This is the largely untold story of British tank development through the Cold War. The author provides a comprehensive account of the development program and the designs that never reached the regiments, showing many original and advanced concepts. – Highly Recommended.
NAME: The Dark Age of Tanks, Britain's Lost Armour 1945-1970 FILE: R3159 AUTHOR: David Lister PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING: hard back PRICE: £19.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: Cold War, regional wars, armour, armoured fighting vehicles, armoured support vehicles, personnel carriers, guided missiles, gun development, fire control, power units, track design. ISBN: 1-52675-514-9 PAGES: 194 IMAGE: B3159.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y8u8xn4n DESCRIPTION: This is the largely untold story of British tank development through the Cold War. The author provides a comprehensive account of the development program and the designs that never reached the regiments, showing many original and advanced concepts. – Highly Recommended. The British economy was almost wrecked at the end of WWII. The many pressures on Empire encouraged politicians to think their job was one of managed decline. The post-war Labour Government saw itself a a national socialist movement and natural ally to Stalin's Soviet Union. This saw attempts to ingratiate themselves with Stalin and regard the US more as an potential enemy. A desire to nationalise everything caused great confusion, rationing was retained long after it ended in defeated Germany and the massive war debts were expanded by disastrous economic policies. In that environment it is amazing that any military equipment was designed and built and yet the British arms manufacturers continued to innovate and produce leading designs, including the highly successful Centurion family of armoured vehicles and the Chieftain family. Even the lesser known Conqueror was a success in its intended role, providing armoured regiments with a number of heavy gun tanks alongside the Centurions to counter heavy Soviet tanks. The period of the Cold War was a challenging period for tank design because the huge number of Soviet tanks on the East German border with West Germany meant that any Soviet attack would rapidly move to tactical nuclear warfare to halt the Soviet armour. This potential situation demanded the protection of men and equipment in the nuclear war zone. Infantry had to be carried in vehicles that could provide a level of NBC protection and be capable of moving rapidly across difficult terrain to reposition troops during the battle. At the same time guided missiles were joining the armoury and that raised questions about the survivability of tanks on a modern battlefield. There was a return of interest in infantry tanks and of tanks with ever larger guns. The debate has continued past the period covered by this book and is no closer to real solution. Today there is the added dimension of unmanned fighting vehicles, either remotely controlled, or given autonomous capabilities, but the start of these considerations can be seen in the period covered here so ably by the author. Many readers may be surprised by the level of activity during the period covered, as British designers sought to push the boundaries and produce some very interesting designs that never entered full production and deployment.