 
direction for the US. It was certainly markedly better technically 
than anything the US had previously produced. Critics have 
highlighted some limitations and the big question for the future is 
whether the manned tank has a real future. It is vulnerable to 
modern aircraft that can destroy tanks from well outside the range 
of the tank's ability to fight back. Infantry anti-tank weapons are 
also very much more effective and this makes the Unmanned Armoured 
Vehicle an attractive alternative. Unmanned Vehicles of all types 
are particularly attractive to countries with considerable 
manufacturing potential, because they can be cheaper to produce in 
much larger quantities without the problem of training crews and 
attrition replacements.

The author has looked carefully at the M1 Abrams Tank and selected 
an excellent set of colour photographs to illustrate his work. Fine 
detail has been provided by a number drawings and sketches.