Tank Craft 17, M1 Abrams, The US’s Main Battle Tank I American and Foreign Service, 1981-2019

Designed for armoured warfare in Europe during the Cold War, the Abrams has spent its combat exposure in the Middle East both as a Main Battle Tank engaged in fighting armour and in asymmetric warfare against insurgents. This is a book aimed primarily at the modelling community, but the high standard of illustration makes it applicable to anyone with an interest in armour and modern combat environments. – Very Highly Recommended.

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NAME: Tank Craft 17, M1 Abrams, The US's Main Battle Tank I American and 
Foreign Service, 1981-2019
FILE: R3057
AUTHOR: David Grummitt
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword Tank Craft
BINDING: soft back
PRICE: £16.99                                                                
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Cold War, Gulf War, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, ISIS, armour, main battle 
tank, turbine power, asymmetric warfare, insurgency, column warfare, tank battles, 
deserts, armour upgrades

ISBN: 1-52674-975-0

IMAGE: B3057.jpg
BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/syrxrnc
LINKS: 
DESCRIPTION: Designed for armoured warfare in Europe during the Cold War, the 
Abrams has spent its combat exposure in the Middle East both as a Main Battle Tank 
engaged in fighting armour and in asymmetric warfare against insurgents. This is a 
book aimed primarily at the modelling community, but the high standard of 
illustration makes it applicable to anyone with an interest in armour and modern 
combat environments. – Very Highly Recommended.

The US has not been the most successful nation at designing state-of -the-art armour. 
Initially it depended on British tanks in the closing stages of World War One and its 
reduced commitment to military expenditure meant continuing use of British built 
armour with a number of experiments through the 1920s and 1930s. When WWII 
began, the US had armour which was not ideal for the battlefields in Europe and 
North Africa. What it lacked in leading edge technology, it more than made up for 
in quantity production. While not equal to the best British and German designs, the 
Lee and Grant tanks were competent when used in large formations with artillery 
backing them up. The Sherman addressed many of the Lee/Grant deficiencies but 
British and German design had moved on and only high production rates made it an 
important tank. Simply, US factories could produce Shermans faster than the Germans 
could destroy them. The British did however modify Shermans with swimming 
capability and other modifications, the 'funnies' that were so effective during the 
Normandy landings. They also replaced the standard gun with a very effective 17 
pounder anti-tank gun. This did nothing to reduce vulnerability to German fire that 
earned the Sherman the nickname of 'Tommy Cooker', but in the hands of a skilled 
crew it enabled the Sherman to kill the much more advanced Tigers.

After WWII, the Americans produced a number of designs that were competent if not 
outstanding. Through much of the Cold War the British Centurion, that arrived just 
too late for WWII, was superior to US tanks but the US still had the advantage of 
large scale production capability. The M1 Abrams was a different matter. It 
incorporated a great deal of advanced technology and was an effective design. 
Whether or not it had real advantage over British and Russian MBTs is arguable.

To meet its original design parameters, the Abrams employed a novel power unit to 
provide the power to weight ratios demanded in engagements against Red Army tanks 
in Europe. Its main gun was effective and part of an advanced fire control system that 
supported mobile engagement over a full range of terrain. Since its introduction, the 
Abrams has been enhanced in a series of updates. This has included a steady 
upgrading of armour with ERA being liberally applied, including a substantial ERA 
layer to protect the tank sides and running gear. The operation in hot conditions with 
the threat of IEDs and snipers has required the commander to be adequately protected 
without impairment of vision when riding with the hatches open. This has been 
achieved by adding large ballistic glass screens around the two turret hatches, one 
being equipped with a .50 cal heavy machine-gun for use against ground targets, 
including buildings.

This book captures the Abrams as it has continued to be upgraded and there are many 
full colour drawings and photographs to show both the Abrams in service and the 
available model kits. As with other books in this very popular series, the author has 
included photographs and details of the specialist add-on and replacement parts that 
enable a model maker to turn a good facsimile into an exhibition grade model.